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Site outage: hacker attack and low diskspace in one day.

overscan (PaulMM)

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Hi everyone. We ran out of space completely on the server last night which caused the site to go down.

I will spend some time tidying up the server and removing all logs and non-essential files, but once this is done the reality is I will have to either

1) Start pruning old attachments
2) buy more space

Option 2) would use up the server fund almost twice as fast as currently, which would mean we would have to do twice yearly donation drives, or get more donators. On the plus side it would double space to 20gb, double monthly bandwidth to 200 gigs (we are close to our monthly limit currently) and double the CPU and memory available.

Feedback welcome.
 

Michel Van

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1) Start pruning old attachments
NO WAY on that, because this Forum is best online source on "Secrets" Project

2) buy more space
Yes, but how much gonna cost this ?

which reminds me, i have to do my donation for this year :-[
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Currently we pay $20 US (server hosting) plus $5 US per month (backups) for total of $25 /month, $300 a year. When I first signed up the exchange rate for dollars to pounds was close to 2:1, so it was a really good deal.

Upgrading to a bigger slice would cost $38 (server hosting) plus $5 US per month (backup) for total of $43 /month, $516 a year.
 

Antonio

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...not a popular solution but could we go for an anual subcription system? there are a lot of members so the anual payment would be low.

just an idea
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yes, its possible to charge, but could easily kill the forum.

With the funds we have currently remaining, we have enough for 12 months of current service, or about 7 months of the larger space account.

So, I can upgrade the forum easily enough, but I would need a new round of donations in November.
 

cluttonfred

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Our members tab above shows 2861 enrolled. If just 10% of those (289) are active, and if just 10% of those (29) make a USD$20 donation, you're set for a year at the higher rate. If donations don't come through, I guess you could consider adding Google ads or something to the site. Either way, I certainly hope the community comes through as this site is a great resource.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Orionblamblam

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overscan said:
Yes, its possible to charge, but could easily kill the forum.

Maybe. NASAspaceflight.com seems to get along just fine with a two-tiered system...a free forum for everyone to gab at each other, post images and whatnot; and a subscription-based subforum where documents and such are available to subscribers. Something similar could, I suppose, be introduced here. Just as an idea: there are a number of authors and artists here; the subscription forum could make available to paying subbies art and articles and such. The art would of course have to be higher-rez than normal, and there might - or might not, dunno - need to be some way to provide recompense for the submitters. Say, some sort of financial renumeration for the top ten most downloaded items, or something. Or perhaps artists/authors would simply provide SPForum specials gratis; I'd cough up the occaisional APR article, for instance.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yes, its certainly possible. Last time 2 people donated quite large sums, others donated $5 or 5 euros.

Don't forget that most people (I include myself here) are used to paying nothing for internet content. Its not easy to get people to make a donation to support the site; there are a few (highly valued!) members who always donate, but equally most do not.

Unfortunately, we all have mortgages to pay, families to feed.

Scott's idea has some merit actually. I will think about it.
 

Michel Van

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i made my donation , 30 pound sterling
not much, but better than nothing !

to Scott Proposal is very good idea,
but how much cost that subscription ?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Working on the principle of raising $516 per year, if 100 people would join it would cost only $5 / year each.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Oh, and thanks to Michel we have enough money to last to December now, which means we have actually raised enough for a year's hosting at the higher price this year. Assuming the pound doesn't fall any lower...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The forum was hacked by an evil Latvian hacker, in an attempt to plant dodgy ads for casinos and porn in the forum. This appears to have triggered the diskspace problem.

I am currently clearing up the mess left behind.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Please note, the diskspace is still an issue. We have 800mb left after I removed everything non-essential. The forum being hacked simply brought it forward a month or two.
 

sferrin

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overscan said:
Yes, its possible to charge, but could easily kill the forum.

With the funds we have currently remaining, we have enough for 12 months of current service, or about 7 months of the larger space account.

So, I can upgrade the forum easily enough, but I would need a new round of donations in November.

You know what though, it'd just weed out the chaff anyway. How much would a subscription cost per month if you had 50 paying members and double the disc space?
 
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lenny100

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I for one use this site for my recurch for my what-if models and find it totaly invaluable.
I cannot see any objections for us all to donate the price of a few can of coke for the upkeep of what is one of the best site around and if you need to bring forward the donation drive then do it, and upgrade the site drive space to as large as we can.
 

starviking

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sferrin said:
overscan said:
Yes, its possible to charge, but could easily kill the forum.

With the funds we have currently remaining, we have enough for 12 months of current service, or about 7 months of the larger space account.

So, I can upgrade the forum easily enough, but I would need a new round of donations in November.

You know what though, it'd just weed out the chaff anyway. How much would a subscription cost per month if you had 50 paying members and double the disc space?

Not that I think that I'm chaff - but a monthly sub would be out of the question for me - as I can't get a credit card in my country of residence. :'(

I prefer the donation system, and do donate - as an occasional charge to my card back home is do-able.
 

cluttonfred

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sferrin, I think overscan already answered that one above:

overscan said:
Working on the principle of raising $516 per year, if 100 people would join it would cost only $5 / year each.

So for 50 people that would be $10.32 per year.

Personally, I am not at all against a small subscription fee, but I would caution that a straight fee for membership would make it very hard to recruit new members. I was referred to this site by others (from forums.x-plane.org IIRC) and had noticed the forum coming up in google searches and those are very important ways to attract readers, contributors and potential subscribers.

A subscription fee to access special features and as a token of appreciation would work be a good compromise, IMHO.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Orionblamblam

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Mole said:
A subscription fee to access special features and as a token of appreciation would work be a good compromise, IMHO.

As a guess, most people visiting through would be happy with a scan of, say, an aircraft concept painting that's 600 or 800 pixels wide, and would have little use for a full-rez scan that was, say, 3000 pixels wide. However, many of us are nuts for getting the best imagery possible, either for re-publication, for model building, or just the love of the art. So... a good compromise to *me* would seem to be to put a 800, 900, 1000, whatever, pixel-width limit (or filesize limit) on the "public" site, and put the higher rez/filesize images on the subscription site. And whenever a large-format image is posted on the subbie site, a small "teaser" can be posted on the public site. That way.... *everybody* is happy. Those who don't want to pay can still see the small-yet-adequate images publicly; those who want to big images can see what's available and decide to pay the subscription fee. By restricting the "clientele" of the bigger images, you restrict the number of times it's downloaded, which saves on bandwidth.

I would recommend that the "subscription" site be somewhat restricted, kept as sort of a large-file-size archive, rather than a generic discussion forum. Leave the discussions public, leave the postings of modest images public... but post links in the public discussions to the relevant subscription-page. Leave the subscription site as a lean, extremely high signal-to-noise-ratio source of high-quality data and images. I have many hundreds of images I'd be happy to donate to such a site (and hope to have many more within the next 2-3 weeks).

Up to $28 (the cost of an Aerospace Projects Review subscription), I'd instantly subscribe my own self, even though I'm desperately poor (where's *MY* bailout? Isn't keeping APR worth a measely half-billion or so???). Once the cost got up to $50/year, I'd start spluttering in dismay. So $20 or less per year would make me happy.

And if the subscription site really took off, again some sort of financial renumeration for submitters might be in order. The more stuff that's added to the sub-site, the more people will want to subscribe... and if, say, Sentinel Chicken's or Flitzer's full-rez artwork turns out to be the biggest draw, then he should get some appropriate fraction for his efforts. Getting paid makes one more likely to keep working (a radical economic theory, but one for which some evidence does exist).
 

Barrington Bond

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Hell I'm in a bit of a financial mess but always happy to keep this site going as one of the few things nowadays that keeps my imagination/brain happy ;)

Is there anyway for a two tier system where non subscribers/non members will only see (or not at all) small pictures therefore taking up less bandwidth and subscribers will get the full monty ???

Chiz,
Barry
 

Sundog

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I think you should go the donation route, and I'll donate as soon as I have a secure PC back, my home PC died. But if you have to go for subs, I like it all being open, but access to high res pics/drawings being only through the sub.

Also, I'm big into MS Flight Sim and alot of the freeware sites have been hacked recently as well. in fact, it destroyed AVSIM's servers, including their back-up server. So years worth of free work by simmers was lost forever; Everything that wasn't uploaded to multiple sites, anyway.

BTW, I'm just curious if you have shopped around server costs? J.I.C. there was a better deal out there.
 

sferrin

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You know what might help is to have some kind of running tally that shows how much as been collected and how much left for the year with some form of percentage indicator.
 

shockonlip

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Really sorry to hear some of the guys have lost their jobs!

So I decided to kick in some money now.

Hopefully some of us can cover the slack.

Paul, check your PayPal account.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Well. that was very generous indeed. We have money enough for 12 months of the 20gb package now. I will upgrade tonight.
 

yasotay

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While I like the donation route, if you elect to go with subscriptions then I would certainly subscribe.
 

sferrin

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overscan said:
Well. that was very generous indeed. We have money enough for 12 months of the 20gb package now. I will upgrade tonight.

I'll be kicking in some too at some point. I can't speak for others but in the future (since you're covered for the next year :) ) it would help me to know how much is left. Like a tip jar or something but it shows how much has been collected towards the following year and how much more is needed to cover it. I just know if it's there I'll be a lot less likely to forget plus there's the whole impulse angle of it. I think there are a lot here who would be more than willing to help out but it might help to know where things are sitting if you know what I mean. Anyway that's my two cents.
 

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Another idea to raise money without scaring away members or new members is to offer hi-res images on a pay-for-download fee. You can offer a low res version to look at, and a button to download the hi-res and pay a small fee for it. 10 cents or so?
It could be done I think.
Just my 2 cents :)
 

sferrin

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BAROBA said:
Another idea to raise money without scaring away members or new members is to offer hi-res images on a pay-for-download fee. You can offer a low res version to look at, and a button to download the hi-res and pay a small fee for it. 10 cents or so?
It could be done I think.
Just my 2 cents :)

I think that would get very annoying very quickly. I'd add my vote to the two-tiered approach mentioned earlier though.
 

luedo34

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Why don´t we simply all donate some money...I´ve just done it. ;)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Hi, thanks, thats really great. We actually have enough money for now. So no more donations, please! Save the money for next year.
 

TomS

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BAROBA said:
Another idea to raise money without scaring away members or new members is to offer hi-res images on a pay-for-download fee. You can offer a low res version to look at, and a button to download the hi-res and pay a small fee for it. 10 cents or so?
It could be done I think.
Just my 2 cents :)

Pay-per-view is dangerous because some images found online have copyright restrictions that would prohibit reproduction like that. I know I've posted at least one under a Creative Commons license that prohibits commercial use, which this would become.
 

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