Ming the Mechanic:
A Little Server History

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 A Little Server History2002-12-30 22:39
picture by Flemming Funch

Something got me to start reminiscing about the history of the servers and websites I've been intimately involved with. Well, it is the end of the year, so I suppose it is appropriate.

I'm writing this in my weblog, which most people read at ming.tv, but which arises from the integrated NewsLog function of newciv.org - the New Civilization Network.

I had my first website in early 1994. It was served over ftp rather than http, because real web hosting was harder to come by. I called my website World Transformation, because that sounded like a good thing I'd be interested in, and I just listed some sub-interests and some links for each. Today it looks quite similar to back then, I'm embarrassed to say, which makes parts of it very outdated now. Later in that year I got an offer of free hosting on protree.com. At the time it turned out to be THE starting place for a bunch of alternative/metaphysical sites that later made it big, like Rene Mueller's SpiritWeb. Bob Garth who was running the server had just a 28.8 modem connection, but that worked perfectly fine in those days.

When NCN happened in early 1995, the thought was that there would be a bunch of decentralized servers, owned and operated by different people. Max Sandor started the first one, which he called "Server One". A 16MHz 386 running Slackware Linux. This too had an always on 28.8 modem for the net connection. Max took care of that for several years.

At some point I took that server over, and connected it to a new T1 connection in Venice, California, in the Global Solutions Center, later Synchronicity Networks office. Many more stories to tell about much of that. The hardware got replaced since then a few times. A total sequence of about 4 servers since 95 I think, although there have sometimes been several at the same time. Once, for several months, the servers lived in a plastic box on the parking lot by the beach in Venice, which was rather strange and risky. Somebody else had moved into the premises, but the T1 connection was still on, so we drilled a hole in the wall and led the cable out to that rubbermaid storage container, which was made for garden tools or something. Luckily nobody stole it. After that, the servers moved to Beverly Hills with the T1 line for another year or so, where I worked with Julie on the Oasis TV website and other things.

Nowadays there are luckily more options. I work out of my house and have a few servers here. The current main server is now located in Irvine, California, on a T1 line at the offices of one of my clients. NCN and my own sites are on it, as well as many other good non-profit sites such as Global Ideas Bank, International Society for the System Sciences, BagelHole, Spirit Rising, Richard Hawkins' Synergetic Geometry animations, Art of Living, Unity-and-Diversity Council, CyberSangha and probably many more I'm forgetting.

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7 Mar 2007 @ 03:35 by John Abodo @ : T1 broadband with server
I agree with the comment about having more options with servers and a T1 line. Nowadays the speed is getting faster of bandwidth connections and more alternatives are here with increased competition.  

7 Mar 2007 @ 03:37 by T1 Line @ : Options
I agree and have you seen what Verizon is doing with fios?  

7 Mar 2007 @ 22:56 by ming : T1
I suppose you're just spamming my blog a bit to be able to link to your site, but let me answer anyway.

Nowadays there's rather little point in having one's own T1 line, if it mainly is to host servers. It is cheaper and more flexible to have a server plan at a provider, where they provide the servers and the bandwidth can change based on the demand.

Back when I wrote the above, a T1 cost over $1000 per month. Now I have 3 times as much bandwidth at home for $40 per month. And for $100 per month my server has unlimited bandwidth on a 1Gbps network connection.  

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