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Re: New? LIT site.

Oddly I just stumbled over other related SSD rehost concepts.  Must be the
timing.  I'll try to write up everything I can tyhink of and list the pros
and cons.

1) Stay at SunSite

SunSite is free and the site itself probably won't go away.

I think were all tired of Sunsites erratic problems.  (Parts of LIT
disapper or stop functioning. )  Given some of Daves comments and
difficulty in geting things back on line, I'm sure he'ld like LIT to get
off there too.  Also only Dave has update access to the site.  Thats good
for security (and consistency), but Daves working for a growing little
start-up company.  He can be unable to do anything for weeks at a time, and
we have noone else who can back him up.

2) Rehost to daves office workstation.

Dave had said he was considering that, and it would give us free access.

But that could be pressing things with his company; and could get yanked in
short order if Dave gets a new job, or the company orders him to remove it.
Also we seem to have problems with geting things working on his

3) rehost to one or more of our private accounts.

Still low cost.  We all have various accounts, and one or more could hold
the active parts of SSD.  I thought about loading things into my AOL
account, Ben just offered ect.  I could set up a mail newletter easy
enough.  A comercial account would get comercial system support (real back
ups done by someone else!)

But we tend to come and go.  If one of us left, or became unavalible for a
while, they could crater SSD.

4) Piggy back on Kevins start up busness.

As Kevin listed

SSD pay part of the $30.00 / month (and $40.00 start-up) and gets part of
30 Megs of fast! storage space from a company called tabnet.

-  FTP Access to the main site.  No need to have two sites going.
-  E-mail and Majordomo.  We can get the mailing list started again!
   and auto-foreward mail addresses like KevinH@urly-bird, or TimV@urly-bird
   which would send the mail on to our normal addresses.
-  A SysAdmin (Kevin) who is committed to supporting us.

Also SSD could start geting comercial sponcers from space related groups
(Magazines and interest groups for example) I'm making some inquires.  We
don't get a ton of traffic (thou that could improve if we could keep the
site active and updated) but we should be able to defray some of these

We also get to help Kevin in his new busness.  (And I get to start showing
off my web skills on My resume!)

On the other hand start up busnesses usually fail.  We could wind up
looking for a new home.  (we definately would want to get a InterNIC Domain
Registration name so people could link to us with a name we could transfer
quickly to a new site.  But that would add another $100 start up cost.)
And of course we are cheap sorts and don't want to pay.

4) A friend I know in DC has started up a web busness there and just
(yesterday) offered to host us for free to help advertize his site.

Goods and Bads are about the same for Kevs site.  Except, its free again,
but my friend is a bit of a flake and might dump us or go out of busness.

5)  AOL might host us

As you probably all know America OnLine has a massive presence on the net
(hint: their Network is 1/3rd of the Internets backbone) and offers server
host functions.  What I just found out yesterday (the timing of all this is
weird?) is that AOL donates serves and equipment to worthy causes and
interests.  I'm talking with them now.  They supprt list server (like our
newsletter) for free, and MAY be willing to give us an account.

    Lots of free support and authoring software
    If anybody stays on the net they will!
    Fast access to the net (no suprize there).
    Disk Space: 50MB
    Transfer allowance: 1,500MB per month
           This is equivalent to a 100KB file being uploaded or downloaded
500 times a day.
    FTP access to your site
    Standard scripts for hit counters, form handling, and email.
    Create your own email aliases, such as info@yourdomain.com -- free of


If they don't want to  support us for free their rates are high.  For a basic (
Domain) account.

    $  99 - Onetime Startup Fee (for current AOL members!)
    $ 100 - Initial InterNIC Domain Registration (2 year registration)
    $  99 - Per month
    $298 - Total to be launched

I guess my thoughs are that we should look at geting off of SunSite.  They
arn't very supportive, and we need to get somewhere we can support our site
and reactivate it. But we probably should not put things on one of our
private accounts or office systems.  Its too likly that that someone could
have a change of interest or suddenly find we over run what their account
provider will tolerate.

I'm also concerned over accepting Kevin's offer, and even more reluctant to
accept my friend in D.C's offer.  Eiather could run into problems and fold
out from under us or just lose.  Kevin isn't likly to lose interest, and I
doubt he'll just dump us without warning (I just got Dave's horror story),
but he could run into problems.  If so we might be forced to pitch in some
money for a while.  On the other hand we might attract enough sponsership
from space related groups to by the overhead.  (I talked to the guy at the
Interstelar propulsion group and he said they have gotten far more interest
and input then they expected. This suprised me since they seem like a dead
site and even the admin addreses are dead, but if the can do it and get a
bit of sponcership we should be able to get a bit.)

I guess my thought would be that a major sponcer like AOL (whos rich enough
write us off as a novelty forever) could provide us with a stable high
quality site.  Which sounds ideal, if they are interested.  Kevin would be
a good secound.  He's motivated and VERY unlikly to casually burn us, and
moving to a comercial site could be self supporting and more stable.  But
the cost could become a problem; and he could go broke or be overwelmed by
his new busness.  Which brings us back to staying at Sunsite.  (I'ld reject
the other two options as undesirable unless SunSite bails.)

I guess the questions we need to resolve are:

What do we want to do with LIT?
Its newsletter have been off-line for most of a year and the site
unmodified for longer (I think?).  If we don't want to do much, we can just
leave it at SunSite until they dump it.  If we want to reactivate it and
upgrade things more frequently, can SunSite support that?

How much work do we want to put into?
It needs restructuring and cleaning, updates to contents, and restart to
the newsletters.  Dave's on-line university dream doesn't seem to be
developing.  But a space development group could be added and could be
linked to other space advocacy groups, and SSD seems likely to generate
longterm interest.  Especially since we're making some progress on the
designs.  If we want to do more, we need to figure out how much support
we'll need, and what kind off account service it would take to supply it.
(I want the site refurbed and upgraded by the fall semester!!  I'ld prefer
it sooner!)

What are the bottle necks that are geting in our way, and which option
offers the best chance of getting around them?

Well I've given my overview of options and pros and cons.  Please argue the
points or state your views.



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)