Despite being a busy little bee, frantically testing software so we can put out the latest version of our application next week, I've also been trying to save State from Internet oblivion. Since we moved from Delphi, many moons ago, State has been living on borrowed time, or more specifically, a borrowed server, graciously lent to us by a friend of resident Cate Blanchett lookalike, Pat. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago we found out that he wanted his bandwidth back, and we had until the end of this month to find State a new home.
Fortunately, plans had been afoot to change to a new flavour of forum software, Beehive, and investigations were being made as to how much it would cost to acquire a server that wouldn't impose on some's goodwill. One of the other State mods, Phil discovered a stonking hosting deal that gave us a massive 40GB of bandwidth (far more than we currently need), two SQL databases and 2GB of webspace, for the measley sum of £17 a month. With *no* setup fees.
So this week, I did the decent thing, and went into the Internet Real Estate business. You'd think such a deal is too good to be true - well, kind of - since I've had to fork out for 6 months hosting in advance, which with VAT and a few other extras works out to around £130, which isn't too bad, considering it's going to keep me and about 100 other forumites happy for another 6 months with State not going to the Old Internet Forum's Home. Phil has also been a sweetie by chucking me a cheque for £50 to ease my slight financial pain (christ, I've still got to find £1500 somehow for my summer holiday, and still keep up the car repayments and the council tax. And the Student Loan repayments. Fuck. Where does all the money go?). I'm sure I'll also extract some compensation in the form of beer from the other less financially well off Mods when I next see them.
It's worth it though, as I get a warm fuzzy for not allowing State to die, and since it's my name on the bandwidth bills, my megalomaniac dreams have come to fruition, since if only from a legal standpoint, State's now my forum - not that it is in *spirit*, of course - which is what most of the forumites would think is important - I'm still Mad Iain, and State is the sole intellectual property of Oskar. I wouldn't argue that, to be honest, and whilst the rest of the forum would probably never acknowledge my "ownership" of State as an entity, it's still nice to be in control of the actual nitty-gritty that keeps State on the web.
It's a second home for me, of sorts, an intellectual refuge away from the tedium of work, and it's important to me to make sure it survives. It's a community. A family, almost. Certainly worth a little (and it is only a little) immediate financial hardship to keep it online.
So State is entering another era once again - in a few weeks, when the other server has it's plug pulled - we're hoping to roll out the new forum and the new website simultaneously, and then things should really start to pay off. Exciting times ahead.