Goodbye Old Friend

My college days coincided with the rise of linux. I loved Having a “server” operating system at my fingertips and having access to a shell has been part of my workflow for almost two decades. When I graduated from college I needed to replace my school shell account with something else. I wanted my own website and mail using a custom domain. Many of the service providers we now take for granted were years from existence.

Along comes Csoft which checked all the boxes. I got a shell account on a shared host. The ability to host mail at and read it via pine. i could write my website in vi and host family mailing lists. All for a relatively small fee. I think I started at the $15/month tier and eventually upgraded to the $25/month tier. At the peak I hosted 5+ websites, inluding a PAC for my father and a e-commerce site for a family friend. Two synagogue sites and the family email list and photo albums. Much of what I created was hacked together and incredibly insecure.

The relationship with csoft wasn’t always smooth. My account was suspended a couple of times when spammers exploited insecure passwords. They changes the settings on a mailing list with over 2,000 members that caused a massive email storm. But for a long time the provided all the features I needed in a pretty painless way.

But now after 15 years it is time to move on. I no longer need a Database server. I can get a shell account on my home machine. Using vi for my website is no longer fun (or visually appealing). So I moved the websites to AWS/S3, my email hosting to Fastmail, and DNS to AWS/Route53. I’m probably breaking even on the costs, I still have managed solutions for what I need and I get more features.

Thanks Csoft but I should have done this a long time ago.