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A new world? [Long, but important.]

Subject: A new world? [Long, but important.]
From: Mark J Bradakis <>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:59:38 -0600 (MDT)

Last week, many of the folks here in the U.S. of A observed what we call
Columbus Day.  It comemmerates the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his
"discovery" of the New World.  Columbus took off for unknown territory in
search of new trade routes, thinking he'd find one thing, and found another.
And it is getting to the point where I may do a similar thing with Team.Net,
taking off in an unknown direction, without knowing how it will turn out.

The current situation is that the 80 or so Team.Net lists [1], their roughly
14,000 subscribers, the web pages, the FTP archives
are all handled by an old computer tucked off in the corner of the machine room
here in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Utah.  And doing
the care and feeding of that server is me, just one person.

***  What I would like to do:

 - Replace the server with at least one new box.  Perhaps split off the web
   and ftp from the mailer machine, so having one service blow up the server
   doesn't topple the others.

   Why?  The current hardware is sort of still working.  You got this message,
   didn't you?  One of the disks that was donated during my last plea is making
   WAY too much noise, and will likely kiss the turf in the very near future.
   This stuff doesn't last forever.  I've actually shuffled stuff around, if the
   disk does fail soon, there should be minimal loss of service.

 - Divorce the Team.Net box from the University.  Rather than keeping it
   hanging off some U of U wire, get sufficient bandwidth at home or the shop
   or somewhere to support the traffic loads for the foreseeable future.

   Why?  Basically, to keep some sort of equipment replacement fund on hand,
   I'd like to find some way of generating a modest bit of income from all this
   work.  And while it would be nice if all of the 14,000 subscribers mentioned
   above would send me, say, 7.95 every year to cover each of their list
   subscriptions, that is unlikely to happen.  So I'm thinking of commercial
   sponsorships, perhaps some advertising, maybe a classified cars and parts
   service for a modest fee, whatever.  But doing anything like that using
   University resources is not the way to go.

***  What it will take:

 - Money.  Basically enough funding to purchase the required hardware, to cover
   the installation fees of a network line of some sort set up somewhere, and
   enough to cover several months of the ongoing line charges and such, while
   I ponder various income schemes.  Looking for those new trade routes, so to

 - Time.  I'll provide this.

***  What I request of you:

 -  Contribute money.  You *knew* this was coming, didn't you?  Send a check,
    made payable to Fat Chance Garage, to this address:

    Fat Chance Garage
    PO Box 58333
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84158

Simple, eh?  Now, the few times over the last decade or so I've done this,
I've gotten many offers from folks willing to throw in some unused, surplus
hardware of various types.  For example, the failing disk I mention above.
In truth, I'd rather go out and purchase new stuff, which comes with a warranty
and someone I can pepper with complaints if need be.  I think that is the best
route in the long run.

Also, for those many list folks who are not in the US of A, don't worry about
it.  Usually, a check from out of the country costs me more in service charges,
currency conversion and hassle than it is worth.  If a batch of folks based in,
say, England or Australia or Canada or Germany or wherever got together and sent
in one large bank check payable in US Dollars, that would be different!

If you've recently contributed, or don't feel like you are getting anything
out of these lists[2], or are just plain old broke, don't worry about it.  I'll
continue to provide what I can; payment for services rendered is on a strictly
voluntary basis.  Which in some cases is likely a shame, as I bet there are
many on these lists who make use of them for personal financial gain in one
form or another, and are quite willing to continue doing so with no regard for
the efforts I provide enabling them to do so.  The flip side of that, though,
is that there are folks with commercial interests directly related to the
areas of list interests who always come through with contributions when I ask.

So, let's see what we can do to improve the services I provide.  If I gather
in a few hundred dollars, you probably won't notice anything different.  A few
thousand, and there could be some screamin' new hardware behind it all.  And
if a hundred thousand or so (Less than $8 per subscription!) I'd quit my day
job and actually be able to work full time as the Team.Net guy, and you might
get a decent level of customer service out of me, instead of the current
situation of more than likely no reply at all.  Hmmm, would that be my dream,
or a nightmare?

So, if you can assist, great, there's a few thousand others around the world
besides me who would appreciate it.  If not, I hope that I can still provide
you with something useful in your life through the Team.Net services.


1:  To see what the lists are, send a plain text message to:

    Put nothing in the body of the message but the command


2:  To unsubscribe from a list, first make sure you know the name of the list.
    See 1 above.  Then, send a plain text email to

    Put nothing in the body of the message but the command

      unsubscribe <name_of_the_list_as_majordomo_knows_it>

    If the program can figure out who you are, you will be unsubscribed.  IF
    not, the request will be forwarded to me, so that I can handle it, hopefully
    in a less than infinite amount of time.

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