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Re: calling Philip Hands <phil@hands.com> [the long version]

On Thu, Jun 03, 1999 at 11:41:02AM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:

> > club together with a bunch of other people and run your own bloody
> > server on a static IP...just make sure it's secure against 3rd party
> > relaying and you'll have no problems (use ssh or uucp or something to
> > get mail securely from your system and onto your mail server).
> Here in the US (at least here in Tallahassee) Sprint will sell
> you half a T1 for around $500 per month with a $1500 installation
> fee. This doesn't include the (currently unknown) cost of the SPRINT
> supplied router, and the rent on the address space your subnet will
> occupy. Current estimates (I am involved in several attempts to do
> just what you are suggesting) say $1500 per month and maybe $5,000 in
> start up costs.

you don't need a T1 to run a mail server. hell, most of the smaller ISPs
here don't even have anything like a T1's bandwidth for their entire
service - most are running on 64K ISDN for around $1300/month, making
heavy use of proxy servers to reduce bandwith utilisation....some small
ISPs are even running off a single 33.6K or 56K modem connection because
that only costs them about $300/month. internet access is VERY expensive
here in Australia.  Telco costs are also VERY expensive.

even with ridiculous telco and bandwidth charges like we have here, we
still have clubs and associations set up to provide low-cost internet
services to members.  APANA (the Australian Public Access Networking
Association - http://www.apana.org.au/) is one of many...probably the
oldest and largest one.

to run a mail server, all you need is a permanent modem connection -
even 14.4k would do for mail, although that probably wouldn't cost
any less than 33.6K or 56Kbps - with a single static IP address. look
around, i'll bet you can find one for $50 - $100 per month or less. even
if it costs the same as it does here (i.e. $300/mo), that is nothing
when divided between 10 or 20 or 50 individuals.

if you can't find one in your exact area, that doesn't matter. it can
be located anywhere - it's purpose isn't to provide dialin access, it's
purpose is to act as a mail server for members.

and that's only one alternative. there are probably dozens of small isps
or individuals who would be willing and able to provide a uucp over tcp
service for a nominal cost. it's even possible to get it for free if you
know people with internet servers who are willing to set up uucp stuff
for you - find a geek who believes in equity of access and wants to
learn how uucp works...i'll bet you will find that such services already
exist in the US.

I do exactly this for my friends and family here in melbourne -
i share what i can with my friends - most of whom are unemployed
alternative subculture dropouts with few prospects and almost no
technical ability...they're my kind of people, i would be the same
except that i am fortunate enough to have an aptitude for making
computers do shit that other people can't.

i did this in the past when i had to pay (or scam or work) for my net
connection and i still do it now that i get basically free net access
through my job. being online is important enough to me to pay for it
if i have to (or preferably work for it if i can)...and if my friends
can benefit from a service that i am already paying for then that
makes it even better (especially if some are willing to chip in a few
bucks now and then to help with the expenses - or just buy me a beer
occasionally to say thanks).

my point here is that i've been poor, i've been unemployed, i've been
through long periods where i had no fucking money at all and I know from
hard-won experience that it is possible to have decent internet services
for very little money *IF* you are willing to learn a lot about how the
net works and IF you are willing to put in some work figuring out how to
do it on the cheap.

ask around amongst friends on the net - it shouldn't be that hard to
find someone who lives in an area where you can get ADSL or Cable for
$40-$60/month including a static IP address, and is willing to run a
mail server for you...especially if you offer to subsidise their own
connection in exchange. (on a more general note, if you don't have
money, then learn how to barter - join a LETS and trade computer skills
for other stuff you need.)

think laterally. you don't have to spend thousands to do the job.

> So you're saying that, instead of a commercial vendor's services, I
> must now find 15 of my RL friends who are willing to fork over $300 in
> registration fee, and $100 per month;

it annoys the hell out of me to have words put in my mouth. first joseph
ane brandon, and now you. is this some national character trait/flaw
that you yanks suffer from or something?


craig sanders

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