welcome: please sign in

Diff for "ProspectiveMemberFaq"

Differences between revisions 6 and 50 (spanning 44 versions)
Revision 6 as of 2006-08-07 02:13:40
Size: 3201
Editor: AdamChlipala
Comment: Add HardwareSpecs
Revision 50 as of 2021-06-05 12:06:50
Size: 7613
Comment: Changed references from Freenode to Libera
Deletions are marked like this. Additions are marked like this.
Line 1: Line 1:
[[TableOfContents()]] #acl Known:read,write,revert,admin All:read
#pragma section-numbers off

This page attempts to answer frequently-asked questions by prospective members.

<<TableOfContents>>
Line 8: Line 13:

= Payment =

== Q: How much does membership cost? ==

Dues are set at US$7/mo. now. Any member may pledge extra to help offset costs for members with stricter budgets. (We would need to set dues higher than $7/mo. if we didn't have a handful of members pledging extra.)

== Q: How can I pay for my membership? ==

We prefer payments made using Pay``Pal or Stripe.

See the MemberManual/PayingDues page for further details.

== Q: What are the entire co-op's monthly expenses? ==

See HcoopBudget.

== Q: How much does PayPal cost for payments? ==

See [[http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-fees-outside|their fees information]]. We have a business account.

== Q: I've heard that PayPal sometimes does nasty things like closing accounts without refunding their balances. Since you use PayPal as the primary dues payment method, could something like this happen to bankrupt HCoop? ==

No, several times a month we transfer our Pay``Pal balance to a Wells Fargo bank account in the name of our corporation. It's from that account that we pay our providers.

== Q: Can I pay with something not PayPal or Stripe? ==

Paypal and Stripe are the preferred modes of payment, both for ease of use and our mutual protection. Contact payment@hcoop.net if you need to arrange another method of payment, such as an international money order.

== Q: Are payments or contributions to HCoop tax-deductible? ==

No. While HCoop is tax-exempt, it is not a charity or other 501(c)(3) organization. Neither dues nor donations to HCoop are deductible for United States federal income tax purposes. HCoop cannot advise you as to tax obligations in your jurisdiction, but it is unlikely that such dues or contributions are deductible for any purpose.

== Q: Is there any kind of additional "security deposit" required to join? ==

Yes. Currently, every member is required to have a three months deposit with us.
Line 17: Line 58:
A: Yes, though we hope that you'll be willing to pay a (not much) greater share of our costs if you are reaping a huge profit by way of our services. :-) A: Yes! Owners of sole proprietorships can join and use HCoop for their small business just like any other member. For partnerships, LLCs, corporations and such, the terms would depend on the intended usage of HCoop. If all you need is one shell with websites and email aliases for your domains, then your business can probably join as a single member on the same terms.
Line 19: Line 60:
== Q: How does HCoop exist legally? What makes it likely that HCoop will be around a few years down the road, and what prevents the arbitrary whims of the founders or admins from messing it up? == == Q: What is Hcoop's legal designation and operating structure? ==
Line 23: Line 64:
HCoop is also recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(12) tax-exempt cooperative, and thus is not liable for any federal income tax.
Line 25: Line 68:
Come to our IrcChannel, [irc://irc.freenode.net/#hcoop #hcoop] on [http://freenode.net/ Freenode]! Come to our IrcChannel, [[ircs://irc.libera.chat:6667/hcoop|#hcoop]] on [[http://libera.chat/|Libera.Chat]!
Line 27: Line 70:
= Payment = = Basic Procedures =
Line 29: Line 72:
== Q: How much does it cost to pay with PayPal? == == Q: How do I create and maintain Internet sites with an HCoop account? ==
Line 31: Line 74:
See [http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-fees-outside their fees information]. We have a business account. We've developed a suite of custom command-line and web-based tools for managing everything. See DomTool for one of these and our WelcomePage for links to all of the documentation related to our infrastructure.
Line 33: Line 76:
== Q: I've heard that PayPal sometimes does nasty things like closing accounts without refunding their balances. Since you use PayPal as the primary dues payment method, could something like this happen to bankrupt HCoop? == == Q: Who performs system administration? ==
Line 35: Line 78:
No, several times a month we transfer our Pay``Pal balance to a Wells Fargo bank account in the name of our corporation. It's from that account that we pay our providers. Our board of directors appoints sysadmins from among the member base. We aim to have about 3 sysadmins appointed at a given time. These are the only people with "root access."

== Q: How do I get in touch with them? ==

As part of our member portal, we have a "support ticket" system like you'll find at most commercial hosting providers. There are also special systems for "semantically rich" requests for things like installation of Debian packages or permissions to configure particular domains. Members never contact admins directly, but rather interact with them through these web-based tools. We tend to have fast enough response times to requests for members to remark on them favorably.

== Q: How do new services come into being in practice? ==

New services are born by majority vote of the board of directors. We always try to have an open discussion on our mailing list of each new proposal before voting on it. The directors and the members will try take into account only the real monetary and volunteer-time costs of a new idea in evaluating it. However, it doesn't seem worthwhile to codify a more specific process than this. Your votes for the board of directors are largely votes based on what informal decision making processes you expect candidate directors to apply.
Line 41: Line 92:
See HardwareSpecs. See [[Hardware]].

== Q: Do you offer colocation or anything else beyond "shared hosting"? ==

Not at the moment, but we provide the structure for members to decide on new services and implement them, so let us know if you would be interested in purchasing such a service through the co-op, and it can happen with enough people registering interest.
Line 47: Line 102:
A: Yes, and we even have our own DomainTool to let you do so without superuser intervention. Yes, and we even have our own software called DomTool to let you do so without superuser intervention.
Line 51: Line 106:
Yes; see DomainTool. Yes; see DomTool.

= Web =

== Q: Can I use mod_python, Zope, mod_perl, etc.? ==

If they support suexec, the answer is probably. If not, you will probably need to run your own web daemon to do it. Many of these are not designed to work in an environment like ours, where resources are shared by mutually untrusting users; as a result, they run all scripts as the same user, which would let others trample your data, either intentionally or through negligence. We '''do''' support (and will assist you with) running your own daemons and proxying from our main Apache, though, so no worries!
Line 57: Line 118:
Yes, members can use [http://www.exim.org/exim-html-4.60/doc/html/filter.html Exim filters] to do this and more. Yes, members can use [[http://www.exim.org/exim-html-4.66/doc/html/filter.html|Exim filters]] to do this and more.
Line 63: Line 124:
A: Yes. You can install your own compilers, and we'll install system-wide most any compiler that's found in Debian testing. A: Yes. You can install your own compilers, and we'll install system-wide most any compiler that's found in Debian stable or the official Debian backports.
Line 68: Line 129:
----
CategoryMemberManual CategoryNeedsWork

This page attempts to answer frequently-asked questions by prospective members.

Contents

  1. The Most Important Question
    1. Q: Can I do <something> with an HCoop membership?
  2. Payment
    1. Q: How much does membership cost?
    2. Q: How can I pay for my membership?
    3. Q: What are the entire co-op's monthly expenses?
    4. Q: How much does PayPal cost for payments?
    5. Q: I've heard that PayPal sometimes does nasty things like closing accounts without refunding their balances. Since you use PayPal as the primary dues payment method, could something like this happen to bankrupt HCoop?
    6. Q: Can I pay with something not PayPal or Stripe?
    7. Q: Are payments or contributions to HCoop tax-deductible?
    8. Q: Is there any kind of additional "security deposit" required to join?
  3. Meta
    1. Q: Can I edit this wiki before joining?
    2. Q: Can I use an HCoop account for commercial purposes?
    3. Q: What is Hcoop's legal designation and operating structure?
    4. Q: How can I get answers to questions not covered here?
  4. Basic Procedures
    1. Q: How do I create and maintain Internet sites with an HCoop account?
    2. Q: Who performs system administration?
    3. Q: How do I get in touch with them?
    4. Q: How do new services come into being in practice?
  5. Hardware
    1. Q: What are your hardware specs?
    2. Q: Do you offer colocation or anything else beyond "shared hosting"?
  6. Domains
    1. Q: Can I use multiple domain names that I own with an HCoop account?
    2. Q: Do you do back-up MX and secondary DNS hosting for domains primarily hosted elsewhere?
  7. Web
    1. Q: Can I use mod_python, Zope, mod_perl, etc.?
  8. E-mail
    1. Q: Can I do fancy things with e-mail sent to my mailbox on HCoop, like both saving it on your server and forwarding it elsewhere?
  9. Customization
    1. Q: Can I compile binaries myself?
    2. Q: Can I run my own daemons?

The Most Important Question

Q: Can I do <something> with an HCoop membership?

A: The answer is more or less a qualified "yes" for anything! We have no fixed technical structure. Everything is decided democratically by the members through their equal voting power. As long as there are enough members willing to share the added cost of the new service that you propose, we can make it happen. In some of the answers below, we address particular common requests that we've already taken the time to set ourselves up to handle, but the sky's the limit.

Payment

Q: How much does membership cost?

Dues are set at US$7/mo. now. Any member may pledge extra to help offset costs for members with stricter budgets. (We would need to set dues higher than $7/mo. if we didn't have a handful of members pledging extra.)

Q: How can I pay for my membership?

We prefer payments made using PayPal or Stripe.

See the MemberManual/PayingDues page for further details.

Q: What are the entire co-op's monthly expenses?

See HcoopBudget.

Q: How much does PayPal cost for payments?

See their fees information. We have a business account.

Q: I've heard that PayPal sometimes does nasty things like closing accounts without refunding their balances. Since you use PayPal as the primary dues payment method, could something like this happen to bankrupt HCoop?

No, several times a month we transfer our PayPal balance to a Wells Fargo bank account in the name of our corporation. It's from that account that we pay our providers.

Q: Can I pay with something not PayPal or Stripe?

Paypal and Stripe are the preferred modes of payment, both for ease of use and our mutual protection. Contact payment@hcoop.net if you need to arrange another method of payment, such as an international money order.

Q: Are payments or contributions to HCoop tax-deductible?

No. While HCoop is tax-exempt, it is not a charity or other 501(c)(3) organization. Neither dues nor donations to HCoop are deductible for United States federal income tax purposes. HCoop cannot advise you as to tax obligations in your jurisdiction, but it is unlikely that such dues or contributions are deductible for any purpose.

Q: Is there any kind of additional "security deposit" required to join?

Yes. Currently, every member is required to have a three months deposit with us.

Meta

Q: Can I edit this wiki before joining?

A: Yes!

Q: Can I use an HCoop account for commercial purposes?

A: Yes! Owners of sole proprietorships can join and use HCoop for their small business just like any other member. For partnerships, LLCs, corporations and such, the terms would depend on the intended usage of HCoop. If all you need is one shell with websites and email aliases for your domains, then your business can probably join as a single member on the same terms.

We're a registered Pennsylvania (USA) non-profit corporation with HcoopBylaws that put complete control and ownership of the co-op in the hands of the members. Each member has an equal vote on issues like electing the board of directors. The board makes all of the day-to-day decisions that control how the co-op works socially and technically.

HCoop is also recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(12) tax-exempt cooperative, and thus is not liable for any federal income tax.

Q: How can I get answers to questions not covered here?

Come to our IrcChannel, #hcoop on [[http://libera.chat/|Libera.Chat]!

Basic Procedures

Q: How do I create and maintain Internet sites with an HCoop account?

We've developed a suite of custom command-line and web-based tools for managing everything. See DomTool for one of these and our WelcomePage for links to all of the documentation related to our infrastructure.

Q: Who performs system administration?

Our board of directors appoints sysadmins from among the member base. We aim to have about 3 sysadmins appointed at a given time. These are the only people with "root access."

Q: How do I get in touch with them?

As part of our member portal, we have a "support ticket" system like you'll find at most commercial hosting providers. There are also special systems for "semantically rich" requests for things like installation of Debian packages or permissions to configure particular domains. Members never contact admins directly, but rather interact with them through these web-based tools. We tend to have fast enough response times to requests for members to remark on them favorably.

Q: How do new services come into being in practice?

New services are born by majority vote of the board of directors. We always try to have an open discussion on our mailing list of each new proposal before voting on it. The directors and the members will try take into account only the real monetary and volunteer-time costs of a new idea in evaluating it. However, it doesn't seem worthwhile to codify a more specific process than this. Your votes for the board of directors are largely votes based on what informal decision making processes you expect candidate directors to apply.

Hardware

Q: What are your hardware specs?

See Hardware.

Q: Do you offer colocation or anything else beyond "shared hosting"?

Not at the moment, but we provide the structure for members to decide on new services and implement them, so let us know if you would be interested in purchasing such a service through the co-op, and it can happen with enough people registering interest.

Domains

Q: Can I use multiple domain names that I own with an HCoop account?

Yes, and we even have our own software called DomTool to let you do so without superuser intervention.

Q: Do you do back-up MX and secondary DNS hosting for domains primarily hosted elsewhere?

Yes; see DomTool.

Web

Q: Can I use mod_python, Zope, mod_perl, etc.?

If they support suexec, the answer is probably. If not, you will probably need to run your own web daemon to do it. Many of these are not designed to work in an environment like ours, where resources are shared by mutually untrusting users; as a result, they run all scripts as the same user, which would let others trample your data, either intentionally or through negligence. We do support (and will assist you with) running your own daemons and proxying from our main Apache, though, so no worries!

E-mail

Q: Can I do fancy things with e-mail sent to my mailbox on HCoop, like both saving it on your server and forwarding it elsewhere?

Yes, members can use Exim filters to do this and more.

Customization

Q: Can I compile binaries myself?

A: Yes. You can install your own compilers, and we'll install system-wide most any compiler that's found in Debian stable or the official Debian backports.

Q: Can I run my own daemons?

A: Yes, though whether or not this is feasible in terms of resource use depends on the kind of server.


CategoryMemberManual CategoryNeedsWork

ProspectiveMemberFaq (last edited 2021-06-05 12:10:53 by BjörnLindström)