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Brother, can you spare a dime? (The longer story)

I created the first mostly-plain-text version of Miles Ahead in 1995. It was hosted at netcom.com, where I had a Unix shell account and was starting to learn how this internet thing works. I connected to Netcom via telnet through a dial-up internet connection, so me working online meant busy signals for incoming callers and impatient family members, including a very sociable 16-year-old, waiting for a phone line. Our first modem was a blistering 28.8 kbps U.S. Robotics model, which was perfectly adequate at the time -- you didn't need much bandwidth to write Unix shell scripts, or to send and receive plain text email, or to do Veronica or Jughead searches of Gopher sites, or to browse the emerging "World Wide Web" with Lynx; and besides, the whole Miles Ahead site fit easily on less than half of a 3.5" floppy disk. (This was in the early days of graphical web browsers: NCSA Mosaic had appeared in late 1993, Netscape Navigator in fall 1994, and Microsoft would release version 1.0 of Internet Explorer in August 1995.)

After a year or two at Netcom, I moved the site to the University of Maryland Unix system and converted the data files from plain text to HTML. Thanks to archive.org's Wayback Machine, you can see the discography circa 1997.

It soon became clear that a site with a database behind it would be a lot easier to maintain than 400+ HTML files. So I migrated the data into Microsoft Access. Up to this point it cost essentially nothing to maintain Miles Ahead. But moving to Windows meant that I needed to find a web hosting provider. Over the years I've had several, but for the past 15 years Miles Ahead has been hosted by DiscountASP.net. They charge $120/year for excellent service.

Several years ago I ditched Access and upgraded to Microsoft SQL Server as the database behind the Miles Ahead web forms. That increased the cost of maintaining Miles Ahead by $120/year.

In May 2024 I upgraded the site to use SSL so users can connect securely. DiscountASP.net was happy to oblige, so I purchased their SSL Add-on and installed a certificate for the plosin.com domain. That adds another $120/year to the tab.

If you would like to help defray the costs of maintaining Miles Ahead, I have set up a way to do that via PayPal. Just click on the "Donate" button below and you'll be taken to the PayPal site where you can donate whatever amount you are comfortable with. Thank you in advance!

Here's a summary of the costs involved in running Miles Ahead:

DiscountASP.net web hosting: $120/year
DiscountASP.net SSL Add-on fee + SSL certificate: $120/year
Microsoft SQL Server license: $120/year
Squarespace domain registration fee: $12/year

All original content on this website is licensed by Peter Losin under a Creative Commons License