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Wikipedia Needs $20K

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the define-needs dept.

The Internet 815

TaranRampersad writes "Wikipedia's server is crashing off and on, and Jimmy Wales has posted a letter requesting some assistance from anyone out there with a dollar burning a hole in their pocket. Let's face it, you really don't need that candybar anyway ..."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I WANT TO STICK MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824588)

I want to stick my pee pee in your poo poo hole

Re:I WANT TO STICK MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Troll)

x over ln(x) (704092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824661)

You, my friend, have a better chance of winning the FP contest tomorrow than GNAA and Trollkore put together.

Umm yeah, (5, Funny)

petabyte (238821) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824598)

... because posting a hyperlink to it on slashdot's front page will do wonders for that server.

The attention for the money here is surely good but well, a slashdoting to a server having issues ... um, no.

Re:Umm yeah, (4, Insightful)

Englabenny (625607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824635)

You know, they have three servers. Two are cheap-failing-hardware-nuked, and then's the one always pulling off the job. IIRC the webserver still serving, never has had a faliure like the other two... And btw, give me a *star* for donating. :)

Re:Umm yeah, (4, Interesting)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824679)

Hehe slashdotting the site doesn't help it, but it made me wonder...
A quote from the letter:
"The essential problem is that we do not currently have enough hardware to cope with routine failures of any kind. When any one of our machines goes down, we experience cascading problems due in part to the excess load on the entire system."

If their servers are crashing under user load, its not exactly hardware related. I would start by looking to see *why* its crashing, as I would say its more software configuration related. Plus, if you have alot of servers serving one website, a single crash of one of them shouldn't affect the main site in any way shape or form, more over, it should just drop the connected users, much like a netsplit on IRC.

Dunno. I'm not knocking them, but now they are getting slashdotted, I would start to look at the config, and fast...

NeoThermic

Re:Umm yeah, (4, Informative)

brion (1316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824733)

The database server is failing memory tests under no load other than the memory tester, which indicates (but does not prove) hardware problems; hypothetically it could be a faulty kernel, we'll be running memtest86 (which bypasses the OS) tomorrow when we can get someone into the colo to work on it.

The secondary web server (and backup database server) started kicking out SCSI timeouts about a day after we put the database back on it to pull the primary db server for testing.

How pathetic. (-1, Flamebait)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824750)

Everything that is not free is bad, but since free does not support itself than we must donate? How can the same people preaching "free" is the only answer turn around and ask for donations? Your religion is so stupid its frustrating. Free software means taking someone elses idea and making it free. I fucking hate GPL hippies.

I need $20k too... (-1, Troll)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824600)

and I don't need it for a website either.

I'm getting a little tired of the "my website needs money" crap that everyone out there seems to be posting ever since the dot-com bust taught them they won't be able to become millionaires just by putting up some crappy website.

Really people, if your website doesn't support itself, and you don't want to put in the effort required to make money some other way to support your website, then just give it up. Sure, everyone probably has a buck or two they aren;t using, but if they're going to throw it down a hole, there are plenty of other worthy causes they could throw it toward.

Re:I need $20k too... (0, Flamebait)

chewmanfoo (569535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824615)

The reason this post exists is related to the nature of the website in question, you gibbon! Have you been to wikipedia? You're the kind of Nimrod that gripes about paying taxes while he's driving down a government paved street eating a government subsidized hamburger. Crawl back into your bunker.

Re:I need $20k too... (2, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824687)

The nature of the site is irrelevant. If you can't support a free Encyclopedia, then don't do one. I appreciate the devotion, hard work and all, but we are in a country that requires money to survive. Crying for help is maybe going to give them enough money for the next server but what about the following one?

If you don't make money with what you are doing, either:
1. Be poor.
2. Give it up and find a job.

If you don't want option 1, then give it up. It might be nice and beautiful, but it is unsustainable.

Re:I need $20k too... (1)

MKalus (72765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824719)

Great attitude.

so I suggest all the OSS Programmers stop working right now and start selling their software for big money.

What would the world be coming to if information actually could be free! Imagine THAT.

Geez, let's hope the rest of the world never turns into the US "dog eats dog" kind of attitude.

Re:I need $20k too... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824702)

I agree with you on the tax bashing (e.g. don't educate kids, just see what happens). However, I also agree with the first poster. I think there are too many businesses/sites pleading for cash outside of their bounds. No problem letting them ask on their own site....but if it starts going beyond their borders (domain) then it's not cool.

This is one of the few times I think a posted submission shouldn't have made it to the main page of Slashdot.

Re:I need $20k too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824619)

Wikipedia isnt just "some crappy website" it is the largest wiki in the world, containing more user edited articles than any other of its kind.

i have no doubt its users will front the money, and i wish wikipedia (and all wiki culture) luck.

i lost my nick (t4b00) so im a coward now...

Re:I need $20k too... (3, Insightful)

sofakingl (690140) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824623)

This isn't a business site. It's an open source encyclopedia. Check what it is before assuming they're in it just for the money.

Re:I need $20k too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824626)

A free online encyclopedia needs more than a total devotion by its maintainer. And this is not a crappy website.

or stop trolling

Re:I need $20k too... (5, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824629)

Oh, please, don't be such an asshole.

This money is going to a FREE project that anyone can contribute to. It's not going to a site with pop-ups and banner ads. It's a non-profit (as far as I know) resource for everyone.

It's only fair to pass the hat around. This isn't some company's or kid's project to fill their own pockets.

This isn't just "someone"'s website, it's "everyone's" resource. That's part of the whole wiki philosophy, isn't it?

Re:I need $20k too... (4, Funny)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824696)

Maybe information does not want to be free.

Re:I need $20k too... (1, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824712)

Information isn't a living thing, don't try to personify it.

I don't see what you're point even is. It costs money to run wikipedia, if you want a free resource to continue running then donate if you have extra money.

Re:I need $20k too... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824708)

Should I give 20k to every charity, even one that wants "to give all dogs boots" or some crap like that? no.

My belief is that if not enough people care about Wikipedia to run the site, then obviously its not doing the world that great a service.

Its just like I wouldnt give scientoligists all my money either. Sure, it may be noble of them, but I dont,wont, never did, and never will give a damn!

Re:I need $20k too... (2, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824742)

Nobody is asking you to donate an entire $20k. Don't be ridiculous.

"If not enough people care"? Let's see if wikipedia meets its $20k goal, then we'll see how many care.

Re:I need $20k too... (1)

Cedric C. Girouard (21203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824758)

This money is going to a FREE project that anyone can contribute to. It's not going to a site with pop-ups and banner ads. It's a non-profit (as far as I know) resource for everyone.


Actually, I kind of agree with the initial poster as lately, everyone seems to be asking for donations to keep their sites up and running.

I do however realise that it's a free ressource and all, but nonetheless, there are other ways to sustain a site, other then asking for donations.

If the product is viable, they can offer consulting for commercial installation, or they could offer a "premium" service where subscriber get access to a dedicated server, while the unwashed get to share whatever's left of the ressource.

But if you're going to come after me for my hard earned money, you better have something to give in exchange for it.

It's a cold way to look at it, but in this economic context, I'd rather spend on something other then someone else's website.

Re:I need $20k too... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824643)

Wikipidia is a great website, though! If I had $20,000 (or any money, for that matter) I would definitely donate to this organization.

Wikipedia contains a wealth of information on a myriad of subjects, nearly anything you can think of, and all the documents are covered under a GPL-like license. The information found there is very useful and in-depth. I can't count the times I've been aimlessly browsing the web for a certain piece of information, only to find it right away on Wikipedia (that is, assuming the site wasn't down, which seems to be quite frequent of late).

C'mon guys, let's help support this site, and the spirit of open source documents.

Re:I need $20k too... (3, Insightful)

beamdriver (554241) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824646)

Wikipedia isn't some slacker blog or camwhore site looking for a handout. They're a not for profit, charitable organization that provides a valuable resource to the internet community and they need funds to keep this resource available.

- MOD ABUSE ALERT - (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824649)

This is not flamebait - its just opinion. If you don't like it, don't censor it. Instead, make a thoughtful reply of why YOU think he's wrong.

Re:- MOD ABUSE ALERT - (0, Offtopic)

chazzf (188092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824736)

No, it is flamebait because the holder of the opinion clearly has no grounds upon which to hold it. Moreover, the tone of the post does not speak of the thoughtfulness which you in your anonymity value so highly.

Re:I need $20k too... (2)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824695)

Well said! Besides, who the hell wants a website that tells you how to make those turntable scratchy noises with your mouth anyways?

Hell, we hear enough of that shit from Will Smith and Justin Timberlake anyways...

Re:I need $20k too... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824698)

Most of the other sites begging for donations may not be worth it, but I find Wikipedia to be a great web site. Whenever I need information, Google often points me to Wikipedia with succinct information and without too much garbage mixed in.

I think a small donation is fine, particularly for a good, informative non-profit site that doesn't have ads, pop-ups, etc.

Re:I need $20k too... (2, Insightful)

ccnull (607939) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824727)

My problem with "we need $xxx" pleas is that they inevitably lead to "we need $xxx+yyy" pleas after another 6 months when the next thing breaks. Donations are always a stopgap measure and aren't a substitute for a real company model -- be that business or otherwise. If advertising or merchandising is out (for ethical or whatever reasons), then they should be turning to foundations that can help with non-profit fundraising. Wikipedia is a real educational site with real user benefits and shouldn't have trouble coming up with sponsors.

That said, I'm an occasional visitor and I'm gonna go throw a few bucks their way... (but just this once)

Wikipedia is not "some crappy website" (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824737)

Though what you are saying may be true in many circumstances, would you please just go to the site and take a look? I think that its one of the most useful ad-free sites out there that provides a fully functional encyclopedia with many entries that others don't even have, mainly due to their unorthodox approach (users submit entries).

I think that the site deserves the $20k, even if its just for maintinance.

We all could use $20K (-1, Flamebait)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824605)

If the site can't sustain itself now, I'm sure they'll be back next year looking for $100K. This is so 1999 of them!

Gah! (5, Interesting)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824608)

I'm too cheap to donate, and I'm only 16 anyway...

But Wikipedia is a really good resource-- I've contributed to it myself.

SomethingAwful recently raised a lot of money in a short amount of time for some army people going to Iraq. Even Sharereactor.com, a great, um, edonkey search engine thingamjig, was able to raise more than $5,000 for a faster connection.

It's really interesting how much people donate online. If I had the money and the means, I'd donate to Wikipedia myself.

I think Wikipedia may be able to reach their goal. It appears to be popular enough to be able to raise the money....

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

I'm not a script, da (638454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824610)

...new webservers need you!

I bought Expedia (0, Offtopic)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824613)

I find that Funk & Wagnalls makes a pretty good encyclopedia set.

Letter Content (5, Informative)

filledwithloathing (635304) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824616)

Hopefully so that they have less bandwidth bills to pay and therefore need less money.
Letter to our readers and contributors By Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation, Director December 28, 2003

As you have all seen the past few days, we have been having technical difficulties. The essential problem is that we do not currently have enough hardware to cope with routine failures of any kind. When any one of our machines goes down, we experience cascading problems due in part to the excess load on the entire system.

The solution to this problem is to purchase now sufficient hardware to give us enough excess capacity so that we can be reliable. I estimate that $20,000 in hardware would get us to a point where we have reserves to handle the failure of any one machine. Additionally, we would be well-poised to continue our track record of astounding growth.

We currently have total funds of about $4,200. Additionally, I am donating (via Bomis) 1 new webserver. I am putting together, in consultation with our technical team, an order for new hardware totalling $20,000. For details of what we are purchasing, or if you have expertise and would like to help guide us, join the wikitech-l mailing list. [Note that when Wikipedia is down, the mailing list subscription is affected, too.]

I will post daily or twice-daily updates on this web page as well as keeping the mailing lists informed at the same time.

Your help is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jimbo Wales

Why all the bashing (5, Insightful)

jacksonai (604950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824622)

Wikipedia is trying to offer information to help the community. I can't understand why the slashdot community doesn't want to help out a dying webserver, but wants to buy air bazookas over at thinkgeek.

Re:Why all the bashing (1)

sgarrity (262297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824655)

Agreed. I put in a humble donation and would encourage others to do the same.

Re:Why all the bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824674)

Perhaps because we get little out this project (you can get the information elsewhere, free) and more out of air bazookas?

Re:Why all the bashing (3, Insightful)

EpsilonFour (611221) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824715)

You're right. Wikipedia is--if some of you don't already know--a very useful and free encyclopedia. It's in a whole bunch of languages and the content is all by the users (ie. you) and is very good. It's not the average 'o snap i ran out of moneyHAY ILL AX FOR IT ON TEH INTERWEB' call for help, but instead is something worthwile for your support.

Re:Why all the bashing (5, Funny)

echucker (570962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824756)

Better yet, buy them at airzooka.net [airzooka.net] . Four bucks cheaper.

Send Us $20,000... (1, Flamebait)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824625)

... or we delete this big lump of information that you thought you were entering somewhere permanent.

Thanks, I have a Britannica CD, and two bound Britannica sets (a 1978 and an ancient 1906 in miniature volumes)

The Wiki things are cool in a way, but too filled with unqualified opinion.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (2, Informative)

echucker (570962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824641)

1978... Wiki's a wee bit more current. And since you've got all kinds of people contributing, you can sift through the info provided, and make your own decision.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824677)

'make my own decision' about the correctness of a random comglomeration of opinions, on a subject that I don't know much about so I went out looking for info on it?

Is truth a consensus process? Have we come to this?

Re:Send Us $20,000... (3, Interesting)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824728)

When you look up the Vietnam War in my mom and dad's encyclopedia, it says that is is small conflict in that the US is winning.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (2, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824657)

Then you can edit out that "unqualified opionion" and make it more professional.

Oh, and with wikipedia, a wide array of subjects can be covered, more so (and more up to date!) than your normal encyclopedia. It all depends on the users using it.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824720)

It all depends on the users using it.

And that's the whole problem. 1000000 monkeys do not end up writing Shakespeare. Freedom of speech is great, and I think everyone should exercise it. But I'll get my information from a more reliable source, thanks all the same.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (1)

arhines (620963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824761)

As someone else pointed out, such reliable sources tell you things like "the US is winning in vietnam" in 1973. The publishing industry is very heavily politically oriented. Also, big encyclopedias are often written by a very small number of people - these guys aren't experts; they often just aggregate what's written in other encyclopedias, rephrase it, and put their own political spin on it if needed.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (3, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824764)

Wikipedia is in constant peer review, if someone spots a mistake, they can fix it. If an edition of an encyclopedia has a mistake or something that turns out not to be true, the best YOU can do it white it out and fix the mistake yourself.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (2, Insightful)

SamSim (630795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824662)

The Wiki things are cool in a way, but too filled with unqualified opinion
...which you are welcome to make amendments to if you see fit. You don't even have to log in.

Re:Send Us $20,000... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824700)

The Wiki things are cool in a way, but too filled with unqualified opinion.

"unqualified opinion"? --well, the same can happen everywhere - hmm, Slashdot?!

There's always that someone. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824628)

Ask papa Satan.

Get ready (0, Redundant)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824631)

Problem: Your server hardware is failing due to a greater and greater amount of traffic, coupled with hardware defects.

Solution: Post your problem to /., effectively destroying anything that was left of the server iron. Claim it all on insurance.

And of course: ....Profit!

He asked for help and will we ./ him? :-) (-1, Redundant)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824634)

He asked for help and will we ./ him? :-)
Here follows the letter (PS: the link on the letter is already down):

"As you have all seen the past few days, we have been having technical difficulties. The essential problem is that we do not currently have enough hardware to cope with routine failures of any kind. When any one of our machines goes down, we experience cascading problems due in part to the excess load on the entire system.

The solution to this problem is to purchase now sufficient hardware to give us enough excess capacity so that we can be reliable. I estimate that $20,000 in hardware would get us to a point where we have reserves to handle the failure of any one machine. Additionally, we would be well-poised to continue our track record of astounding growth.

We currently have total funds of about $4,200. Additionally, I am donating (via Bomis) 1 new webserver. I am putting together, in consultation with our technical team, an order for new hardware totalling $20,000. For details of what we are purchasing, or if you have expertise and would like to help guide us, join the wikitech-l mailing list [wikipedia.org] . [Note that when Wikipedia is down, the mailing list subscription is affected, too.]

I will post daily or twice-daily updates on this web page as well as keeping the mailing lists informed at the same time.

Your help is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jimbo Wales"

wikimdida free? (0, Flamebait)

jbplou (732414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824638)

Is it really free if you need to give them money to make there webserver function correctly?

What if it were slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824664)

What if it were slashdot that needed $20000 for new hardware for their servers? Would all of you donate the money? If you donated money, would that make Slashdot any less free?

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824673)

"Need"? No, you don't have to, it's donation only. But if you want a free resource everyone has rights to, in a sense, then why not donate?

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824701)

Because I can use Britanica online or search on google or yahoo and find out info. Why donate to site with a failed business model.

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824729)

"Failed business model"?

You chimp, it's not a business, it doesn't HAVE a business model! It's like calling the people who make and improve the linux kernel a corporation! Wikipedia's goal isn't to profit...

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824768)

even an entity that is nonprofit, needs to have a model to substain its existance. They need to pay for bandwidth, hence a business model is needed to get the funding for it. So some with a limit little brain like yourself does not realize it but an organization does not have to have profit as it goal.

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824762)

Because Brittanica online is 60 dollars a year, or 10 dollars a month? Because Wikipedia is a cooperative community effort, not a for-profit entity with a "failed business model"?

Re:wikimdida free? (2, Informative)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824697)

Its free as in libra. Think, every know and then you get free beer. If there was a beer company that always gave out free beer, it would go out of business. Hopefully, people would realize that it was giving out so much that it needed support and would donate. You can only bring free beer so far without needing some kind of support. Yes, it is free as in libra. And, it pushes the limits of free beer.

Re:wikimdida free? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824718)

Free as in Freedom.

Yes it free. Yes it costs money.

What did you say? (2, Funny)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824644)

Let's face it, you really don't need that candybar anyway ...

Speak for yourself, asshole!

Mbabadu from Ethiopia

Uh, me too! (3, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824647)

My server is crashing too, and I only want $10,000. Doesnt this sound like a better deal?

Re:Uh, me too! (0, Troll)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824690)

Marked "Troll" in under 30 seconds.. wow. Somebody doesnt know the difference between "Stupid/Not Funny" and "Troll".

Don't mark everything as "Troll" just because it's stupid! STUPID != TROLL.

Well... (5, Insightful)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824651)

Giving money to wikipedia is, IMHO, more useful and a much better idea than giving 4000$ to the first guy that will port Mozilla on the Amiga platform [slashdot.org] .

But hey it's my own opinion mod me down if offtopic but no flame please.

CCCP (4, Informative)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824654)



I recommend talking to CCCP [communitycolo.net] .
I've had a few e-mail exchanges with the guys that run it, they really do answer
all inquiries and are very friendly. It's not $20k but maybe they can help out somehow.



I don't want to start a holy war here... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824656)

...but what is the deal with you Ham Radio fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Ham Radio and TNC (Kantronics KPC-2 TNC Packet Communicator II hooked up to an ICOM 706 MK IIG) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder on a harddrive 5 miles away. 20 minutes. At home, on my WiFi enabled laptop, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Ham Radio/TNC combonation, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.
In addition, during this file transfer, simplex communication will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even my morse code keyer is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Ham Radio machines, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Ham Radio box that has run faster than its WiFi counterpart, despite the Ham Radio machines faster chip architecture. My ancient 1980's numeric pager with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that Ham Radio is a "superior" machine.

Ham Radio addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Ham Radio over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re: I don't want to start a holy war here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824682)

It's not modded "offtopic" yet, but would someone explain me why?

Re: I don't want to start a holy war here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824735)

You do know the IEEE 802.11b spec was written by a few hams?

Re: I don't want to start a holy war here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824751)

Have you read the HAM RADIO entry on Wikipedia? No? Well that would explain the general ignorant tone of your post then. Unfortunately that particular entry won't be accessible for some time as the database is down.

For those of you who don't know what this archaic device known as a HAM RADIO is, this is another reason why you should donate to help keep Wikipedia running. It really is the most complete encyclopedia in the world; if there's anything at all you'd like to know more about (from HAM RADIOS to SLASHDOT TROLLING PHENOMENA), chances are there is a Wikipedia article about it.

They get my vote (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824660)

I realize how many times I've either checked something on wikipedia, or Googled for something only to find myself reading the best general purpose article on a subject on wikipedia. That's worth my 10 dollar donation to help keep things going.


Wikipedia isn't just some other site begging for money, and they aren't asking for money for their content (though it's worth something, certainly, it's free to all - and Free too, I think) - their load is so huge, they really need thousands of dollars for their servers. I'd rather give them my 10 bucks than deal with the unpleasant alternatives, like ads plastered everywhere, or seeing wikipedia go away.

The Irony.... (4, Interesting)

echucker (570962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824665)

OK, the servers are crashing because they can't distribute the load properly. Story asking for donations gets posted on Slashdot. Servers suffer a coronary.

I can't help but wonder if that 20k figure goes up after slashizens romp on Wiki.

you know something... (4, Interesting)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824666)


The problem with something like this becomes an issues of whether or not one believes the guy for one, secondly many will think "Oh well such and such amount of people use it, and I know they'll send something so I won't" which translates to little money being sent. (that's for starters)

Now 20,000.00 is a lot of money for a 'server'.

e4500 w/8 400mhz cpu's 1gb ram [ebay.com] under $1500.00 (15 hundred)

e3500 w/8 336mhz 4 gigs ram 72gb space... $2200.00 [ebay.com]

IBM AS/400 9406 820 with 2395 Processor, 1521 Interactive Card [ebay.com] isn't even $20k

Sun CobaltRAQ 4i (10 UNITS) RAQ 4i 256MB 40GB NEW HD 7200ROM [ebay.com] total? $5,500.00

What is it this guy is supposedly running for $20k certainly piques my curiousity, and I'm not trolling. Hell I'll send him $5.00 and I don't even use his product

Re:you know something... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824714)

While I'll agree that it would be interesting to see the itemized "wish list" (because it's being operated like a charity), quoting unfinished auctions isn't really valid -- most auctions see the majority of action in the last hour, often in the last minutes, and the value a day or more out is entirely irrelevant.

Re:you know something... (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824732)

I can understand them needing 20K. First off, they probably get just as much traffic as slashdot if not more. After seeing what a slashdotting does, and figuring how many people visit slashdot and don't even click the link, those are some heavy load servers. They are also mainly having problems because of redundancy. At least thats what they appear to have said. They don't need just one high power server, they need 3 or 4. I have to admit, those are some great deals. I'm not sure if eBay is the best place to get servers though. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:you know something... (4, Insightful)

drwho (4190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824745)

Thanks for bringing up the $20k issue. I was wondering about the price as well, but then figured out that it's just a made up number. If he asks for $20k maybe he'll get $1k. But the idea bothers me.

servers are cheap these days. really. I've found p3-666 machines in the trash a few years back, and other people are finding nice rack mount servers with drives,etc. I can't afford much more than my rent, and yet I can come up with more server power when I need it, just by using a bunch of old P300s or whatever.

Re:you know something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824747)

Now 20,000.00 is a lot of money for a 'server'. 20k is peanuts, buddy. The cheap ass machines you recommended don't have decent storage or network hardware.

Re:you know something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824754)

Hosting and bandwidth, most likely.
Trolling slashdot: Priceless.

*you* don't know something... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824765)

You don't seem to understand how big Wikipedia is. It was about to surpass Slashdot.org in terms of traffic a few months ago, and it probably has by now. Put this in the spectre of being a *wiki* & not simply an http terminal, having multi-gigabyte databases which are being constantly accessed & edited like hail hitting a hot tin roof, backup databases, upload servers, dozens of different language editions, and you may understand why they need big iron. They've got some pretty serious equipment already, but it simply isn't enough. In terms of bandwidth load and hardware load size put together in context, Wikipedia is probably a top 200 server on the internet.

So yes, they really do need that kind of stuff, unless you enjoy Wikipedia averaging being down one day out of 3 (which has been happening each time a ram stick burns out or a hdd fails, which is why it went down this time).

And what about hardware? (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824668)

Maybe instead of giving cash, donate some of your old SUNs, SGIs etc, and help building it on a distributed architecture with really deep redundancy, where each component by itself isn't very reliable, but all together form a really strong cluster?

Asking for money is always the easiest way, and because of the number of people asking (Just look at all those PayPal Donate banners!) the chance of success is nearly null. What about taking a different path?

mailing list? (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824671)

Note that when Wikipedia is down, the mailing list subscription is affected, too.]

What is that about? You could just put a dedicated server in to handle the mailing list, a lowly 133mhz thing running Linux and the James mail server, cut it loose from the web servers, and be done with the mailing list side of things. Why are burdened web servers in a high profile place (read: liable for hacker attempts) also running the mail server?

the three servers that currently host all of Wikimedia's projects in all languages are simply not enough, especially as two of them have turned out to have hardware defects

Then return them! They have problems, that's the manufacturer's fault. Demand new ones.

Seriously, though, if I had any extra cash, I would donate, but no, I don't. Sorry, wiki people.

You saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824672)

1. Post to slashdot asking for $20k 2. ??? 3. Profit!

Re:You saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824691)

Ah crap, I forgot to select "Plain Old Text"

I fail it!

The "Wikipedia" link in the article points wrongly (1)

Englabenny (625607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824675)

To arrive at wikipedia, you have to go to: http://en.wikipedia.org

Requesting hardware vs. money (4, Insightful)

lkaos (187507) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824676)

It's always hard to just request donations for a dollar sum as an open source project. I think they'd have much better luck requesting hosting/hardware donations. It's much easier for a corporation to donate hardware (they get to write off their cost retail even though the actual cost to them is far below that) than money.

When its just hosting needs, being able to massively farm out helps to. A lot of university groups look to help host a few different things. One group may not be able to satisfy all the needs but ten groups might.

Just my two cents...

As it probably won't survive the slashdotting (5, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824678)

Donations should be sent to

Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
3911 Harrisburg St. NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33703

Can't see any way to post the paypal links here.

I donated (2, Interesting)

denny_d (454663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824681)

Heck, wikipedia helped me pass my CSET exam [nesinc.com] for English. That certification entitled me to a US40K$ job which I'm enjoying today. It's free and it's a decent resource for the cash strapped info hungry. The best part is that if you see an error in your domain of knowledge you can fix it. :)

Leechers. (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824699)

You know, the people who think that donating is so awful is like leeching on a filesharing network-- in wikipedia's case, it's information and bandwidth, and the client does not even contain popups or banner ads.

If you want a fair and free resource for information, then why not donate if you feel like it? If you don't care about wikipedia and don't use it, that's fine. But if you use wikipedia often for information isn't it fair to give back a little if you're able to?

They aren't making you pay for an account there, you know...

So much for the open source community (5, Insightful)

sofakingl (690140) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824704)

Why are there so many flames in this thread? Slashdotters are really showing a lot of hypocrisy here: we want everything to be open source and free, but when an open source project asks for a little help, we turn our backs on them. I'm sure we wouldn't see the same kind of comments if Linus Torvalds was asking for help.

Soda? (-1, Offtopic)

niko9 (315647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824707)

I got a really good deal on bulk Mountain Dew at Cosco.
I can give you half. It will help keep you awake looking for sponsors.

Maybe they should do like Google (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824711)

and get a bunch of really shitty computers running Linux

Live And Let Die (0, Flamebait)

USAPatriot (730422) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824716)

Sorry, but just because some noble project is in trouble, all the slashdotters should empty their wallets to save their ass?

I found wikipedia had very limited use for me. Information on the very simple subjects was adequate, but most the writing was horribly amateurish and painfully biased. A decent quality encyclopedia is really not too much to pay for, like this [amazon.com] .

It's party of life, some things succeed and some things fail. wikipedia is one of those ideas that should be left to die, unless it can turn out a way to sustain itself financially. Asking for handouts is only delaying the inevitable.

sad :( (2)

Dreadlord (671979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824721)

Wikipedia.org is one of the sites I visit regularly to get info about all sorts of things, it's up there in my personal bar.
Not only me, most of the time, when /. posts a story about something not so familiar, you'll find +5 informative posts linking to Wikipedia.org.
I feel really sad to read the news, and even more, when I read the responses above.
Wikipedia.org has contributed a lot to the community for free, I guess it's not that bad to donate a few bucks, and save the site.

I hear Taco has money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7824725)

I hear CmdTaco has some extra dough. If he were to sell his Anime and Porn collection, he could buy 5 or 6 servers.......or more.

details (2, Interesting)

treat (84622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824740)

Does anyone have the details of what their system is architected like, what thet expected load is, and what hardware they want to buy? We don't even know if their problem is networking equipment, cpu power, disk speed, bandwidth, we have no idea about anything! This information is available nowhere and the link to get more information - the mailing list - tells you it's down.

Doesn't that make it a collective? (4, Interesting)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824741)

I guess, at the end of the day, this is the fundamental problem with "open source." Although I know there a lot of different interpretations to the phrase "open source," one of the ways that I've always understood it is that it truly is "free" as in beer. If you try and build something that requires money, but don't get any money back for your service, well, you can screw with the laws of physics as much as you like, but at the end of the day they're gonna screw you back.

Anyway, at the end of the day, if a community of people needs a service, and they themselves support that service, isn't that, by long-standing definition, a collective? Wouldn't it be more profitable for Wiki to call a spade a spade, call itself a collective, and get on with raising money from its community and providing them with the service?

the web "overestimate" (1, Interesting)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824743)

I'm an independent web publisher producing 3 web sites that generate a fairly large amount of traffic. One thing that I've noticed is the surprise on people's faces when I describe details of my sites and how much they cost to operate in terms of hardware and backbone connection.

Most people are under the impression that it costs a lot of money to handle the physical requirements of high-traffic web sites. The surprise always comes when I tell them that it costs me less than $99 per month to operate the physical equipment... with 1TB allocated transfer on a REAL dedicated server at a colo.

My opinion is that most web operators either aren't resourceful enough, or simply overestimate the costs of operating a web site.

I don't know what WIKIpedia's web traffic looks like, but I tend to think that they could manage to solve their problems on much less than $20k for hardware. Perhaps they should share some info and take a few suggestions from other web operators.

Companies like UnitedColo offer really great service at unbeatable prices! For a couple hundred dollars per month, WIKI could easily go the rented/dedicated server approach rather than worry about building a custom server for the same job.

My $.02 ...

/me... (2)

trainsnpep (608418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824749)

/me donates remaining few dollars in his PayPal account....I'm 17. Even I know how useful wikipedia is.

I don't care if this is modded redundant. Hopefully it'll encourage people.

Keep wikipedia alive (1)

Nugget (7382) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824752)

After all, do we really want to go back to this [insidejoke.tv] ? "Remember me? I'm the kid who had to do a report on space"

Register as a charity? (3, Insightful)

benk (93688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824753)

I'm not sure exactly how the process works in the US, but in Australia registering the body which runs or supports Wiki would let gifts be tax-deductible.

This mightn't just apply to donations--it might mean that a web-hosting company gets a tax-break by donating otherwise unused bandwidth/server space to Wiki.

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