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icon3.gif  Finances Mon, 10 October 2016 10:35 Go to next message
Ron is currently offline Ron

 
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Stars! AutoHost Administrator

Messages: 1185
Registered: October 2002
Location: Collegedale, TN
This is a hard topic for me to talk about, but I must, so here we go:

Prior to Oct. 2016, Stars! AutoHost was a free hobby that I could run and enjoy providing hosting to the Stars! Community. The donations I received for serial numbers, I used as needed for EBay purchases, computer games, etc, and sometimes for things my children needed. Every two years, I paid for the renewal of the 'starsautohost.org' domain name and its proxy registration (around $42). Sometimes the PayPal account had enough to handle it, sometimes not.

Now that I have to pay to have Stars! AutoHost hosted, my wife has made it very clear that I cannot pay out of our funds (our family's money) to run SAH and that if the players want it to continue to run, they will have to support it.

Because of this, I will create a separate PayPal account that my family can use for all non-SAH stuff and I will no longer use SAH PayPal donation funds for non-SAH purchases so they can be kept separate.

Here are the finances needed to keep SAH running:
$6.99 / month for hosting (requires a VPS, root access, ability to install any software)
$44 / every 2 years (it seems to go up between $0.50 and $2 every two years) for domain name and proxy registration.

That works out to $211.76 / 2years, or $8.82/month.

Currently there is a $14.90 credit in the SAH PayPal account, and the current 3-month SAH hosting contract expires mid December, 2016. Renewal of the hosting plan can be done a month at a time if needed.

For people that don't know the amount in fees that PayPal charges, here are a few examples from several donations in the last month: $6 donated to SAH means $5.47 or $5.53 (depends on if currency exchange was done or not) in the SAH PayPal account. A $2 donation means $1.64. For any donations under $2, the fee takes a larger chunk out of the donation.

If you make a donation to support Stars! AutoHost, but don't need/want serial numbers, email me after the donation is made. Otherwise, I'll send you serial number(s) like I used to for donations.

I've enjoyed running Stars! AutoHost over the past 19.5 years, keeping Stars! alive, and I hope I can continue to do so.

Edit: see this topic for current status


[Updated on: Wed, 12 October 2016 11:57]




Ron Miller
Stars! AutoHost

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 08:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Raindancer is currently offline Raindancer

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 218
Registered: February 2003
Location: Finger Lakes NY, USA

Ron: Please do not feel bad about asking for money for this. 1) You have given SO much of your time for this game and the people that play it. Even with donations I would guess that your hourly rate is probably pennies per hour. 2) If you compare the cost of this game to any other game out there, the cost per hour with a small donation is WELL worth it.

On a related note I just made a donation but did not see a place to mark that I do not need a serial number (but granted I forgot to look for it.)

Eric/Raindancer

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 11:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ccmaster is currently offline ccmaster

 
Lt. Commander
Dueling Club Administrator

Messages: 909
Registered: November 2002
Location: Germany

Hi ,

I would not mind if you take half the offer for private use. At least you have spended hundrets of workhourse for us.

Also a link to the Donate would be fine.



ccmaster

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 11:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nmid

 
Commander

Messages: 1590
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

Hi,

I'm going to donate $10 for one month hosting charges.
If we get 12-24 players ready to donate 5-10$ each year, we'll be set.

Can we get a donation list? Having a list will help reach donation targets plus help keep track over the years (long term).



I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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Long term viability (Re: Finances) Tue, 11 October 2016 11:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nmid

 
Commander

Messages: 1590
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

Is there any way to reduce monthly costs to ensure long term viability if we are going the donation route?

I'm planning on shifting my local business website to a VPS server in 2017, if sharing a VPS helps.

Do we need proxy registration?
I used it for a few years after which I just let it expire.
I replaced it with my secondary (cough) address details/contact number/mail details and I haven't seen any increase in spam nor have I gotten any notice from icann. (The mail id is valid which I check every few weeks).

Should we get google adwords on SAH?
Not sure how effective that will be, considering our monthly hits. We could get a few months of hosting out of that, I reckon.



I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 12:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vmanuel is currently offline vmanuel

 
Warrant Officer

Messages: 125
Registered: October 2004
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Do the math. There is no game I play that gives me this much continued joy for the amount I've spent so far.

On a busy week of playing stars, I play about 10 hours of the game. On a slow week of playing stars, I play about two hours of the game.
Even if that all averaged out correctly, six hours a week times 52 weeks a year times 19 years of playing the game Means I've gotten more than my money's worth. I'm more than happy to donate to the cause.

PayPal'in away,

Victor



Editor in Chief of the Kaynan Space News.
All Space, All The Time - Kaynan!
www.myhood.biz

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 13:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nmid

 
Commander

Messages: 1590
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

You are preaching to the choir Wink

I played a few hours of Stellaris this weekend.
It's supposed to be the top 4x game in Steam atm.
Great graphics, but nothing to compare to stars. Even now.

I've played Unending Galaxy, Star drive, master of orion (new one), Endless Space.. in short a lot of 4x games.
Stars is like this particular brand of wine that is par excellence, even if it comes in an old bottle... a taste that nothing comes close to.

So in short, I'm happy there are people like VM and Rain around to give me company.
Just need 9?10? more people to donate.



[Updated on: Tue, 11 October 2016 13:11]




I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 13:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nmid

 
Commander

Messages: 1590
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

The donate link

http://starsautohost.org/stars.htm

Click on the paypal donate button there.

I can't copy paste the link here, because it comes across as some weird authentication string url.




I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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Re: Long term viability (Re: Finances) Tue, 11 October 2016 18:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ron is currently offline Ron

 
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Stars! AutoHost Administrator

Messages: 1185
Registered: October 2002
Location: Collegedale, TN
nmid wrote on Tue, 11 October 2016 11:09
Is there any way to reduce monthly costs to ensure long term viability if we are going the donation route?

I'm planning on shifting my local business website to a VPS server in 2017, if sharing a VPS helps.

Do we need proxy registration?
I used it for a few years after which I just let it expire.
I replaced it with my secondary (cough) address details/contact number/mail details and I haven't seen any increase in spam nor have I gotten any notice from icann. (The mail id is valid which I check every few weeks).

Should we get google adwords on SAH?
Not sure how effective that will be, considering our monthly hits. We could get a few months of hosting out of that, I reckon.

I don't want to list *my* address or contact info with the domain name as I'm kind of a paranoid person. While I don't mind being creative with info when signing up for a website that wants to know personal details, I prefer to be honest with requested information when it comes to paying for a service. Since the proxy registration was an option, I gladly chose that.

As for advertisements, I really hate them. The very first browser plugin I install is AdBlocker Plus. Also, I've seen stories where a trusted site (including Google) accidently allowed malware advertisements which attempted to infect people to be shown on that site. I recently read an article that said that most ad clicking is done by bots anyway which is really scary for advertisers Laughing


[Updated on: Tue, 11 October 2016 18:54]




Ron Miller
Stars! AutoHost

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Re: Finances Tue, 11 October 2016 19:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ron is currently offline Ron

 
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Stars! AutoHost Administrator

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Registered: October 2002
Location: Collegedale, TN
nmid wrote on Tue, 11 October 2016 11:07
Can we get a donation list? Having a list will help reach donation targets plus help keep track over the years (long term).

See this new topic.



Ron Miller
Stars! AutoHost

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Re: Finances Wed, 12 October 2016 12:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ccmaster is currently offline ccmaster

 
Lt. Commander
Dueling Club Administrator

Messages: 909
Registered: November 2002
Location: Germany

Hi.

so we have already the money for expanding to 2017. Great.

Already I would say that it would be great if all who donate let 50% to Ron.

He has now done a great job for us all for free for 20 years. To give him some money back as

long as stars is running would be fair.



ccmaster

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Re: Finances Sun, 16 October 2016 18:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
neilhoward

 
Commander

Messages: 1109
Registered: April 2008
Location: SW3 & 10023
Agree 100%. More than fair it is in our personal self-interest. Also a title revision for him is in order. Admiral, Commodore, Marshal, Emperor? At the very least a new badge. Defender of the Republic?

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Re: Finances Thu, 02 November 2017 12:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ron is currently offline Ron

 
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Registered: October 2002
Location: Collegedale, TN
neilhoward wrote on Sun, 16 October 2016 18:26
Also a title revision for him is in order. Admiral, Commodore, Marshal, Emperor? At the very least a new badge. Defender of the Republic?

I appreciate your thoughts. Unfortunately, the last FUDforum update meant that I lost the custom code and database table I had created years before that had given me the ability to add rank points to individuals manually. Before that update, yes, I was ranked Admiral.

After the update, rank is simply based on the number of posts the user has made. I'm not worried about it, and with no one posting on HWF since Sept. 27 (over a month ago), rank is the least of my worries.



Ron Miller
Stars! AutoHost

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Re: Finances Sun, 05 November 2017 10:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ccmaster is currently offline ccmaster

 
Lt. Commander
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Messages: 909
Registered: November 2002
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Hi ,

the bost was a year old Razz


ccmaster

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Re: Finances Thu, 09 November 2017 14:47 Go to previous message
Ron is currently offline Ron

 
Commander
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Messages: 1185
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Location: Collegedale, TN
ccmaster wrote on Sun, 05 November 2017 10:50
Hi ,

the bost was a year old Razz


ccmaster

Yep, it was Cool I was bored. Rolling Eyes



Ron Miller
Stars! AutoHost

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