(1/7/05) Ok, I discovered that the PayPal e-mail address that the tip jar link was going to was 2 years old (at least) no wonder I hadn't heard that "plink" for so long! If you came and tried to donate $1.33 and it bounced back to you, it should work now......Thanks
So what is this "Tip Jar"
thing all about? Well I'll give you two versions:
Unlike it used to be, this site cost me money to run, and it is not a business. It is just a hobby. I don't make any money from it. But I feel that it is well established on the internet and based on the e-mail feedback I get from it, I think a lot of people use it, get help from it and appreciate it. I didn't therefore think that it would be too "panhandling" to offer visitors who feel that they have gotten some value from the site to help defray my costs from it. Again, I get nothing from it at all, and it cost me about $9 a month to keep up.
So I linked my PayPal account with the site and and made it simple for visitors to make a contribution if they like. No obligation. The site isn't in danger of vanishing if you don't chip in. No pressure. Just if you want to help cover the costs and you think this site has helped you to the tune of a buck and a little bit.
Click here to drop a $1.33 in the old tip
jar. If you want to know why it is $1.33 (you can't change it), you'll
have to read below. You can use a credit card at PayPal.com and I
DON'T see your card number. Ever. Click on the tip jar below
if you feel that this site has been of some value to you and want to make
a $1.33 contribution.
Long Version ....
Ok, you might not be able to actually see what is "new" here, but it is significant. As you may know, I've been through some trials trying to find an adequate webhoster for the BugShop. In the early days, free web hosters were abundant, but as my site grew in size and popularity, and the free webhosters began to restrict space and bandwidth, there was trouble. The site was browned out and almost constantly unavailable.
So I went against my own guideline (not to spend money on a hobby website) in 2001 and paid for a webhoster that seemed to be adequate. I bought the domain name thebugshop.org at that time too. For $5 a month, I thought I had a good deal, but I underestimated the popularity of this site. The site downloads were nearly double the allowable limit of 3Gb per month, and I was getting "overusage bills" each month to the tune of $20+!! In January of 2002, I canceled that webhosting service and even was refunded the unused service.
Oddly, that webhoster never shut down my site after I canceled. In fact, I still had FTP upload access to it! But it was one thing for it to be available to the world because they just didn't shut it down (I could even see the statistics, downloads were running at 5-6Gb/mo, this time no one to bill for overusage apparently), but something different for me to actually use the service and update the site while not paying for it. My good conscience didn't allow me to do that (much!).
So I have recently bought a new webhosting service that gives me 20Gb of download and about 6 times the space that the BugShop currently occupies. This is from iPowerweb.com. It costs me about $8 a month. So I don't have to feel "bad" any longer about not updating the site, it won't be as "dusty" as it was the last 7 or so months anymore. I have some new articles and features planned, so check back. Keeping my domain name registered costs me about another $12 a year.
So I have decided to institute a "Tip Jar" here to help defray the cost of keeping this site up. You can see it at the bottom of the navbar at the left and on this page. The BugShop is just a hobby site for me, I make no money from it, but it is plain to see that it has become a very popular resource for the VW hobby and it would be a travesty to lose it. Now seriously folks, don't feel obligated to contribute something. My kids aren't starving, I can afford to pay the $8 a month if I have to. But I feel that if someone visits here and honestly feels that the help they received is worth something, I should give them a way to help contribute to the costs of running this site. If they want to. No pressure. Really.
So the "Tip Jar" is just a link to my PayPal account, configured to contribute an amount of $1.33. Why $1.33? Well it used to be $1 even. But looking at m PayPal account one day I looked close at the fees that PayPal "skims" on incoming transactions. The algorithm is 1%, plus .32. So out of a buck, I get .66!! Ok, life in the twenty-first century. You want a quick easy way to move monmey on the web, you have to pay a bit for it. When you click the Tip Jar icon, a PayPal screen will appear. If you have a PayPal account already, you may get a screen that asks for your password. But most likely you will get a screen asking you for credit card info. Yes, you can bill a just buck and 33 cents to your credit card (I mean, yes, it is possible to do that!). Or you can use your own PayPal account if you have one. It is set up so that the amount is $1.33, you can't change it. Only a buck thirty-three at a time in the old Tip Jar.
So if you are inclined, thanks for the tip. If not, I truly hope you enjoy your visit anyway, you are always welcome here. Click on the tip jar below if you feel that this site has been of some value to you and want to make a $1.33 contribution.