Annual pledge drive, first notice

H Marc Lewis marcl at micapeak.com
Mon Jan 21 18:13:29 PST 2008


Once each year I solicit contributions for the upkeep of micapeak.com
(which powers this mailing list, assorted Web sites and other services).
It's that time!

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Contributions (in US dollars) can be made in two ways.  
The less-desirable method is to send your check to: 

    H M Lewis (micapeak.com)
    PO Box 14755
    Spokane, WA 99214
    USA

The PREFERRED WAY is to use PayPal (http://www.paypal.com) 
to make your donation directly to: marcl at micapeak.com 

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That's the request. Now, if you're still with me, I'll fill you in on what
was new in 2007, what's Coming Soon, and why Carl and I would very
much appreciate your contribution. This does get kind of technical:

We have been using a local Mom-n-Pop kinda ISP for almost the last 10
years, where we co-located a couple Dell servers (one as a live backup).
Service there has been on the decline, and last Labor Day, a lightning
storm on Friday night took out our UPS, and took us offline. Our ISP
took the 3-day weekend off, locked their doors, and didn't answer their
email or phone until the following Tuesday. So we were off the air
(unnecessarily) for 3 days.

Carl and I have moved ISPs before (we've been doing this since '95) and
the hassle of doing it again didn't appeal much to us, though we talked
quite a bit about it. The final straw was a problem at the ISP with
the Cisco router we were plugged into. The port we were on was getting
so many data errors that we couldn't transfer more than a megabyte or
two at a time, making backups very difficult. We proved to them it
wasn't us, and they admitted it must be the router, but their tech guy
just never got around to fixing it.

Finally, we'd had enough. I've had good luck at a popular Major Hosting
provider whom I won't name (Hi, Danica!), so Carl and I cowboy'd up and
moved the whole operation there in December, based upon their saleman
committing to allowing us to send in excess of 150,000 mail messages a
day. To save a few bucks, I bought 6 months worth of hosting there, in
advance.

Turns out that there is a hard limit of 100,000 msgs/day, and in spite
of claiming they don't filter outgoing mail, they do filter it with a
very simple-minded text comparison function which produces a large
percentage of false positives.  Carl spent almost 3 weeks going back
and forth before with them before we decided it was a lost cause and
we needed to find Yet Another Hosting Service.

As of about a week ago, we moved micapeak et al to a very high-tech,
state-of-the-art regional data center in Liberty Lake, WA, USA where
we hope to reside (online) for the next 10 or 25 years, if all goes
well.  It will cost more, but should be noticably better WRT 24x7 
availability, reliability, bandwidth, etc.

As for the cost -- In spite of not having (or wanting!) a day job, 
I can still cover the expenses completely out of my own pocket if
necessary.  But Carl and I know that some of the folks for whom this
mailing list is an important part of daily life are willing to show
their appreciation with a modest donation. We encourage you to think
about how much time you spend each day following this list, or using
micapeak's other resources.  If it seems worthwhile to you, then
please consider contributing something. 

Understand that Carl and I will continue to operate the mailing lists,
micapeak.com and other Websites even if no one contributes a penny. 
There is no obligation to contribute anything on your part and you'll
continue to get your micapeak stuff for free.  But we'd appreciate it
if you'd help out...

Thanks in advance! 

--hmarc


SPECIAL NOTE:

Let's not make this a topic of discussion on the mailing list, OK?
Contribute or don't, as it suits you, but we have neither the time nor
the energy to discuss the subject further than what you see above.
And we're sure your fellow subscribers would rather not have the list 
itself cluttered with more than this notice on the subject.
Thanks!

(BTW -- I'll post this message just once more in about two weeks).


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