Frequently Asked Questions
- What is OurShack? Really?
- How do I update this FAQ?
- What am I allowed to do?
- What do I get for my 100 quid setup and 10 quid a month?
- What level of service is guaranteed?
- What happens if we make a profit?
- What happens if we make a loss?
- Why OurShack?
- Why dog.ourshack.com? Why cat?
- What is the difference between ourshack.com, .org and .net?
- How do I use POP mail securely?
- How do I do FTP to/from Ourshack?
- But I really need FTP for this broken client program!
What is OurShack? Really?
It is a club for doing stuff with servers on the Internet.
We run some services for ourseves and our friends,
and we learn stuff by doing it.
How do I update this FAQ?
Assuming you're already registered as an OurShack member
then do 'su - shackweb' and read the
the '/home/shackweb/websrc/README' file.
What am I allowed to do?
Basically, anything that doesn't upset other folk. Here is an
list of examples of things that would upset people:
- Anything that attracts lots of bandwidth (porn, warez)
- Anything anti-social (spam, cracking tools)
- Anything that attracts attacks revenge attacks on us
- Anything that attracts lawyers (copyright material etc)
What do I get for my 100 quid setup and 10 quid a month?
A "share" of the service. There is no definition of what a share
is, but members are requested to take out multiple shares as
they feel appropriate.
What level of service is guaranteed?
What happens if we make a profit?
Or: it gets ploughed back into the project. We'll likely get more
disk, more bandwidth or another server - whatever seems
appropriate. As the project grows, we get better value for our
What happens if we make a loss?
We try very hard not to live beyond our means!
We have not had to go begging yet (indeed members have been generous
in paying extra for improved service).
We spent a while trying to find a domain name for the
project. This is difficult because all the good names are
taken... "OurShack" was Oliver Smith's idea.
- The inference of community
- The inference of a "home from home" on the net
- The mis-parsing "OursHack.com"
- The similarity to the ham-radio "shack"
- The anagrams: "sour hack", "sack hour", "our hacks"
Why dog.ourshack.com? Why cat?
"dog" was Shona Beattie's first word. It's pronounced "gog" and applies to anything that is furry, with 4 legs, including dogs, cats and teddy bears.
"cat" was agreed for the second server by consensus and we have gone on from there.
What is the difference between ourshack.com, .org and .net?
- OurShack.com is the shopfront for the project itself
- OurShack.org is to give away domains to members, eg: www.member.ourshack.org
- OurShack.net is for ummm... we're not sure yet
How do I use POP mail securely?
- TeraTerm -> Setup -> SSH Forwarding -> Add
- Forward local port/pop3/to remote machine/pop3.ourshack.com/pop3
- OK -> ADD
- Forward local port/smtp/to remote machine/smtp.ourshack.com/smtp
- OK -> OK -> Setup -> Save Setup
- teraterm.ini [I just save it in my default config]
If you are registered on the Cyrus IMAP/POP mailstore then you can use IMAP or POP over SSL (or TLS). This encrypts the traffic, so it is harder for people to see your mail and passwords.
If your mail client will not handle SSL or TLS than the only way to secure the traffic is by tunnelling through SSH using TeraTerm or PuTTY.
Here is a way to tunnel POP securely through SSH on Teraterm (so that you don't send your password across the net in clear)
How do I do FTP to/from Ourshack?
You don't. FTP is insecure because it uses passwords sent in
cleartext. We can't tunnel it through ssh through the firewall
without opening tins of worms that we would rather keep canned.
Yes, Virginia, we know about PASV.
Go to Google, search for putty, then use pscp
But I really need FTP for this broken client program!
OK OK we heard!
There is a very limited FTP service on one of the machines.
Ask on the members mailing list for details.