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Re: Web Access Gateway Description

From: Silas S. Brown <ssb22@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:28:43 +0000
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
CC: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <E10Mxe2-0007En-00@violet.csi.cam.ac.uk>
Hi,

> This email has two purposes

OK, don't tease me!  <grin>

I was afraid that putting the features list up front would scare people 
off, because it does make it look a bit complicated (and by the way, 
you only listed the features that were under the Access button).  The 
idea is that you *can* start using it straight off and come back to 
tweak your options later.  And if you do use it and start pressing its 
buttons, you're soon confronted with them!  In fact I was wondering 
whether I should structure them a bit more, although I'm not sure how.

> You refer users to 
> http://members.bigfoot.com/~silasbrown/access.html
> which redirects to 
> http://epona.ucam.org/~ssb22/access.html
> Which url is is best these days?

Well the epona one should work until I graduate, and hopefully if 
Bigfoot are still around then I can re-direct it elsewhere later (that 
is assuming I can have some web space after I graduate, which seems like 
an increasingly slim chance).  That's why I mention the bigfoot URL, 
because epona is a student-run machine (and that student is leaving 
next year too) and therefore the whole DNS entry will simply disappear, 
so there's no chance at all of re-direction.  With bigfoot, at least 
there is a bit of a chance.

Having said that, I've no idea where I might go.  I certainly don't want 
any of those free servers because sooner or later they decide to put 
loads of adverts on your page, making it incredibly inaccessible 
(besides, they don't do CGI).  ACCU has to be as much as possible 
ACCU-related (and I wouldn't like to bank on the permanence of the 
current arrangement given the way things are going in the UK academic 
network - ACCU will probably get charged for incoming transatlantic 
traffic next year, and a page fetched by the gateway is incoming 
traffic.)  And no way can I afford to keep paying a commercial ISP to 
let me in to a web server with a shell account and full CGI access, not 
to mention the fact that I'd also have to pay for people's web browsing 
once Internet charging gets steeper (because the gateway's requests look 
like they're coming from me).  In fact there's already been debate 
within this university about this and I'm not even sure whether I'll be 
able to still run the gateway next year (I'm really really looking for a 
host outside the UK's academic network, especially one in a European 
country so it doesn't take trans-Atlantic traffic to get there).

In the last six hours, the gateway on ssb22 has served 2339K (higher 
than I thought - maybe it's because of the amount of activity on this 
list lately), which is roughly about 8 cents of Teleglobe charging Janet 
(if I've got my conversion figures right), assuming that it's near 
enough 100% trans-Atlantic.  By the time the billing overhead gets to me 
it'll probably more than double, so suppose it's 20. Very rough multiply 
by four (because there are four gateways) and four again to get the 
amount in 24 hours which is $3.20 (OK I know this is highly unreliable). 
 This means that the total cost of running for one year is round about 
$1000, not accounting for a possible growth in use.  And not to mention 
the rule against providing a service to outsiders.  If I were to run the 
gateway on a commercial ISP then I'd also have to pay for the connection 
and probably housing the machine (as well as the machine itself and all 
connection charges for me to dial in - telephone calls are not free in 
England), as well as possibly greater charges as even more trunk 
carriers start charging, and I have nightmares of those four figures 
becoming five.  If I were a high-flying businessman I'd quite happily 
fund it, but as a student I simply can't.  Nor do I have the character 
to ask people to fund me, nor the time to run my own ISP company.

How many hosts can I get between now and then, preferably without using 
up too much of my time that should be spent getting ready for exams?  Of 
these, how many will still be around after the various drastic changes 
that the Internet looks set to go through?  And of these, how many will 
let me actually log in and keep the thing up to date, as opposed to 
sitting there with an ancient version until Armageddon?  (I could 
time-bomb each release, but then if I had a fatal accident or something 
it would cause problems.  Well I'm feeling really ill at the moment so 
my thoughts tend to be nice and pessimistic.)  And will any of them let 
me dump my web pages there too?

Anyway I've gone on about that enough.  I'm more concerned about where 
on earth I'm going to end up after I graduate, as nobody's interested in 
the developments I want to make.  Well at least you see my problem 
hopefully.

Important notice for the archive: If this message is found by Cambridge 
University, the UK's Joint Academic Network or any other relevant 
authority, it should not be used as evidence against me, since it is so 
inaccurate.  I am using the cache but I understand there's a fair 
possibility of this also being charged for.

Regards

-- Silas S Brown, St John's College Cambridge UK http://epona.ucam.org/~ssb22/

"Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own
 anxieties" - Matthew 6:34
"I try to take one day at a time, but lately several days have attacked me at
 once" - Paul Denegri
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 1999 12:29:56 GMT

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