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07-18-2008, 04:00 PM   #1
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PentaxForums Donation System - Help Keep Us Online & get more photo space!

New Donation System for PentaxForums.com Users

As many of you may know, PentaxForums.com is 100% user-supported financially, and we currently host no banners on the forum for members or annoying pop-ups to disturb your browsing experience. Our server costs and software expenses, as well as my time spent maintaining the site, are rising, and thus, we now have an increased need for donations to keep the site running and the updates flowing. Our monthly server and backup bill alone is over 50% of our donation goal. Our total current monthly donation goal is $2000 (yes, we spend at least that much on the site each month!).

To donate now and get access to the Marketplace as well as more photo storage, follow this link:
Donation FAQ:

1. Is it safe to donate to PentaxForums.com?
Absolutely. All online donations are processed by PayPal; we do not have access to any of your personal information.

2. I don't use PayPal, can I still donate?
Yes! Some members donate via check or money order; please contact me directly to make arrangements.

3. How quickly is my account upgraded?
If you donate using PayPal, your account is upgraded instantly following a cleared transaction.

4. What is donation money used for?
The majority of donation money is used to cover our monthly server bill. The remainder goes toward software costs and renewals and site administration and development.

5. Why should I donate?
To show your appreciation of the site and to thank the people who work hard every day to keep it up-to-date. We wouldn't be here without the tremendous support from our community, as monthly server costs are very high!

6. How many people have donated to PentaxForums.com?
We have received over 1,200 donations since our site was launched. Join the crowd today!

7. Are donations recurring?
Standard donations are not recurring. While most users typically donate once a year, you are in no way obliged to renew a donation, nor are we able to make any charges to your PayPal account.

However, we have recently added a yearly donation option for those who wish to automatically renew their support each year. This donation is accessible under "yearly donation" on the donations page.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Users who donate to the site will have their account upgraded with several feature as a sign of our gratitude. Most notably, your attachment and gallery quotas rise, and you gain access to sell in the Marketplace. A second tier of donation also exists with even higher quotas (see bottom of this post).

There are links to our donation page from the User CP, top navbar if you haven't donated yet, as well as this thread and my signature. Donating to PentaxForums.com is a way for you to say "thanks" to the people working hard to bring you the site, as well as to keep us online. After donating, you automatically obtain increased file storage quotas that may otherwise quickly be reached by a regular member. You can choose to donate $10, $20, $35, $50, $75, $100, or $125.

Here are the complete features for the upgraded forum account that you get after donating; they were increased in as of our millionth post:
  • 60mb of attachment space (over 10x more)
  • Access to sell items in the Photographer's Marketplace
  • Ten times the space in the photo gallery (up to 500 photos @ 2Mb each)
  • Several new convenient features throughout the forum
  • The ability to upload custom smilies
  • Use of linked images in signatures
  • Larger avatars, signatures, and profile pictures
  • Larger private message inbox (10x bigger)
  • Recognition for donating here
  • Italicized user name and special title
If you would like to increase your quotas further, a second donation is available to you. If you choose to make such a donation, your account will be upgraded to "Loyal Site Supporter" status and remain upgraded for two years. For the second tier account you can choose to donate $150, $200, $250 or $300; it features the following improvements, in addition to those you already have as a Site Supporter:
  • Unlimited attachment space!
  • Private message attachments
  • Larger photos in the User Photo Gallery: each photo can be up to 3Mb in filesize
  • Up to 1,000 photos in the User Photo Gallery (2x more)
  • Up to 10,000 photos in the Albums system (10x more photos and 3x more total space)
  • Even larger avatars, signature pictures, and profile pictures
  • Custom user title which you may or may not choose to use instead of the "Loyal Site Supporter" text
  • Be the first to access new and exclusive site features
Our new donation system is very easy to use and also features a Donation Bar in the User CP homepage for you to track monthly donation goals. We've also added a page which recognizes all members who have donated to the site. All donations still go through the official PayPal website, and the process should remain fundamentally the same. Once again, my great appreciation goes out to everyone who has already donated to the site, and to those who plan on donating in the future. The site wouldn't be what it is without you (specifically, it would be sloooow)!

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad the site has become such a great success. As we keep growing, I'm striving to make it as good as it can get, and as feature-packed and easy-to-use as possible! Finally, to clear up any doubts, donating is never mandatory. If you can afford to donate, we'd appreciate it, but if not, you can continue to use the site with full access to all public features.


Account comparison

Account Type Attachment Limit Album Limits Gallery Limits Marketplace Access Other Perks Criteria
Registered User 4Mb 40 photos, 4Mb 50 Photos, 1.5 Mb each Buy Only N/A Register on the forum!
Site Supporter 60Mb 1000 Photos, 100 Mb 500 photos, 2Mb each Buy & Sell Several Donate $10+
Loyal Site Supporter Unlimited 10,000 Photos, 300 Mb 1000 photos, 2Mb each Buy & Sell Several, upgrade valid 2-3x longer Donate a larger amount




Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-18-2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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When I originally posted this thread, I installed a standalone donation system and hoped everything would work great. But it never does...so after 2 hours of work, I realized there was one fundamental flaw in the system, and thus, I had to uninstall it and redo everything manually. Therefore, while the actual User CP donation page remains unchanged, there is now a donation bar and more donation links scattered everywhere.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-18-2008, 07:10 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Question From Jim Svendsen

I am on a disability pention and can not afford to donate. I had the idea that this was a free site. Nothing ever is though is it?. I will discontinue with this site if asked . Is there any chance I could stay as a member with this site?. I would very much apriciate that . As it started I was only asking a question. I would very much apriciate a reply to my questions.
Thank You : Jim A Svendsen
07-18-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jim A Svendsen Quote
I am on a disability pention and can not afford to donate. I had the idea that this was a free site. Nothing ever is though is it?. I will discontinue with this site if asked . Is there any chance I could stay as a member with this site?. I would very much apriciate that . As it started I was only asking a question. I would very much apriciate a reply to my questions.
Thank You : Jim A Svendsen
Not speaking for Adam, but........


There's no requirement to donate. If you can, do it. If you can't, enjoy the site.

07-18-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Jim A Svendsen;295559]I am on a disability pention and can not afford to donate. I had the idea that this was a free site. Nothing ever is though is it?. I will discontinue with this site if asked . Is there any chance I could stay as a member with this site?. I would very much apriciate that . As it started I was only asking a question. I would very much apriciate a reply to my questions.
Thank You : Jim A Svendsen
07-18-2008, 07:18 PM   #6
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The site is free. They are just asking for donations from those who can afford it to help with costs. If you can't afford to donate then you can keep using the site, no problem!
07-19-2008, 01:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jim A Svendsen Quote
I am on a disability pention and can not afford to donate. I had the idea that this was a free site. Nothing ever is though is it?. I will discontinue with this site if asked . Is there any chance I could stay as a member with this site?. I would very much apriciate that . As it started I was only asking a question. I would very much apriciate a reply to my questions.
Thank You : Jim A Svendsen
No, you don't have to donate anything to use the site. Everything is free, and as long as donations alone can cover site costs, you won't be seeing any ads at all, either.

------------------

On a separate note, I'd like to thank everyone who's sent a donation since the time I posted this thread. From 4PM yesterday until the end of the day, we received $420 in donations, which means that we've now reached our monthly goal.

Considering that all the site expenses- the server alone is $300/month- come straight out of my own pocket, every single donation, however big or small, makes a huge difference. Thanks again!

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-19-2008, 01:54 AM   #8
Syb
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I just made a contribution. I hope many of the forum users will follow... it is an appreciation for this great forum.

\\@Admin: my contribution was funded by a paypal address that is not my current mailadress for this forum. Will that lead to troubles upgrading?

Thanks again!

07-19-2008, 02:02 AM   #9
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Donation

Mee, too.

I have just made a contribution in support of this great site.

Marcus
07-19-2008, 02:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Syb Quote
I just made a contribution. I hope many of the forum users will follow... it is an appreciation for this great forum.

\\@Admin: my contribution was funded by a paypal address that is not my current mailadress for this forum. Will that lead to troubles upgrading?

Thanks again!
Nope, that shouldn't be a problem at all. Thanks a lot!

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-19-2008, 04:54 AM   #11
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I'll add my encouragment for those that can afford to make a donation to do so. For me this site has been invaluable both in knowledge and the marketplace.

Thanks again Adam
07-19-2008, 06:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Considering that all the site expenses- the server alone is $300/month- come straight out of my own pocket, every single donation, however big or small, makes a huge difference.
Hi Adam,

yes, I appreciate the possibility to donate in order to share cost. Thank You very much.

Being in the IT business, I develop some professional curiosity here. pentaxforums.com is hosted by SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. (in their Dallas data center).

E.g., they run an offer: "Dual or Quad Core 2GB Registered ECC RAM SATA II & SA-SCSI HDD Raid 0, 1, 5, 10 Available 2000GB Public Bandwidth Unlimited Private Band." for 260$/m and I assume you use this or a similiar offer. vBulletin is about another 10$/m.

Still, pentaxforums.com feels slow compared to, e.g., DSLR-Forum which uses vBulletin as well and has about >4x higher traffic. They seem to be connected as a business (my business has a symmetric flat rate for internet connectivity as well) and seem to run load-balancing with 4 servers.

I am wondering if you don't pay too much for 2000GB bandwith which is 6 MBit/s. My company pays 259,- €/m for bidirectional 4.6 MBit/s flat -- but that's expensive Germany...

So maybe, there is room for optimization if we would know the monthly transfer volume and average CPU load factor / CPU type. Want to share the info?

I ask because I thought a much higher share of donations would go to you, not to service providers letting their machines work for them

Last edited by falconeye; 07-19-2008 at 06:45 AM.
07-19-2008, 12:10 PM   #13
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Adam,

I appreciate this site very much and have donated again today.

Over the past year I have sold and bought many lenses. This alone is worth my donation. But, I also have been able to learn from other's experiences, especially in regard to lens performance, techniques, and other information.

Thanks for providing a fantastic resource for us!

Edit: One other thought - why not sell some banner advertising that relates to Pentax? Perhaps B & H, Amazon, or Adorama could help pay the monthly bills too? No pop-ups or other annoying ads though...

Last edited by TomInJax; 07-19-2008 at 12:13 PM. Reason: PS
07-19-2008, 02:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Hi Adam,

yes, I appreciate the possibility to donate in order to share cost. Thank You very much.

Being in the IT business, I develop some professional curiosity here. pentaxforums.com is hosted by SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. (in their Dallas data center).

E.g., they run an offer: "Dual or Quad Core 2GB Registered ECC RAM SATA II & SA-SCSI HDD Raid 0, 1, 5, 10 Available 2000GB Public Bandwidth Unlimited Private Band." for 260$/m and I assume you use this or a similiar offer. vBulletin is about another 10$/m.

Still, pentaxforums.com feels slow compared to, e.g., DSLR-Forum which uses vBulletin as well and has about >4x higher traffic. They seem to be connected as a business (my business has a symmetric flat rate for internet connectivity as well) and seem to run load-balancing with 4 servers.

I am wondering if you don't pay too much for 2000GB bandwith which is 6 MBit/s. My company pays 259,- /m for bidirectional 4.6 MBit/s flat -- but that's expensive Germany...

So maybe, there is room for optimization if we would know the monthly transfer volume and average CPU load factor / CPU type. Want to share the info?

I ask because I thought a much higher share of donations would go to you, not to service providers letting their machines work for them
The site is hooked up with a gigabit connection- the fastest SoftLayer has to offer- and at least for me, the site loads nearly instantly. I'm quite satisfied, as its a huge upgrade over our previous server. Also, from my experience using SSH to connect to the site, both local and remote file operations were carried out at more-than-satisfactory speeds.

The server load is around .2-.3 with our current traffic, so load-balancing shouldn't be needed, either Rest assured that if a hardware upgrade is needed, though, it'll be carried out right away

Most of the donations the site gets unfortunately do go toward server costs and other companies, and until now, we've barely had any funds left over for extras (i.e. vBSEO, vBadvanced, galleries, lens databases, graphic designers, etc.), but somehow we managed. For me personally, it's a great pleasure to merely sit back and watch the site grow and see the users enjoy it

QuoteOriginally posted by TomInJax Quote
Adam,

I appreciate this site very much and have donated again today.

Over the past year I have sold and bought many lenses. This alone is worth my donation. But, I also have been able to learn from other's experiences, especially in regard to lens performance, techniques, and other information.

Thanks for providing a fantastic resource for us!

Edit: One other thought - why not sell some banner advertising that relates to Pentax? Perhaps B & H, Amazon, or Adorama could help pay the monthly bills too? No pop-ups or other annoying ads though...
You're welcome! I'm glad you've made such great use of the site.

If I ever do incororate full-scale ads to the site, they will never be visible by donors, and they will always be Pentax or photo-related. Though, if at all, something like that is far down the road.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-19-2008, 03:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The site is hooked up with a gigabit connection [...] and at least for me, the site loads nearly instantly.
I am glad to hear. I willl try to sort it out with my ISP then. Thanks for all your effort and the great work
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