THE HISTORY OF PRETERHUMAN.NET
The idea of preterhuman.net started with a collection of 300mb worth of text files downloaded from a Hotline server called Fodder's Land. After finding a few other sources for files and discovering the collection at textfiles.com and various usenet groups, I was able to build the collection to over 120,000 files. During the past five years of operation, the server has seen a number of characters from renegade christians to Mac user script kiddies. We've been through several copyright complaints and ISP disconnection due to some of the content in the archive. Knowledge should always be free, and preterhuman.net will always remain a free archive. Below is a brief timeline of the site.
07-2001 : The original server, a Compaq ProLiant 5500, was purchased to host the archive. The original configuration was 128mb RAM, Pentium Pro 200mhz, and two 10gb IDE hard disks. RedHat Linux was installed as the OS.
09-2001 : The server was moved to Calgary, AB, Canada and set up with a Shaw Communications uplink. After some issues with routing, the server was switched to a Telus uplink and set up with Debian Linux. A custom router was built to handle the network.
01-2002 : Server is relocated to Kelowna, BC, Canada and set up on a Shaw Communications uplink after some brief downtime. The Hotline community has gathered around 40-50 core users, and bandwidth usage exceeds 200gb a month. The preterhuman.net Hotline tracker also opens.
04-2002 : The Hotline server is temporarily hosted by drugal for a month and file access is offline due to massive bandwidth usage.
12-2002 : First hard disk upgrade purchased to assist with the fast growing text archive, as well as an increase in uploads to the Hotline server.
05-2003 : Another capacity upgrade gives preterhuman.net about 250gb of storage. The server contains around 40,000 text files and a large selection of old/rare software and operating systems.
08-2003 : Site popularity increases and we begin receiving large amounts of hits from worldwide clients. This also brings the start of bandwidth abuse by automated download bots.
02-2004 : Due to high demand and issues with bandwidth usage, the server switches to a Telus uplink and is switched to a Duron 900 based server. The Hotline community begins to fade away and the number of users visiting on a daily basis begins to drop.
07-2004 : The network is brought down by a massive flood of traffic originating from a university in Turkey. The source IP matched a user added to the ban list days earlier for bandwidth abuse with automated download software. The preterhuman.net domain is temporarily forwarded to the US Department of Defense and Telus assigns new IP addresses.
09-2004 : Re-opening a lot sooner than expected, the server returns to the Internet in full capacity. The decision to bring the archive back online was based on the number of legitimate users still needing access to the library. The preterhuman.net forum is created and we begin requiring user authentication to enter the archive. This has helped us reduce bandwidth abuse and provide faster access to legitimate users.
06-2005 : Massive hardware failure kills the server hardware and billing issues with Telus cause the network to be disconnected. At this point, there is no hardware available to host the server nor is there a stable Internet connection to host from.
10-2005 : The Compaq ProLiant 5500 is brought back online with the archive, and we are back up on a Shaw uplink. The main server drive holding user accounts was lost, but the server drives holding the archives remained intact.
04-2006 : The network begins seeing hardware upgrades to the core equipment with the purchase of Marconi, Nortel, and Cisco routing and switching gear. New equipment is also being purchased in preparation for a future move to co-location at a local datacenter.
THE FUTURE: We will be serving the archive from a dedicated line at a local datacenter. The rest of the network will be relocated to a new building in Kelowna, BC. We will be hooking up a wireless link from the new building to the datacenter until we can arrange for a dedicated fibre link. We will continue to develop plans with the local carriers and a greater partnership with Altexxa Networks.