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Seed box and Server Goals

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Clicked the donations tab and noticed this website's financial needs for 2018 are far below target, yet the year is almost over. What does that bleak status mean for Retromags? Retromags is an extremely unique, easy to use, hassle free resource that knows not its like!  Would be a shame for that to end. I would almost swear I am too sensitive a soul.  If my mind drifts and overly focuses on the possibility of any failure, loss, or overly burdensome workload befalling the volunteers that have clearly poured so much into the retromags archive my heart breaks.  I guess I respect what this community has achieved, atop appreciating its use to me personally.  Of course, I should donate to help. Unfortunately, I am poor, recently laid off, and back to looking for work. I somewhat intend to donate once I get some bills paid down and income flowing again, but that won't be in 2018 for sure. All those personal details about me, and praise/well-wishing for the website are bit beyond the primary inquiry of this post, however. To reiterate the intended focus of this post: What does the money situation mean for retromags?

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So on the goals front, we reduced our costs for the upcoming year drastically. I was paying $150 per month for the Retromags server, plus another $35 per month for a speedy seedbox to keep torrents and downloads freely flowing. Now those costs are down to $50 and $20 respectively. The donation goals are to help share the burden among multiple users. I recently implemented a new Patron structure, where users can just donate $2 per month to keep Retromags running smoothly. If I can find 35 users that can part with $2 each month, that will cover the majority of the costs Retromags incurs. No matter what, Retromags will keep chugging along.....donations or not.

Besides the webhosting server, seedbox server, and SSL certificates, we also pay to keep this software (IPB) updated and supported. We buy magazines, protective magazine bags, magazine backing boards, banker boxes, scanners, hard drives, nas units, cloud storage, labels....etc. The donations free us up to do things more quickly and with better results.

 

Edit: Also the donations help with the WAF!

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Phillyman said:

The donation goals are to help share the burden among multiple users. I recently implemented a new Patron structure, where users can just donate $2 per month to keep Retromags running smoothly. If I can find 35 users that can part with $2 each month, that will cover the majority of the costs Retromags incurs. No matter what, Retromags will keep chugging along.....donations or not.

Besides the webhosting server, seedbox server, and SSL certificates, we also pay to keep this software (IPB) updated and supported. We buy magazines, protective magazine bags, magazine backing boards, banker boxes, scanners, hard drives, nas units, cloud storage, labels....etc. The donations free us up to do things more quickly and with better results

This is going to sound like I'm trying to stir up trouble, but this is a public post that anyone can see, so I feel like full disclosure for anyone interested in this matter is only fair.  I feel like I contribute a reasonable share to this site, so anyone looking in from the outside might assume that Phillyman is also speaking for me...and I want to make it explicitly clear that he is not.  It's true that Phillyman personally takes care of all of the site's finances, including servers, seedboxes, and hiring programmers to tweak features on the site.  I'm incredibly grateful that he takes care of this - as much time as I devote working on the site, I have NO desire to deal with such administrative issues.  However, the rest of the information in the post needs to be clarified.

When Phillyman says the financial burden is shared among multiple users, I honestly am not sure what he means.  Likewise, when he gives the list of thing "we" buy, like magazines and storage equipment, I'm not sure to who he refers, aside from himself.  It's true that those of us helping the site DO buy those things (thus being burdened), but just to be clear - so far as I know, no one but Phillyman has access to ANY of the donation money (unless E-Day is also getting kickbacks I'm unaware of.)

My scanner, scanner cleaning supplies, heat gun for debinding, and magazine-only HDD were purchased on my own dime, as were ALL magazines I have purchased for scanning purposes.  Also, I paid for the shipping on all mags which were donated to me for scanning, including the stuff I just put up the other day.  I don't mind doing this - it's my own choice - but I don't want anyone being mislead by Phillyman's comment into thinking that other people who scan magazines or do work on this site are receiving any kind of compensation.

Also, regarding the last line, about donations allowing us to work more quickly, I suppose that's Phillyman's opinion, but I assure you that no amount of money would help me scan and edit any faster unless it allowed me to pay someone else to do it, so please don't be mislead into thinking that donations are going to speed up releases at all.

Again, not trying to start anything, and I'm only speaking for myself, but I feel like I've got a high enough profile around here that some people might assume that Phillyman's comment was speaking for me as well if I didn't clarify otherwise.

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1 hour ago, kitsunebi77 said:

When Phillyman says the financial burden is shared among multiple users, I honestly am not sure what he means.  Likewise, when he gives the list of thing "we" buy, like magazines and storage equipment, I'm not sure to who he refers, aside from himself.  It's true that those of us helping the site DO buy those things (thus being burdened), but just to be clear - so far as I know, no one but Phillyman has access to ANY of the donation money (unless E-Day is also getting kickbacks I'm unaware of.)

When I say the financial burden is shared, I am referring to the cost to provide a website and some of the costs I incur from being the linchpin. Just like how Archive.org raises MILLIONS of dollars a year to keep their site afloat, we can barely raise a few hundred. Also just like Archive, no one from that site is paying users to upload roms, music, magazines, and everything else they host. This works the same for Wikipedia, they raise millions of dollars each year to support their infrastructure and actually pay employees, but we all know that the vast amount of content added to Wikipedia is user driven and none of them collect any monetary reimbursement.

So again yes, I am the only one who has access to the donation funds, because I am the only one who receives the bills for Retromags 😆 Speaking of which, anyone want to pay this one?????

2018-12-03 18_08_34-Renew_ IPS Community Suite (https___www.retromags.com_) - Message (HTML).png

Lets be honest, this is never going to change from a hobby website to a company. I can cut the costs of Retromags down to $4.95 per month very easily. We would lose many features around here, site would drag ass, no unlimited downloads, no 24/7 seeded torrents......but I assume that is not what we want. So you guys when you donate, you help me share the cost across many of us. One person paying $70 a month is more of a pain in the pocket, than if we had 35 users kicking $2 towards the site each month.

But yes kitsunebi77 is correct in his above post.

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3 minutes ago, gingerbeardman said:

I use https://letsencrypt.org for my SSL certificates, they are free.

If that can help reduce the ongoing retromags costs, even by a small margin, then great

Thanks I will look into that next December when our current one expires. I buy multiple years to save money :)

 

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Thanks for clarifying, Philly.  I think the "share the burden across multiple users" is at least a little less clear than a simple "the donation goals are to pay for the bills to keep the site running."

And I guess the second paragraph is clear so long as you're aware that it's using the royal "we".😃

Don't forget to drop the multiple image uploader when the chance arises if it'll save a few bucks.  It never worked right, anyway.

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:57 PM, Phillyman said:

No matter what, Retromags will keep chugging along.....donations or not.

That is nice to know. Thanks for the response.

 

On 12/3/2018 at 6:07 PM, Phillyman said:

Lets be honest, this is never going to change from a hobby website to a company.

That's one thing I appreciate about this website.  It is actually doing a pretty selfless thing, as far as I can tell, by providing interesting/rare material from our gaming pasts in a hassle-free digital format through a well-tuned interface. It's really quite an accomplishment and a credit to all participants. 

I wonder if it really does have to always remain a hobby, however?  On the road today it dawned on me that if Retromags found volunteers from within its ranks to put together some kind of digital publication, maybe something like a business could grow from that.  I think its always wise to consider such pursuits a hobby, so as not to get overly invested with time or money. But I also like the idea of Retromags being a brand that puts out original material. Reviewing classic video games through a lens distanced decades from their original release dates, without the distortion of the marketing tactics/bias that tainted their original reviews, and putting them into some kind of publication, could be a worth while project. If reviews were supplemented with strategies, tips, and other information, such a publication could become the definitive source for historical gaming information.  And since Retromags lives 15 years behind mainstream video-gaming, there would long be "new" material to cover and renewed interest and volunteers

Maybe growing into a company is a bit far-fetched, but the idea of a quarterly or annual publication, does sound interesting none the less--being branded with "Retromags," even better.

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On 12/3/2018 at 4:39 PM, kitsunebi77 said:

It's true that those of us helping the site DO buy those things (thus being burdened), but just to be clear - so far as I know, no one but Phillyman has access to ANY of the donation money (unless E-Day is also getting kickbacks I'm unaware of.)

If I did get kickbacks, I would have at least one Fujitsu ADF scanner by now. 🤨

18 hours ago, consumer said:

That is nice to know. Thanks for the response.

 

That's one thing I appreciate about this website.  It is actually doing a pretty selfless thing, as far as I can tell, by providing interesting/rare material from our gaming pasts in a hassle-free digital format through a well-tuned interface. It's really quite an accomplishment and a credit to all participants. 

I wonder if it really does have to always remain a hobby, however?  On the road today it dawned on me that if Retromags found volunteers from within its ranks to put together some kind of digital publication, maybe something like a business could grow from that.  I think its always wise to consider such pursuits a hobby, so as not to get overly invested with time or money. But I also like the idea of Retromags being a brand that puts out original material. Reviewing classic video games through a lens distanced decades from their original release dates, without the distortion of the marketing tactics/bias that tainted their original reviews, and putting them into some kind of publication, could be a worth while project. If reviews were supplemented with strategies, tips, and other information, such a publication could become the definitive source for historical gaming information.  And since Retromags lives 15 years behind mainstream video-gaming, there would long be "new" material to cover and renewed interest and volunteers

Maybe growing into a company is a bit far-fetched, but the idea of a quarterly or annual publication, does sound interesting none the less--being branded with "Retromags," even better.

Are any of us good enough writers to write a decent game review that doesn't sound like someone trying to project themselves beyond their abilities? I like this idea, but I don't know if anyone here but Areala could do it. Plus I think people who would be into this stuff would lean towards a physical publication rather than digital, and that's a whole other kettle of fish. But retrospective publications that talk about certain games, with a current review as well as what magazines were saying about it at the time as well as strategies would be nifty. We would probably need some legal expert to let us know how much we could quote before it became plagiarism. :) 

What I wish we had thought of years ago is something Chris from the Classic Gaming Quarterly YouTube channel started doing almost four years ago, and that is reading through old game magazines and discussing the content and the games. So simple, so brilliant, and so perfect for this site. Yet none of us thought about that. Sure, we could start doing it now, but that would be a bit of a dick move since he's a friend of the site and it was his idea. Darn! 🤬

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On 12/5/2018 at 4:03 PM, E-Day said:

Are any of us good enough writers to write a decent game review that doesn't sound like someone trying to project themselves beyond their abilities?

A fair question, but one that I considered secondary to the technical difficulty involved in the graphics, art and page arrangement editing that would be involved.  As I dreamed, I also assumed/hoped that maybe some people here could do such things naturally.  Given time to write, read, edit, and re-write, I trust I could contribute a few decent articles, but I have doubts that I could write very well at a any kind of a dizzying pace.  To write well, I must work slowly.  The writing alone would probably require at least 10 ten participants, or fewer of considerably greater skill than myself.

On 12/5/2018 at 4:03 PM, E-Day said:

I think people who would be into this stuff would lean towards a physical publication rather than digital

That played into my fantasy.  I'm currently working for a printing company. I'm less than nobody there, but I'd wager they are capable of printing a magazine.  No clue what it would coast.  Much more expensive than the endeavor would recoup, I have little doubt.

On 12/5/2018 at 4:03 PM, E-Day said:

What I wish we had thought of years ago is something Chris from the Classic Gaming Quarterly YouTube channel started doing almost four years ago, and that is reading through old game magazines and discussing the content and the games

Funny that you mention Chris as I recently made the suggestion to him that he consider expanding his "Let's Read" videos in a collaboration with Retromags.  To be fair, I merely mentioned it in a chat feed during one of his live streams. He did not respond to the comment :(. 

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2 hours ago, consumer said:

Funny that you mention Chris as I recently made the suggestion to him that he consider expanding his "Let's Read" videos in a collaboration with Retromags.  To be fair, I merely mentioned it in a chat feed during one of his live streams. He did not respond to the comment :(. 

He's usually too busy to answer everything, or something that will take some thought. I wouldn't want to step on his toes with suggesting that, though I've let him know that I was annoyed at us that we didn't think of doing this ourselves. He actually has a magazine on loan from me for one of his Let's Read videos. He did let me know a while ago that Coury from My Life in Gaming was wondering if I wanted to go on their show to talk about the site. I said that Phillyman would be the best person for that as he knows the ins and outs of the site and started it. I only  ran it for two years, and it happened to be during MegaUpload's takedown 😞

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