I always wanted access to a Free (as in Freedom) shell account which was reliable and had good uptime and one that would not burn a big hole in my pocket. I have tried various Free shell providers like Metawire (which was providing OpenBSD shells before it was closed down because of excessive script kiddie activity), Rootshell and even Indian shell providers like the now non existent freeshell.in
I was even invited to administer the NIPL free shell community by it’s founder Sam Watkins, but that community too had a slow death.
My main hobby site hosted at rootshell and the mirror hosted at freeshell.in vanished for weird reasons leaving me homeless in cyberspace for a while.
It was towards the end of October 2008 that i decided to give the The Super Dimension Fortress Public Access Unix System a try.
I had heard good things about SDF from Vimal Joseph a while back and they seem to be in the business for the last 21 years or so.
Their site says:
” The Super Dimension Fortress is a networked community of free software
authors, teachers, librarians, students, researchers, hobbyists, computer
enthusiasts, the aural and visually impaired. It is operated as a federally
recognised non-profit 501(c)(7) and is supported by its members.
Our mission is to provide remotely accessible computing facilities for
the advancement of public education, cultural enrichment, scientific
research and recreation. Members can interact electronically with each
other regardless of their location using passive or interactive forums.
Further purposes include the recreational exchange of information
concerning the Liberal and Fine Arts.
Members have UNIX shell access to games, email, usenet, chat, bboard,
webspace, gopherspace, programming utilities, archivers, browsers, and
more. The SDF community is made up of caring, highly skilled people who
operate behind the scenes to maintain a non-commercial INTERNET.”
I decided take a Patron Lifetime Membership Level (ARPA) for a one time payment of $ 36 (Rupees 1800/- Approximately).
I can avail the following features for a lifetime.
# 600MB disk quota / 15000 files
# Lifetime membership for only $36
# All features of the ‘users’ account
# Voting rights on system features and policies
# Private ‘arpa’ member server
# telnet, ssh, sftp, ftp, ytalk, irc, snarf, wget
# gcc, elisp, perl, php, python, ruby, et cetera
# 50 domains to choose from for your URL
# Full CGI access for php, perl, python, ruby.
My new website http://vivekvc.freeshell.org is now hosted on Super Dimension Fortress and I am pretty happy with the way they run the service.
Early days to give any feedbacks on thier service but with thier reputation and track record they seem to be a good place to host small low cost hobby websites.