OS/2 has been supported by the hobbes.nmsu.edu ftp/web site since the early eighties. As demand and use of OS/2 grew the comp.os2.binaries newsgroup became inadequate for the distribution of code and documentation and a FTP site was implemented on a NeXT computer. This was the birth of hobbes.nmsu.edu, originally a FTP site, with a WEB SERVER being built later. During one period in the eighties hobbes.nmsu.edu was one of the top ten internet traffic sites in the world. Hobbes has served billions of bytes over the decades as the primary archive site for OS/2 related files and code, becoming a critical resource to an international community of OS/2 users and developers.
During this time hobbes was an unofficial project at the NMSU Computer Center, supported by staff interested in OS/2, on surplus and old systems. hobbes is not, was not, a university sponsored activity. But as the original staff retires or moves on it became important to acertain hobbes future. As it turns out the current staff see some advantage to continuing hobbes as a training platform for student employees. Discussions with university administrators indicate that they enjoy the small notoriety hobbes brings to NMSU and if the Computer Center staff see no problem, neither do they. The Computer Center management have pledged to support hobbes until it either no longer sees any use from the community (ie., no file uploads over a period of some months) or they receive a mandate from above. So there is no plan or desire to shut down hobbes now or in the forseeable future. But it is clear that financial support from the OS/2 community would help to maintain that status.
The needs are small, involving salary for a student to provide part time support, purchasing tapes to back up the archive, and providing for the occasional hardware malfunction. We estimate that about $1500-$2000 a year will be easily adequate. So we decided to issue the first of what may be an annual call for support (in February of 2005) and to add this page to the hobbes web site for those who feel a moment of generosity. We can't offer you guarantees but we believe that the commitment of current Computer Center staff will provide for the continuing existence of hobbes into the next decade. We understand any reluctance to donate to an uncertain venture, but we have to add that hobbes' existence has always been uncertain. Nor can we make guarantees of performance, capacity, or reliability. hobbes will run at least as well as it always has and that is the best effort we can ask from the university.
As it turns out the university is well organized for collecting donations. The university can accept credit card donations online and check donations through the post. They will respond with a letter recognizing the donor, allowing those who wish and are able to, to deduct their donations from their taxes. Another advantage for using the university facilities is that the money will garner interest until used. The disadvantage is that they will have you on their mailing list. We discussed this with the comptroller and he stated that they mostly focus on NMSU alumni and rarely go out again to other donors, but they will honor any request to be left alone.
To donate go to Gift Giving at NMSU, select 'GIVING TODAY' from the navigation bar, and choose the appropriate donation method. To target your donation for hobbes, under 'STEP 1' select 'Where the need is greatest for:' and write in HOBBES. If you do send a check write HOBBES in the note field of the check.
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