ShaftNet is a quiet little Linux shell server, currently residing in Sunny Melbourne, Florida. It spent its first six years of existence leeching off Georgia Tech, but now it's on its own.
http://cots.shaftnet.org will tell you all you want and don't want to know. ShaftNet is an entirely seperate entity, and it is purely concidental that we house the CoTS's web site. ShaftNet was conceived before the admins had heard of the CoTS, but it was love at fourth sight.
ShaftNet's current hardware is relatively modern; a Quad-core Opteron 1356 with 8BG RAM, a pair of mirrored 500GB drives for general system use and 6.9TB of usable RAID5 space for bulk storage. Donations to the hardware fund are always appreciated.
Shaftnet's day-to-day operating expenses come out of the pocket of its admins, and it's normally not too bad. Occasional fundraising drives are thrown to help offset one-off costs like hardware upgrades. But we won't say no to money, if you have some to throw our way.
ShaftNet, in its current incarnation, has been around since December 1997. However, it lived and died several times since the concept congealed sometime near the end of 1996.
While we used to have multiple OC3s and an Internet2 feed, now it's leeching off of a business-class Cable modem with a 2Mbps uplink. That said, it's pretty reliable, except during the occasional hurricane.
Yes, nightly backups are performed, and kept for two weeks. We're protected against hardware failure (yay RAID) and accidental data loss, but if the building burns down with the backups, we're hosed. Hey, if the data's that important to you, you have multiple copies, right? Right?
ShaftNet is a full-fledged UNIX server, providing shell accounts and a plethora of Internet services including http, dns, and e-mail.
E-Mail - ShaftNet's raison d'etre.
imaps/pops server: mail.shaftnet.org port 993/995. Use of TLS is required.
smtp server: mail.shaftnet.org port 25/587. Use of TLS and authentication is required!
web gateway: http://mail.shaftnet.org
WWW - You can access your account's web space at: http://www.shaftnet.org/users/yourusername or through a custom URL, upon request. It's a full CGI environment, plus your choice of languages and databases.
Firefox Sync - ShaftNet has a private Firefox sync server set up for its users to use. It can be found at https://mail.shaftnet.org/ffsync/
Jabber/XMPP IM - ShaftNet has a running XMPP server which is federated and can therefore talk to any other XMPP server, including Google Talk. Just point your client to 'jabber.shaftnet.org' and log in with your ShaftNet username. It JustWorks(tm).
DNS - ShaftNet provides nameservice, and one can request a custom hostname (say, fluffi.shaftnet.org) to point to your web page or some other system. ShaftNet also provides DNS services for several other domains.
SSH - Remote logins. You have a fully-equipped shell account with every modern convenience, including multiple shells, compilers, and other interesting doodads. Extremely powerful stuff, which leads to the next section:
ShaftNet is not a public access system. This means that not just anyone can use its facilities. Your account is a privlige, not a right.
Many people depend on ShaftNet now, so any activity which may lead to a denial-of-service for someone else is strictly prohibited. What this basically means: Don't do anything illegal and/or particularly stupid:
Denial-of-service attacks on other networks/systems, including the current DDOS-of-the-day, mailbombs, and other things which can mess up other systems. If someone pisses you off, don't retaliate from ShaftNet!
That being said, if someone tries to mess with ShaftNet, the admins will deal with them in their own special way. We do have resources.
Don't hack into other systems, or try to hack ShaftNet. It's very easy to trace unless you're very good, and you aren't.
Oh, and don't give out your passwords, and usual stuff like that. It's an almost sure-fire way to get your account revoked due to the massive security holes involved. Your account is yours and yours *only*.
No dealing in porn, warez, video, music, or the like, unless you own the copyrights.
If the FBI or RIAA comes knocking on our doors, ShaftNet could and probably will get shut down permanently. Needless to say, the responsible person(s) will get their accounts turned over and have the authorities pointed towards them with our blessings.
Don't fill up the hard disk - there are currently no quotas, and we do not plan to enable them, but we can do this in seconds.
Lots of things are logged. If you don't like this, too bad.
The Admins don't need to keep ShaftNet running, or allow others to use the system. It is first and foremost a server for our own uses, and as long as allowing others to use it doesn't impinge on our time, it will remain that way. Should dealing with user issues become a chore, we could just decide to disable third-party access or shut it down entirely.
In short, don't do anything illegal or quasi-legal, and don't make an ass of yourself on-line. We're not out to get you or tell you what you can and can't do... you have a powerful Unix system at your disposal. Use it wisely.
Solomon Peachy (pizza AT shaftnet DOT org)