Monday, September 15, 2008

Planning for the Future of The Cauldron's Message Board

Since The Cauldron moved off of DelphiForums in April 2004, we have been hosted for free on one of Bob's servers. This has been great as hosting for a large message board is not cheap. Large, active message boards do poorly on affordable shared hosting because while they may not use much disk space or bandwidth they use a lot of CPU time -- the least available resource on a shared server. Free hosting for the message board has meant our expenses have been low, a couple of hundred dollars most years for hosting the main web site (

Bob's servers are getting old and cranky and he is now half a country away from them (which makes it hard to maintain them and fix problems). As you have probably noticed, the board has probably seen more down time since Bob moved early this summer than it did in the entire previous year. That's an obvious symptom of the problem -- and it is likely to grow much worse with time.

We therefore need to decide what we want to do with The Cauldron's message board -- because we want to decide and implement things before Bob's server calls it quits. I say "we" because most of these options are more expensive by far than our current costs and since the Host's cash supply is non-existent due to all our medical costs (see the Cancer Surgery for LyricFox thread), funding for whatever we decide to do is going to have to come almost entirely from donations from members. I'm going to give a lot of options -- even some that are unlikely to work well (unless we are very lucky). They will be arranged from least expensive to most expensive. Unfortunately, that is also very close to the order from least likely to work well to most likely to work well.

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