Signed Up for an SDF.org Account

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posted March 11, 2015

I was doing some research on free web hosting, because I was curious how difficult it would be for someone of little means to host his or her own content (i.e., not be stuck in a silo), and came upon an interesting site: sdf.org. Or, the “SDF Public Access UNIX System,” a nonprofit that lets users create their own free shell accounts.

The Super Dimension Fortress is a networked community of free software
authors, teachers, librarians, students, researchers, hobbyists,
computer enthusiasts, the aural and visually impaired. It is operated
as a recognized non-profit 501(c)(7) and is supported by its members.

Our mission is to provide remotely accessible computing facilities for
the advancement of public education, cultural enrichment, scientific
research and recreation. Members can interact electronically with each
other regardless of their location using passive or interactive forums.
Further purposes include the recreational exchange of information
concerning the Liberal and Fine Arts.

Members have UNIX shell access to games, email, usenet, chat, bboard,
webspace, gopherspace, programming utilities, archivers, browsers, and
more. The SDF community is made up of caring, highly skilled people who
operate behind the scenes to maintain a non-commercial INTERNET.

It’s very old-school. I had to SSH into sdf.org to create a new account. To create a website on a freeshell.org subdomain, one has to validate one’s account by paying one dollar over snail mail or $3 via PayPal. This morning, I mailed a dollar bill to a PO Box with my username on the top-left corner of the envelope. After I am validated, I should be able to make a home page using a text editor over SSH, or I can SCP a local file to the ~/html/ directory.

I don’t need a free website, but I think this is pretty cool.