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(June 15-21, 2007)

Milko K. Amorth †

People's Republic of UC Berkeley

Markus Altendorff

Serving the Community

Amberg, Bavaria, Germany

June 19th, 2007 - 16:55 UTC+1 +DST

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© 2007 Markus Altendorff, All Rights Reserved.

This is the server room of our local internet association, ASAMnet. Established 1997, we're providing web hosting, e-mail and all the other stuff - plus the chance to tinker - for the Amberg-Sulzbach region. At the core is a community of some twenty people who, in their spare time and without payment, take care of hard- and software, collecting and spending membership fees and everything else that comes with it, while the "outer community" of more than two thousand members have their e-mail and homepages stored somewhere in these boxes.

In 1995, the internet was nowhere near that widespread as it is today. The most popular type of access to it was by modem. I vividly remember getting up at 2 a.m. to connect by means of a 14.400 baud modem to a BBS mailbox over a long-distance call - 2 a.m. because the phone tariff was cheapest between 2 and 6 a.m.

To aid in the networking of its citizens, the Bavarian government decided to grant access to the universities' and schools' internet nodes for the general public, represented by the "citizens net" associations. They were supposed to take care of the required hard- and software, dial-in cascades, servers etc. Over time, they also were supposed to become self-reliant, something not all of them managed to do...

In 1996, the precursor to today's "ASAMnet" was formally established, only to be split into two separate parts for fiscal reasons in 1997, which leads straight to the decennial celebrations of 2007. Sort of. In the mean time, the servers were initially buried in the local college's basement, then moved to a new office building in 2000, were over the years upgraded, exchanged, sometimes patched up with duct tape and cardboard (honestly); as bandwidth demand grew, backbone network providers came and went, a slew of webcams was installed, a wireless network was established...

... and we're still going strong.
The association's homepage (german language): http://www.asamnet.de/
Our webcams: http://www.amberg-live.de/
Canon EOS 20D, Sigma 8mm, self-made camera mount
Realviz Stitcher 5.5, Photoshop 7, Cubic Converter

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