|About Hemp.Net: People - History - Contact - Link to Us|
As told on April 2nd, 1997.....
For almost 2 years now, I've had the pleasure of providing friends and hemp activists with access to the internet. At the time I began providing internet access, I had several things helping make the network affordable (FREE!) to all. One, I had a job, two, I had free internet access as a courtesy of my employer and three I had several friends who helped me build it all. I also had a new operating system to play with, Linux, which allowed me to provide a complete suite of internet services without having to pay a dime for the software. (Linux is awesome. For more info, see http://www.linux.org)
Hemp.net has been a sort of political science project. It currently provides accounts to 48 users. Many of you received accounts through your involvement in the Hemp Initiative Projects of Washington State. Soon after hemp.net's inception, I began to spend my free time learning HTML which resulted in websites for HIP-WS, WHEN, the Green+Cross, and the Hemp Voter's Guide all being hosted on hemp.net. Once the web site was up and running, it was off to create mailing lists to help organize the hemp movement here in Washington.
As the network grew, so did my expenses to maintain it. The original 386/25Mhz machine (skunk, for those of you who remember) began to choke when the mailing lists were added, and I upgraded to the current 100Mhz Pentium, our beloved blueberry. When the work connection dried up, internet connectivity got moved to the Speakeasy which began to cost additional money. I added a second dialup line, a tape backup system for nightly backups and expanded blueberry from 32 to 64 Megs of memory.
And now even more improvements are being made. As of last Friday, dial-in lines to hemp.net have been doubled. Two new lines support access at 33.6 Kbps for speedy internet surfing. And a new Uninterruptible Power Source has been added to keep the system up, even during power outages.
I have struggled with the dilemma of asking users who I once gave free accounts to now pay for them. I believe that access to the internet can be a very empowering experience. Access to political representatives and the mass media, is already changing the way politics works for the better. It is my desire to keep access affordable for everyone.
Asking users to pay for hemp.net accounts will help support continued network improvements. I plan to continue to provide free web-site support for non-profit organizations as I have in the past. I will also continue to support the mailing-lists that are currently in place.
I intend to grow the network at a slow pace. Included is the commitment to keep busy signals at an absolute minimum. This may mean delaying additional dial-up customers as I wait for US West, or some other entity to provide the additional capacity needed. There will continue to be a low ratio of users to modems. The initial focus will be on expanding shell customers only.
The network infrastructure will also soon be changing. The web server and shell accounts will be moved closer to the internet backbone, where they will be accessible through (at least) a T1 connection. This will improve performance for both shell account and dial-up customers by providing faster telnet access and relieving bandwidth congestion for dial-up customers.
Many additional improvements are in store.
Thus, the evolution of hemp.net continues. Thanks again for your support.
A hotbed of cannabis activism, Washington State is home to many organizations working to bring about rational drug policy. Here are some things to get involved with:
Cannabis Defense Coalition has been very active lately. They focus on courtroom observation and medical marijuana activism.
The November Coalition, based in Colville, is a national reform group and works with prisoners and families.
SpoCannabis is a medical marijuana activist group in Spokane.
King Co. Bar Association Drug Policy Project has done amazing work educating the "suits" about the failure of our prohibition model of drug policy, and the need for a regulatory model of drug policy.
Seattle Hempfest is the third weekend in August on Seattle's waterfront.
Olympia Hempfest is a week after Seattle's big bash.