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UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE! (last updated January 1, 2006)

hort.net was created on July 29, 1997 as an online horticulture reference for professional gardeners and hobbyists on the Internet.

Within the past six years, it has grown from nothing to a collection of thousands of plant images, hundreds of Internet links, and an online archive for horticulture-oriented mailing lists containing over 675,000 messages. More importantly, hort.net has been a place for gardeners to meet one another, share ideas, and forge friendships. It has also provided free services for a number of important Web sites like the American Community Gardening Association (no longer as of Sep 30, 2006), a permanent archive of Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk site, and a home for the mailing list archiving software, MHonArc.

Most of the necessary funding (hardware, bandwidth, software) has been provided by Mallorn Computing, Inc., an Internet service provider geared towards the horticulture industry and by Christopher Lindsey, Mallorn Computing's founder and CEO. However, hort.net's tremendous popularity (generating over half a million page views per month) has required greater bandwidth, and subsequently, more costs. In order for hort.net to continue operating, it needs to acquire additional funds.

Please read Chris's letter below and see if you can help us out.



Letter to our visitors and contributors
by Christopher Lindsey, hort.net founder
December 29, 2003

Dear Friends,

hort.net is a tremendously valuable resource for the Internet gardening community. It contains a large gallery of plant photos, hundreds of links to other Web sites, and mailing lists where people can share their gardening experiences, meet new friends, and just 'hang out'.

As you may have noticed, development of hort.net has slowed tremendously. The image galleries haven't been updated regularly, mailing lists are slow, and new features haven't appeared on the site for a while. That's not to say that it isn't a great resource it's just not as good a resource as it could be.

There's a reason for this. As many of you know, I'm the sole maintainer of hort.net and use any income from Mallorn Computing, Inc. to keep hort.net running. It's great that hort.net's popularity has been increasing, but it's a double-edged sword. The income that Mallorn is generating is no longer sufficient to keep hort.net going. I've been doing extra work and have paid about $4000 out of my own pocket for equipment and bandwidth this year, but it's obvious that I can't keep doing this. hort.net is no longer fun; instead, it has become a moneypit and timesink.

If we can get money from other sources I'll have more time to work on hort.net and make the site better. I won't have to worry about money and it will become fun again! To continue operating, hort.net needs about $2000 per year. If we raise $10,000 we will have enough to keep hort.net operating for another five years if Mallorn maintains the same level of income. If we raise $15,000 we will be able to upgrade our server hardware to add new services, speed up the site, and fix equipment as it breaks or becomes outdated. If we raise $20,000 or more we could add extra servers.

Remember, even small donations can help us reach our goal! $20, $10, or even $5 is appreciated and can be used. Of course, larger amounts will help us get there faster.

I will post updates on this Web page. Thank you for all of your help.

Sincerely,

Christopher Lindsey

How to donate

If you wish to make a donation, you may do so via PayPal or through the mail at Mallorn's offices. Mail is preferred since PayPal takes a portion of all money that goes through their system, but PayPal will let you donate via credit card.

Click this button to make a USD donation via PayPal / credit card:

You can send donations via US mail to the official public record address of Mallorn Computing, Inc.

    Mallorn Computing, Inc.
    702 W Vermont
    Urbana IL 61801

Mallorn Computing is a for-profit organization, so any donations are not tax-deductible. The purpose of these donations is to help offset the high costs of hort.net (which is owned by Mallorn) so that we can continue providing quality services to the Internet gardening public. Every penny that Mallorn has ever made has gone back into hort.net.

Please do not send currency through the mail. Also, sending any foreign drafts, checks or other negotiable instruments may entail significant collection costs, an international postal money order or a check drawn on a US banking institution will make sure your complete donation goes to Mallorn (otherwise foreign collection costs will be deducted by Mallorn's bank from your contribution). Sending a foreign check to the United States may involve fees in excess of $50 for the processing of the check (or any other kind of draft) if it is drawn on a foreign bank outside the United States. International postal money orders payable in the United States are acceptable and available in post offices in many countries.

Questions or comments

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to ask Chris. You can reach him via email at lindsey@mallorn.com. He'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Thanks!

Updates

01jan06

The RAID has been configured and running well for a while now, so we now have one terabyte of useable storage and another 500GB of backup space. All told, hort.net is using about two terabytes of disk space (although Chris *is* storing his CD collection on there in MP3 format).

We've installed software and hardware to make remote access easier if the site needs to be restarted as well. The email, file, and database servers have proven to be much faster and more stable.

However, we did lose one of our major clients this year because they were bought out by another nursery that wanted to consolidate their Web sites. Any funds that are donated will be applied towards our monthly network fees.

12oct04

Most of the major upgrades are now complete, so I can start focusing on adding new features to hort.net. The email, file, and database servers have been upgraded further to provide much faster service, and the network connection is now twice as fast. The last remaining step involves configuring the RAID for the fileserver (which should be transparent to users) and to add a remote power switching device so that systems can be rebooted if I'm out of town.

Now I need to know what you want to see added to hort.net! Send me your ideas!

29jun04

Things are going well! We are now committed to a new upstream Internet service provider, so our Internet connection will be twice as fast for less than we're currently paying (which is why we were able to do this earlier than planned). The Web and email servers are significantly faster, and we have everything that we need to set up a RAID for for our servers.

If the contributions continue, we'll be able to upgrade the other servers and start adding new services to hort.net.

Thank you so much for your support!

19jan04

Thank you for your contributions to hort.net! We're well on our way to reaching our goal!

I've decided to take $500 out of every $2000 received and dedicate it towards hardware and infrastructure needs, so this will allow hort.net to continue growing in the interim. For example, so far we've purchased a 160GB hard drive, an 80GB hard drive, and are ordering an IDE RAID controller card. With this new equipment we're now almost totally protected against data loss. We're also purchasing another network card to set up a firewall between our network and the Internet, so our systems will be much more secure and we can limit individuals who use too much bandwidth (like the people who try downloading the whole picture gallery to their hard drive).

Once we reach our next stage ($4000) we'll be able to commit to a two-year contract with a different upstream Internet service provider. Doing so will double the speed of our Internet connection for less than we're currently paying.

Please, keep those contributions rolling in! We can make hort.net a much better place together!

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