Keeping the board alive with the help of your voluntary donations.

Undertaker #59*

Car'a'carn
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I thought maybe I should put this in its own thread and sticky it to be ignored. But easy to find in case you want to donate.

On 12/16/23, my host stopped backing up the site because with nearly 3 MILLION posts in the life of this board, it was taking up too much of the shared memory in the shared server we were on for them to back up the database any longer. The database IS the history of the board and the most important part, and without automated backups, it was something that terrified me. I did some initial research then about moving the site, but didn't pull the trigger because of how much more expensive it would be. I made backups myself and downloaded them to my personal PC and then uploaded them to a Google Drive for safety. It was time consuming and tedious.

Well, on 5/09/24, I discovered thousands of errors in the error log because of the limited resources we had in a shared environment. And I knew it would also only be a matter of time before the host would throttle us or chastise us for using too many resources.

So I initiated moving the site regardless of the increase in cost just to make sure it would stay preserved and perform like a bat out of hell for the future. On 5/10/24 the move was complete in a few hours and the board is screaming.

People have suggested for years that we should take donations but I never wanted to monetize this site. It never was and it is probably one of the few left out there. Yeah I have a little Google Ad at the bottom, but it honestly doesn't do much, and so many users block ads anyway. Ads only work if people see them and then if they click on them. It didn't even cover the cost of the old hosting. But I thought it would be pretty unobtrusive there and help me to defray the costs a little. And it did.

But now, we are on real hosting with a Managed Virtual Private Server in Atlanta (28-3). As of this writing, we are on 120gb of NVMe storage, of which we are using about 60gb. I won't bore you with the rest of the tech specs, but it is a big jump up from where we were in a shared environment. The server is PROACTIVELY managed. They patch the server proactively and keep things running smoothly. There are a bunch of advantages to this that I won't list, but it is way above and beyond what you would normally get with a regular managed server to seek out problems before they happen, and it was the most expensive addon beyond the hosting itself. The host is well known for hosting this Xenforo software we are on. I also paid for an antivirus package that we didn't have before, remembering what happened at the dotcom site and wanting to prevent it from ever happening again. The software that runs on top of the server and OS (a linux distro) that is essential for running the board (configuring email, accessing the files in a GUI, accessing the database etc) is another paid addon that isn't included. There are even other services I considered but didn't go with right now. SO while what we upgraded to might be a little overkill for our current activity, I wanted to be sure that we were in the safest and best performing environment that we could be in, along with easy upgrade paths if we do happen to experience growth. The board should be set for years to come, and it should be less of a problem for me or whomever takes it when I am gone.

I prepaid for a year of hosting, which was a large chunk at once, but saves money in the long run over month to month.

And so, donations, the subject of this thread.... Here is what I wrote about it:

And finally Donations...

I ended up prepaying for the new hosting for a year to save a little money in the long run, but still not cheap. The good news is the board should scream with speed and we will be isolated on our own server. Backups every other day and modern hardware and hosting with very quick support and 99.95% uptime.

I decided to make the donations easy and renewable, so that I am not handling any of the billing itself or fucking around with paypal.

PPP

Patriots Planet Patreon

They handle the billing. You just sign up, create whatever name you want, donate however much you want, change it however you want, and cancel whenever you want (non-refundable).

What do you get for being a Patron?

Nothing.

Except the satisfaction of helping to keep the board alive and another recurring monthly charge on your credit card next to Netflix.

I don't plan on putting any other content there and it is just a voluntary thing with no obligations either way. Donations do not confer any extra privileges here. Maybe after things settle I can make a little "supporter" banner to display on your profile here if you want, but that would be about it.

I took this on, so I will be paying for it either way, but thank you for sticking around and making Patriots Planet wonderful. I appreciate any help you are willing to give.


By default, Patreon is a monthly charge, but that doesn't mean if you decide to donate that you have to commit to paying something every month. I tried to fill out a bunch of different dollar values to be flexible with it. You can choose one you like, signup and pay, and then easily cancel the recurring charge if you just wanted to do a one time or yearly donation or the like. You can change how much you donate at will. There is no judgement for canceling and no worries if you need to. Patriots Planet has been our internet home for 21.5 years as of this writing, and has always been such a pleasure to come to and interact with all of you present or past. I appreciate any help you want to give, but never blame anyone who doesn't want to. It is strictly voluntary with no pressure from me as I kind of hate even making this post. The board is paid for and secure for many years to come and that was always my main goal. You guys are the best.
 
Wait, does the message for being a supporter go to you or them?
What message?

Right now, there is nothing that would show you are a supporter. But I can work on creating something for your user icon or profiles or something to show that you are a supporter, if that is what you mean.
 
Right over my head.

But I have been up since 2am, so not surprising.
 
I added a little badge to the members whom I could identify as donators. It looks like this

1715412890891.png

But much smaller and under your user name on every post. Just a little something to show you support the board I guess.

If you are a donator and you DO NOT want the little badge displayed, please let me know in a PM

If you think you are donating and you don't have the badge, also let me know in a PM.
 
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Yes thank you to you both. I am very grateful to those who are donating, it definitely helps.

That proactive monitoring I got on the new site has already paid off. One of the things that instigated the move was the influx of guests on the board, overloading the max connections on the old shared environment. After the move, I noticed they were still with us, and yesterday we had 1000 connections active without any degradation of speed or service. The host noticed the unusual activity and at 5pm last night opened a ticket on our behalf.

It turns out most of the activity was from a "Bytespider bot." I did a little research and these things are causing havoc with a lot of smaller website effectively causing a denial of service attack with so many concurrent connections. Further, these bots are coming from China from a company named Bytedance, and they are the owners of TikTok.

Anyway, the ticket was resolved in 12 minutes and the bytespider bots were blocked effectively. That is the first time I have ever had such efficient proactive help with something like this and it was amazing.
 
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I added a little badge to the members whom I could identify as donators. It looks like this

View attachment 26994

But much smaller and under your user name on every post. Just a little something to show you support the board I guess.

If you are a donator and you DO NOT want the little badge displayed, please let me know in a PM

If you think you are donating and you don't have the badge, also let me know in a PM.
Why don't I have the badge under my big member?
I know you worked hard over the past few days but my badge is important to me.
And don't tell me that you ran out of badges. I fell for that excuse when I was in Boy Scouts.

EDIT
Just got my badge. NEVER MIND.
 
Lol... I think it took me 5 minutes from when I got the email of your joining.
 
Someone just joined with a real name and a Gmail address that's not associated with an account here, so I don't know who you are, but thank you. If you'd like the badge please let me know.
 
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