Episode-450- The Bridge Between Self Reliance and Self Sufficiency — 24 Comments

  1. you asked for hosting suggestions and i highly recommend you take a look at they’ve been around since the 90’s, they’ve got many different levels of accounts, and excellent tech support. when i was running the eatonweb blog portal i was using huge (for the time) bandwidth and they handled it very well. anyway check them out, there was a time when people in the know wouldn’t use any other host, i still use them but haven’t actually had much of a web presence since having kids 5 years ago so my current interaction is minimal.


  2. My friend Fred runs World’s Best Hosting and I asked him how much your situation, based on what was mentioned in the podcast, might cost. He thinks that the best route would be for you to buy your own server (around $3k) and he could manage and provide you with 20Mbps (6.6TB) for around $300 a month.

    You could also rent out the server and the total would be around $450 per month on a 1 year contract. Feel free to drop him a line at if interested, thanks!

    – Hawaiian

  3. I agree with Brian. A cloud hosting solution will be most cost effective for the bandwidth you need.

    Rackspace was already mentioned. The other industry leader right now is Amazon.

    Congratulations on the popularity of your podcast. It may be time for a fund drive!

  4. Instead of spending money, you might be able to leverage your audience a bit. Some of your members probably have enough upload that they wouldn’t mind hosting a “mirror” as it were. As long as you aren’t asking someone to take the full 5TB a month, they might not mind or notice, and might be happy to share.

    You may even find members who would rather share their bandwidth than pay a subscription, and you could offer them a free MSB in exchange for hosting a mirror.

    Then all you’d have to do is have someone code up a good random function to pull from your list of trusted repositories and present it to the user, and they’d possibly not even notice where the stream was coming from.

  5. Actually, Jack.. the sound quality wasn’t that bad and it was nice to be able to download the file so quickly.. maybe offer both HQ and Compressed?? 🙂 That would probably be too laborious, though.

  6. Have you ever actually eaten dehydrated zucchini? It’s not very good, even reconstituted in the very best veg soup. It’s edible but not very palatable.

  7. Jack I just wanted to let you know that I do not listen to you because of the quality of your sound. I listen to learn. So do what it takes to make this show possible, and I will keep on listening

  8. Cate said
    “Have you ever actually eaten dehydrated zucchini? It’s not very good, even reconstituted in the very best veg soup. It’s edible but not very palatable”.

    I compleatly agree but adding black pepper helps.
    Try replacing “eaten dehydrated zucchini” with “listened to low quality audio files” and reheat (read) again.
    Must be my English sence of humour.
    I also agree with tracy so i will continue to listen as always.
    Mark the Limey

  9. I agree with Tracy and Mark the Limey.. I’m sure we’ve all been listening since the days when you were dodging idiots and maniacs as you made your way to work through Arlington traffic each morning.. We’re here for the content!

    ..and I’m totally lost on this “zucchini” thing.. 🙂

  10. Having been with them for 5+ years, I can honestly recommend for your needs. They can more than handle your bandwidth, and server specs on a dedicated setup and certainly for a lot less than $3000/month. Added bonus, you can swing by their Texas facility (first and primary.. they’ve grown quite a bit in the last few years) and say hi =)

  11. I don’t know what you guys are doing with zucchini to make it bad once dehydrated? All it needs once dehydrated to be like new again is time. Soak it for about an hour, than cook with it in soups or stews, etc. I also like it lightly salted while still dehydrated. Perhaps my Trombone stuff comes out better than the typical stuff?

    On the hosting we are good now, part of it was my problem there is zero reason to compress a voice audio at 96kbps.

  12. So far we haven’t had enough zucchini left over to dehydrate.. we eat it up too quickly! But I did dehydrate a lot of yellow squash last year, and it cooks up just fine. Looking forward to dehydrating some tomato slices this year. We bought a new (to us)tomato seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – they are out of Missouri.. good place to shop. The tomatoes are supposed to be large slicers, but with more meat and less watery seeds. I’m thinking they will dehydrate really well.

  13. If the TSP had its own server, would the show be more Self Reliant or Self Sufficient? LOL! I know Jack will come up with a creative cost effective solution.

  14. It’s not Jack’s personal or even family that he makes this show for. So it’s not fair to say that he should be self-reliant or self-sufficient in providing the service to everyone on the net.

    This more closely follows his example of “participating in the local economy”. And again, I think his most “ant” like solution would be to have other “ants” share the load. Maybe that means more people sign up for the MSB memberships, or, maybe he takes my suggestion about following the open-source (linux) model, where he selects people who are willing to offer up storage and bandwidth in exchange for MSB memberships.

    For example, if he had 200 members that each committed to providing 2 simultaneous streams 24×7, he would be able to provide almost 20,000 streams a day, and none of those 200 people would probably notice.

    And if one of them went down, it wouldn’t cripple his site either. And he can still keep the professional service up and running to handle the peaks and offset any other shortcomings of a distributed crowd-sourced solution.

  15. I have a 3mb upload on my connection at home, so I just did some quick math, and even with his 96k streams, I could do 30 streams (max).

    If I did 10 streams I’d likely never notice it, and that would provide:
    10 steams @ 96,000 bps
    960,000 bps * 86,400 seconds = 82,944,000,000 b/day
    82,944,000,000 b/day * 30 days = 2,488,320 mb per month.
    (someone smarter than me can check my math there in case I’m stupid)

    Roughly half of what Jack says he’s using.

    My connection isn’t that special, I bet he can find 20 people out there with better connections than I have, and set them up with 10 streams at a time, and code up a solution to load balance those connections, and 20 MSB memberships would be an order of magnitude less expensive for Jack to trade with than it would be for him to pay host-gator 3k a month.

    “Trade” is the operative term here. People trade resources for mutual benefit. Jack receives bandwidth, and people with bandwidth to spare receive discounts and access to privileged content.

  16. What we have now is a private server and the ability to dial up to more than 3.2 TB of bandwidth for about 200 dollars with ROCK solid support from Host Gator (anyone notice they now have a banner on my site?). Eventually I can bring up a second one and publish to both, have a programmer develop a script that sends 50% of the requests to one server and 50% to the other. This will take us past 7TB with redundancy for a cost of about 600-700 a month and that lets us grow to more than twice where we are.

    I am also beginning the long process of archiving off older shows, so the guy that shows up today and downloads 200 episodes from the past isn’t hitting the server dealing with the bursting streams.

    I will not do torrents, again if there are failures who do I call? How do I get the stream back up at 2AM on a Saturday. As for “self sufficient” when it comes to web technology it doesn’t exist. Each of you has an ISP, there is no magic way to go from me to you with no electricity, servers, fiber optics, etc. Like I said I think a few people (not really in this thread) have been full of shit on the concept that the show should never fail from a technology stand point. Such people tend to not know how the web works, these were the people complaining about “why isn’t two is one and one is none practiced when it comes to servers”, welp, we have three servers that run TSP, that is why I was able to communicate with you during the outage so you knew it was being fixed. It is also why when TSPs main site went down yesterday you could still get the podcast on itunes or other podcast services.

    I do what I can folks.

  17. “I will not do torrents, again if there are failures who do I call?”
    -I (personally) wasn’t suggesting torrents. Though, you did mention your large archives. Putting shows on a public tracker out there (or even putting up your own private tracker) would allow you to serve up your archived shows the same way you are now, with the added advantage of potentially hundreds of others seeding the data with you. Failures aren’t really an issue unless the tracker goes down, and in such a case you would do the same thing you do now (fix it yourself or call the guy you pay to run it).

    “How do I get the stream back up at 2AM on a Saturday?”
    -With my suggestion, you would have so much redundancy that you wouldn’t need to worry about anything failing other than your load balancer on your site, and again, you would either fix it yourself or call the guy you pay to run it. The only other overhead would be monitoring your aggregates to make sure that your providers are honoring their agreement, and not “cheating”.
    -With the other suggestion of a torrent solution, you would find it much easier to track upload/download ratios and check quotas (if you hosted your own tracker), but a torrent is a lot less intuitive for novice web users than clicking on a “play” icon. I think if you were to torrent things, you would still stream your last weeks worth normally, or last 30 days worth maybe, and torrent only the older shows.

    “As for “self sufficient” when it comes to web technology it doesn’t exist. Each of you has an ISP, there is no magic way to go from me to you with no electricity, servers, fiber optics, etc.”
    -I agree 100%. That’s why distributed load is such a great solution for the web. Hell, that was the design principle after all. Spread everything out so that a nuke can’t take it out.

    That last half of your message seems to deal with my smart ass comment I made a few days ago about “2 is 1 and one is none” not applying to web hosts. I’m really sorry that got under your skin so much. It’s been 3 days and you still seem to be upset about it. I was just making a joke, seriously. It is obvious to me that the only thing that was lost was the back-end data, and that the presentation layer was all intact. Stuff happens, and I was just giving some friendly hazing is all. I’m only bringing up these other comments as a way of trying to be helpful. If you don’t want to manage that crap, and would rather pay for it, then by all means. I heard 3000 a month and I got the notion you might be a bit stressed out by that amount, so I have given you some ways that you can do this for very little cost, and if you don’t want to deal with that, it’s cool.

    You mentioned getting a second server with host gator down the road, and balancing your streams between them. I would suggest you consider getting that second server with another hosting company. That way you aren’t tied to one provider, and if the prices aren’t drastically different, then you’ll be better served having your eggs in more than one basket.

  18. Genius show, Jack. Your “Eureka!” moment about self-reliance and self-sufficiency being equivalent to Buckminster Fuller’s definition of wealth is an all-time great thought among thoughts. Outstanding.

    And the bandwidth/hosting thing? Just a sign of success, I’d say.

  19. Here’s a fascinating look at a number of issues that relate to this topic. Why relying on your own resources becomes critical when the big, nasty stuff really hits the fan.

    The Daily Reckoning Presents
    Crisis Investing on June 10, 2010

    By Byron King

    Not long ago, several Outstanding Investments subscribers invited me for a sit-down chat. I told them that I love to talk with readers, but I can only chat general themes. I CANNOT offer personal investment advice in the context of a small group.

    That is, when it comes to specific recommendations, I only do that in the pages of my newsletters. Everyone was OK with the ground rules. So after juggling our schedules, we wound up in the beautiful oak-paneled lobby of the old Summit Inn, south of Pittsburgh near Uniontown. It’s right alongside historic US Highway 40 – the road carved by British colonists from the East Coast into the Western frontier.

    It was great to listen to the reader questions, comments and concerns. As you can imagine, the ongoing deep-water disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was high on everyone’s list of issues. “Can’t the military do a better job of dealing with this mess than BP (NYSE:BP),” asked one reader?

    It’s a fair question. The US spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year on the Department of Defense. Where’s the return on that investment? Can’t any military people or equipment help?

    The short answer is that the military is designed to fight wars, not oil well blowouts. And as we all know, much of the military is busy fighting wars right now.

    Wars or no, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently said that private industry has better deep-water technology than the US military does. Mr. Gates was referring, in part, to the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) built by the likes of Oceaneering (NYSE:OII) and FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI). The share prices for these companies are down just now, what with the so-called “six-month moratorium” on deep-water drilling in the Gulf. But over time, the ROV makers will come back strong.

    As for the military, it’s good at organizing people and things and then focusing them on a mission. But by definition, it’s a military mission. Sure, there’s military capability to deal with, say, an oil spill during a military fueling operation. But overall, the DOD is not geared to fight a widespread environmental battle, such as what we have in the Gulf.

    That said, however, the military is supplying personnel, ships, aircraft, command and control support and much else to the oil-fighting effort. And let’s distinguish the DOD from the US Coast Guard, which IS playing a critical role in all of this.

    Indeed, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is the National Incident Coordinator for the oil disaster. Adm. Allen has become a well- recognized presence in the media coverage. Plus, Adm. Allen is a key decision maker in the process of deploying all manner of public and private resources. He signs off on permits for many efforts to deal with the blowout and combat the oil spill. So the Coast Guard is right there, in the thick of things, delivering value.

    From this point, the Summit discussion with Outstanding Investments subscribers moved to a different, but related, issue. “Are there things that the government just can’t do?” asked one participant.

    It’s an important philosophical question. There’s no denying that “the government” can accomplish great things over time. Given enough time and resources, the federal government can build great edifices like the Grand Coulee Dam or accomplish monumental tasks like landing men on the moon.

    But keep in mind that big dams, and even men on the moon, are “deliverables.” They’re technological things you can wrap your brain around. They’re also things that you can design, plan out and throw money at over a period of time.

    But what happens when bad things occur abruptly? Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanoes come to mind. Or in the current case, we have a man-made disaster – a deep-water oil well blowout. People aren’t prepared for really bad things – mentally or physically, if not technologically – and nobody can deal with the consequences. We quickly find the edge of the envelope of government power.

    That is, sometimes government just plain lacks ability to control events. The Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout is one of those times. Look at the aura of helplessness exhibited by many of the highest-ranking politicians in the country. The big shots can rant and rave and threaten lawsuits from here to the end of time. But can they plug the oil well? No, they can just sit there and bellyache.

    The subscribers at the Summit Inn had their own views of how, exactly, the federal government – as well as BP and the rest of the energy industry – was simply not ready to deal with the oil well blowout.

    “The federal government owns the offshore,” said one subscriber. “The government has allowed deep-water drilling for 20 years. Now the politicians and bureaucrats act like it’s a total surprise that there’s a deep blowout. It’s so hypocritical. At Department of Homeland Security, they have people whose job is to think about a nuclear bomb going off in Washington, where THEY live. Isn’t there somebody at Department of Interior whose job is to think up terrible scenarios like a deep-water blowout where they DON’T live and then plan for it?”

    Great point. Along these lines, a recent headline speaks volumes: “Gulf Oil Spill Surpasses Scope of Disaster Training.” This headline comes from a well-regarded nationally distributed newspaper. What newspaper? Navy Times.

    Wow! Consider the source. Navy Times is privately published by Military Times Co. But over the years, Navy Times has carved its niche as the newspaper of record for the US Navy, with a large readership within the Coast Guard.

    That is, Navy Times is a newspaper for sea service insiders. What are people on the inside actually saying? The insiders are admitting candidly that the disaster planning and training was inadequate to meet the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, there was some thinking, planning and training. But not for anything this big.

    According to Navy Times, “A month before the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 federal, state, local and private organizations swarmed a simulated oil spill in the Gulf of Maine… The Coast Guard dubbed the event the ‘Super Bowl of exercises.’ But this effort appears dwarfed by the size and complexity of the environmental disaster unfolding off the Louisiana coast.”

    Yes, it sure “appears dwarfed.” No Super Bowl rings for this one. Of course, there’s no denying that there’s a gigantic, all-government level of response to the deep-water blowout. And there’s a learning curve evident. So there’s progress out there. But before the explosion on April 20, there sure was a failure of imagination when it came to the dangers of deep water.

    The deep-water disaster is – or ought to be – a humbling moment for people who place their faith in the power of government. Especially government people, and particularly politicians.

    That is, the deep-water blowout shows that there are things that government can’t control, let alone fix. As environmental damage lingers into the future, it’ll drive home that point about the limits of government capabilities again and again.

    One participant at the Summit conference made a terrific point. She said, “Washington was unprepared for the fall of the Soviet Union back in 1991. Washington was surprised by Islamic terrorism, and blindsided by Sept. 11. Washington was caught flat-footed with the housing crash, and the Wall Street meltdown in 2008 and 2009. The government is unprepared for a deep-water well blowout. What’s next? What ELSE doesn’t the government plan for, what other big things? What if the euro fails? What if the dollar crashes?”

    That’s quite a way to look at it. Over the past 20 years, the US government has dropped the ball in a lot of areas. Thus, it behooves you, as an investor, to connect these dots. When it comes to big stuff that can change the national direction, and screw up your life in the process, the government may very well fail to anticipate things.

    Even if the government does see the asteroids coming, what will your government do for you? Will your favorite politician give up his room in the survival bunker? For you? Are you kidding? The bottom line is that every investor needs to prepare his or her own lifeboat.

    Along those lines, the subscribers with whom I met have a stash of physical gold and silver. That’s just the beginning. They “get” Peak Oil and the decline of the dollar.

    I won’t get into personal details, but there’s a reason that these particular subscribers live in a semirural area south of Pittsburgh, in the mountains, with spring water, fertile soil and plenty of time to practice their target shooting.

    Sure, these Outstanding Investments subscribers may play the stock markets. They may even invest in gold miners and energy firms. But at the end of the day, each one of these subscribers is building his (and her) own measure of personal security in a world where the financial future of America is looking more and more precarious.

    Byron King,
    for The Daily Reckoning

  20. Actually, stereo files only take up twice as much space if there are two channels with differences. If the recording is done with the main channel centered, it won’t take up any more space than a mono recording. I do this all the time–my voice is centered, and the music at the start and end is stereo. Hardly any difference in file size.

    • @Pete Ferron aka Shrugger

      You are correct I just mastered todays show in unicode and in stereo at 32K the size difference was meaningless.