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Hopefully, not too long from now. I'm thinking about allowing hotlinking for the first half of the month, and then shutting it off for the rest of the month, at least until I can find a funding source for the site. In the meantime, you can use a kludge; provide an HTTP link using vB tags to the image location, instead of the [img] tags.
The Forums, Resource Directory, Perry's Corner, and so on aren't bandwidth-intensive. However, remotely hotlinked images account for about 60% of Cyburbia's bandwidth consumption, if not more.
Right now, I pay $60 a month for Web hosting; it gets me 3 GB of storage space and 30 GB of bandwidth a month. (It's three piggybacked $20/10 GB bandwidth/1 gb storage counts through 100 Megs Web Hosting, a good small hosting service based in British Columbia.) This is on top of what I pay for broadband at home, and licenses for the programs that run much of the site (vBulletin, PhotoPost, In-Link, etc). This all comes out of my own pocket; the Amazon associate program only generates a few bucks a month in revenue. (Ultimately, I'd like to see Cyburbia on a dedicated server; that'll run about $150 a month.)
Last month, I ran out of bandwidth (then 20 GB) before the end of the April, and I had to upgrade my hosting package. I reached the new 40 GB limit a few days ago, despite taking measures to conserve bandwidth. When the bandwidth limits are exceeded, the site shuts down. I had to plunk down more dough to get enough bandwidth to last to the end of the month.
I'm trying to find a way where hotlinking of smaller images are permitted, but larger images (more than 75K, probably) won't be hotlinked. If that's not possible, I need to find a way to pay for additional bandwidth.
I'd like to get a grant of some sort from the APA, but they've never supported Cyburbia. Maybe some other planning-related group ... I may have to do some cyber-begging.
Thanks for the kudos! I'll give a lot of credit to the forum mods, too.
The site was started when I was agrad student at SUNY Buffalo back in 1994. It was hosted on their server up until a few years ago. There were quite a few things that I wanted to do with the site that I couldn't, because of security issues. I also couldn't have cyburbia.org directly hosted there; instead, the address just pointed to UB.
UB offers moral support, and occasionally invites me back to Buffalo speak to the planning grad students. However, they don't fund the site.
What sort of funding? A grant from some organization, or banner ads from an architecture or planning firm or organization. Something that'll pay for bandwidth, maybe enough for a dedicated server (where I won't have to worry about bandwidth), and I can get rid of the animated Amazon ads.