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Suso - FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions

Documentation is a good thing, but sometimes having it all on one page in an FAQ format can be useful because it allows you to do word searches on a lot of information or just browse the topics and answers. So we've created this page which compiles a large list of questions that have been asked in the past by people about our services.

Go to an answer section:

  1. General
  2. General technical questions
  3. Email
  4. Website Hosting
  5. Shell Access
  6. Domains
  7. Dedicated Servers / Colocation
  8. Website programming / maintenance / design
  9. Linux and Open Source support
  10. Classes
  11. Billing
  12. Other questions

Or go to a specific question's answer:

  1. General
    1. What is Suso Technology Services?
    2. What is suso.org?
    3. How long has Suso Technology Services been in existence?
    4. Why does suso.org use the .org top level domain instead of .net or .com?
    5. Where did the name 'Suso' come from?
    6. How large is Suso Technology Services?
    7. What is your target market?
    8. What are your business hours?
    9. Where are you located?
    10. Can I visit you or have a tour of your business?
    11. How can I contact your technical support?
    12. How knowledgeable is your staff?
    13. What do I get when I become a Suso customer?
    14. How long have you been in business? / Are you going to go out of business anytime soon?
    15. Do you sell/solicit customer information to anyone?
    16. What are your goals and future plans?
    17. What is your philosophy as an organization?
  2. General technical questions
    1. How will I initially receive my password?
    2. How can I change my account password?
    3. Do you place any limitations on accounts?
    4. Can I have root access to the server?
    5. Do you support feature 'X'?
    6. How much total bandwidth do you have for all your servers?
    7. How are your servers organized?
    8. How many users per shared server?
    9. What kind of backups do you perform?
    10. What is your average uptime per server?
    11. What type of servers do you use?
    12. Are there any software/technologies that you don't support?
    13. Do you provide internet access like dialup, DSL or cable modem access?
  3. Email
    1. Do you offer POP3, IMAP, SMTP AUTH and SSL/TLS?
    2. Do you offer Webmail?
    3. Do you filter spam?
    4. Do you filter viruses?
    5. What email clients can I use?
    6. What is the difference between an email account and an email alias?
    7. Do premium accounts come with free email only accounts?
    8. Can I have extra email only accounts?
    9. Can I have extra email aliases?
    10. Can I have email only account or alias if I don't have a domain?
    11. Does suso.org offer mailing lists?
    12. What username do I use to login for an email only account?
    13. Is there a space limitation for email storage?
    14. How do I configure my email client to use SSL/TLS?
    15. Is there a size limitation for sending or receiving emails?
    16. Can I use procmail or mailfilter to control my mail?
    17. How can I change my spam filter settings?
    18. Why doesn't all spam get detected?
    19. Can I have all email for a domain go to my account? / Funnelmail
    20. Do you offer a vacation autoresponder or other autoresponders?
  4. Website hosting
    1. Are there any limitations on disk space?
    2. Are there any limitations on bandwidth transferred?
    3. Do you offer PHP?
    4. Do you offer CGI?
    5. Do you offer Java Server Pages?
    6. Do you offer ASP?
    7. Do you offer Cold Fusion?
    8. Do you offer feature 'X'?
    9. Can I use Dreamweaver with your server?
    10. Can I use Frontpage with your server?
    11. Can I put a counter on my website?
    12. Where are my website files kept?
    13. Why is my website kept in a subdirectory of the www directory?
    14. Can I have multiple websites / domains?
    15. How can I password protect a file or directory on my website?
    16. Do you offer database access such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle or MSSQL?
    17. How can my webpages access a MySQL database?
    18. Where are my website's statistics?
    19. Can I have direct access to the logfiles?
    20. What webserver software do you run?
    21. How do I upload my website from my local computer
    22. Is PHP safe mode turned on?
    23. Is PHP register globals turned off?
    24. Do you offer any applications like a Shopping cart, photo album/gallery, discussion forum or guest book?
    25. Are there any restrictions on content?
    26. How can I change the default error pages (like 404, 403 and 500) for my site?
    27. Where can I change the description and avatar picture that show up on the suso.org top websites list?
    28. Can I have an SSL certificate for my website?
    29. Do you offer any kind of shared wildcard SSL cert for all suso customers?
    30. Can I use a self signed SSL certificate?
    31. Can I have a dedicated IP address for my website?
    32. Can I stream video or audio from my website?
    33. Do you submit websites to search engines for indexing?
    34. How can I make my page ranking better in search engines?
    35. How can I create a redirect for a page?
    36. Why do I get 403 Permission denied?
    37. Why do I get 500 Internal Server Error?
  5. Shell access
    1. What is shell access for?
    2. How can I access a shell for my account?
    3. What program do I need for ssh?
    4. Why can't I use telnet to access my account?
    5. What is all this talk about clear text/plain text?
    6. What programs can I access from the shell?
    7. How can I change my password?
    8. Do you auto-logout users after X minutes of inactivity?
    9. Can I have crontab access?
    10. Can I run programs unattended?
    11. Can I compile software on your server?
    12. Why is my shell access so slow? Lags? Stops?
    13. How can I transfer files to/from the server?
    14. FTP doesn't work for me?
    15. How can I learn more about using the shell?
  6. Domains
    1. Do you really register a free domain for your customers?
    2. What name servers do I point a domain to?
    3. Can I buy a domain from you?
    4. How can I register a domain on my own?
    5. Which registrars do you recommend?
    6. How can I transfer my domain from another DNS server or web service provider?
    7. Why does it take so long for my domain to start working?
    8. How many domains can I host on my account?
    9. Can I just point specific records to your server?
    10. Can I just host email with you or just host a website with you?
    11. How can I add additional records to my domain?
    12. Do you provide an interface for managing my domains and records?
    13. Why is there a 'web' record and a 'www' record for my domain?
  7. Dedicated Servers, Colocation
    1. What is a dedicated server?
    2. What is the difference between a colocated server a dedicated server and a virtual server?
    3. Do you buy the server for me?
    4. Can I provide my own server?
    5. Do you have redundant power backup?
    6. Do you have a redundant network?
    7. What type of server facilities do you have?
    8. What services can I run on the server?
    9. Will I have 24/7 access to my machine?
    10. Will anyone else have access to my machine?
    11. How many IP addresses do I get?
    12. How many power outlets do I get?
    13. How much physical space can I use?
    14. How much bandwidth do I get?
    15. Will you backup my dedicated server(s)?
    16. Can you manage the server for me?
    17. Can I reboot the server remotely?
  8. Website programming / maintenance / design
    1. Do you have a portfolio of websites you've created?
    2. Can you make an interactive website for me?
    3. Can you create flash animations?
    4. Can you setup an online store?
    5. Can you support / maintain / repair existing sites?
    6. Can you create a database based site?
    7. What languages can you work in?
    8. What databases can you work with?
  9. Linux and Open Source support
    1. What is Linux?
    2. What is Open Source?
    3. Do you support Linux and Open Source?
    4. Can you help me install or support Linux?
    5. Can you help me install or support other Open Source software?
    6. Do you sell computers with Linux pre-installed on them?
    7. Do you offer or sell distributions of Linux?
    8. Do you offer Linux/Open Source training?
  10. Classes
    1. What kind of classes do you offer?
    2. How much do your classes cost?
    3. What topics do your courses do you offer?
    4. What is the difference between the STAIRS classes and other classes you offer?
    5. How many people can attend a class?
    6. Do you have group rates?
    7. Can you do a class on X? How do I find out?
    8. Can you do a class on Weekends, at night, during the day?
    9. Can you travel to our location to give a class?
    10. Are there any materials I need for a class?
    11. Who teaches the classes?
  11. Billing
    1. How often are invoices sent out?
    2. How are invoices sent out?
    3. Can I have my invoice sent to an alternate email address or postal address?
    4. What methods of payment do you accept?
    5. Can I setup an automatic recurring payment?
    6. Can I pay online?
    7. Can I pay at your office?
    8. How safe/secure is my credit card or payment information?
    9. Are there any late charges for not paying on time?
    10. What happens if I don't pay?
    11. Can I get my data back after my account has been disabled?
    12. Is there any fee for re-enabling my account?
    13. Who can I contact about my bill?
  12. Other questions
    1. Why are you so lax and personal when dealing with people?
    2. What can I expect from Suso in the future?
    3. Who is Suso Banderas?
    4. What is up with the naming of the servers?
    5. How can I meet other suso.org users?
    6. Do you ever have public events or parties that I can attend?
    7. Do you have an IRC/Chat server?
    8. What other neat stuff can I find on suso.org?
    9. Can I resell suso.org accounts?

FAQ : Answers

A. General

  1. What is Suso Technology Services?

    Suso Technology Services is an Internet Services and Information Technology company that focuses on website and email services, but also offers other website development, programming, network support and Linux and Open Source support services.


  2. What is suso.org?

    suso.org is the original and core service of Suso Technology Services. It is a set of services for website hosting, email, shell access and other online community oriented services. Although suso.org is a part of Suso Technology Services, they are often thought of as the same. The corporation was created to help give organization to the business and also to cover a few other areas like training, information technology and Linux support.


  3. How long has Suso Technology Services been in existence?

    suso.org as a service has been in existence since October of 1997. Originally it was an experimental server in Mark Krenz's dorm room at Indiana University and was only open to about 30 friends of his. The suso.org domain was registered in April of 1999 and became an official business in 2001. In September of 2004 we incorporated as Suso Technology Services, Inc. and moved into our current office in Fountain Square in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.


  4. Why does suso.org use the .org top level domain instead of .net or .com?

    Originally, suso.org was just meant to be a hobby and non-profit venture. Historically, the .org domain extension was supposed to be for non-profit organizations. However, on the Internet, there has never been any regulation of these guidelines. As a result there has been a graying of the lines between what all the top level domains really mean about the type of website you are going to or what country it is located in. For instance, slashdot.org, a well known technology news site that has been around since 1997, originally didn't view itself as a for profit venture either, but eventually became worth millions after it was purchaced by OSTG.

    To make the matter more complicated, suso.com and suso.net were quickly nabbed by domain speculators the same month that we bought suso.org. However in 2005 we purchased suso.com from one of these domain brokers. Eventually we may include suso.com into the mix as aliases for suso.org, but we will always be centered around suso.org. Besides, the .org has always reflected the feeling of what our business is about.


  5. Where did the name 'Suso' come from? Who is Suso Banderas?

    Back in 1996, Mark Krenz needed a new nickname to use on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels and so looked around the room for something to use. Upon looking at the back of one of his favorite albums, Powaqqatsi by Philip Glass, he noticed the name Mr. Suso. Mr. Suso refered on the album to the African Griot musician Foday Musa Suso, who collaborated with Glass on the album. So Mark started using the name MrSuso, which eventually was shortened by his friends to just Suso, which became the name of the first suso.org server, suso.eigenmann.indiana.edu.

    Suso also started becoming a kind of pen name for Mark to use in online activities. He discovered later the Suso was a spanish name and choose to fashion the surname Banderas to go along with it. This is now his penname forwriting software, music and thoughts of the day. Now you know the secret.


  6. How large is Suso Technology Services?

    As of this writing (June, 2005), we are in a transitional phase. In September 2004 we moved away from what was historically a home run hobby business to move towards becoming a webhosting/email provider for the world. We are a small company right now, but that is simply because we have enough staff to support our current customer base.


  7. What is your target market?

    The Known Universe. Seriously. Our user database that keeps track of everything has tables for storing what planet and star system you are from. Which may seem like science fiction, but it is a reasonable expectation in this era of early space travel that within a century or two, humans will start to live in space and on the moon and other planets. So we really consider ourselves as a service for everyone. Currently we have customers from 9 different countries on 4 continents. We do have a strong focus on Bloomington, Indiana and the surrounding area. But we consider ourselves more of a global internet application service provider that just happens to be in Central Indiana.


  8. What are your office hours?

    Officially they are Monday through Friday 9am - 5:30pm EST. However we are often in our office at many other times including Saturdays and Sundays and we have our phone forwarded to a cell phone outside of those hours, so you are more than welcome to call anytime.


  9. Where are you located?

    In Bloomington, Indiana, a small city which is about 95 kilometers south of Indianapolis. Specifically, we are located in Fountain Square Suite #241. There are directions to our office on this page. Our servers and colocation space are located in a seperate building in Bloomington.


  10. Can I visit you or have a tour of your business?

    Yes, just call our office to arrange an appointment.


  11. How can I contact your technical support?

    Actually, instead of having technical support you get to talk with the owners of the business or the system administrators who make it run. Our philosophy is that you should be able to talk to the people who are in control of how things work and are the most knowledgeable.

    If you've ever dealt with a technical support staff where the first person that you call doesn't know and transfers you to someone else, who only knows a little more, you'll quickly see how valuable it is to be able to talk directly with people who can give you a straight answer right away.

    As we grow, our goal is to assign new users to their own representative that you will be able to ask for by name or call directly. This way you will always get to talk to the same person that will know who you are and your account history.

    suso.org, where your "technical support" is a system administrator. ;-)


  12. How knowlegdeable is your staff?

    Very knowledgeable.

    The founder of suso.org, Mark Krenz, has been administering servers and networks on the internet for over 8 years. He has learned from some of the best in the industry and has given presentations at worldwide conferences, schools and users groups. He has developed many new methods for securely offering web services and has written and contributed to programs that are now used in distributions of the Linux Operating System. He can address almost any problem and answer almost any question you will have about the Internet and its services.

    Marina Krenz, who is the president of Suso Technology Services, Inc., has been working as a programmer and web designer for over 5 years and has made many professional interactive websites. She also knows a lot about Internet services and can answer most questions. She has a degree in computer science from Indiana University and a business degree from Tashkent State Economic University in Uzbekistan.


  13. What do I get when I become a Suso customer?

    Besides your account and the services that come with it, when you sign up for your account, you will receive a welcome email that will introduce you to the services of suso.org and point you to our documentation page. We will call you with your password and send you a free suso.org T-shirt and pen. As always, you are most welcome to email or call us with your questions about using your account.


  14. How long have you been in business? / How long do you plan to stay in business?

    Officially, Suso Technology Services, Inc. has been in business since June 2004. suso.org as a service has been around since October of 1997.

    We have no plan to go out of business any time soon and in fact we plan to become much larger and even more stable than we are now. Eventually, we would like to move into our own office building, have several more people on our staff to serve customers and offer several new services for everyone.


  15. Do you sell/solicit customer information to anyone?

    Absolutely not. The only thing that we do is send current customers is information about new services that we offer, announcements about service upgrades or outages.


  16. What are your goals and future plans?

    suso.org

    Currently, we are enhancing a lot of our current features to be more effective. Examples include improved spam filtering and better configuration management for spam filtering, better management and usage of databases, fixing problems with the current webmail system (squirrelmail), and completion of documentation of current features.

    We are also spending a lot of time right now testing and implementing an improved user management system, which the users themselves do not see. This helps us to ensure that every account is created, manipulated and billed without error.

    Looking beyond that, we are working towards complete functionality from our custom web control panel and its complete integration with our user database. Our goal is to build up all our features into a type of web operating environment.

    Suso Technology Services

    As our resources allow, we are wanting to look into building our own machine room facility that is state of the art and compares with the best available facilities in Texas, California and Europe. Right now there are no known publicly available Tier 1+ facilities in Indiana. All of the ones that we have visited have had one or more problems with it.


  17. What is your philosophy as an organization?

    Take time to do things right. In emergency, analyze, adapt and prevent.


B. General Technical

  1. How will I initially receive my password?

    Once we've created your account, we will call you by phone to give you your password. So it is important that you provide us with an accurate phone number that belongs to you. We do not leave passwords on answering machines or give them to other people unless you explicitly ask us to. Even then, we ask that you exercise caution with who hears the password.

    Once you have received the initial password, you are strongly encouraged to change it so that you are the only person that knows what it is.

    We do not send passwords through email. Unless you want us to send it using PGP or GPG encryption, in which case, you will need to provide us with the location of your public key.


  2. How can I change my account password?

    To change your password, go to www.suso.org and use the username and password form to login. Once you've logged in, click on the menu item "Change Password". Here you need to enter your old password followed by your new password twice. You will be told if your password is secure enough to use so make sure you read all the messages. It may take up to a minute for your password change to completely take effect.

    Currently there is no way to change your password from a login shell. We need to write the standard passwd command line utility to work with our user database. This is expected to be done before the end of 2005.


  3. Do you place any limitations on account activity?

    The only limitations we have is on what you can do with your account. You cannot use your account for sending spam or any malicious activity including scanning or attacking other networks. For complete information on this, please see our Acceptable Use Policy


  4. Can I have root access to the server?

    Root access is an administrative privilege and so we don't give that level of access to people outside of selected employees. However, if there is some program that you want to run that requires root access to either run or to be installed, let us know and we'll look into either running it for you and installing it safely.


  5. Do you support feature 'X'?

    We are very open to new features and services. Almost all of the services that we offer now are a result of customer requests. So if there is something you do not see listed that you need to run or would like to run, let us know by emailing support@suso.com.


  6. How much total bandwidth do you have for all your servers?

    If you are referring to the bandwidth that we are allocated from our backbone provider, as of now (June 2005) we have a 3.0 megabit pipe, which is equivalent to 2 T1 lines. That may seem small but there is simply no need for more right now. We are currently only utilizing about 1/3rd of it and only occasionally peek out so it doesn't make sense to have anything larger right now. Once we reach 1/2 to 3/4 utilization we will be upgrading to a much larger pipe, such as a T3 (which is 45 megabits).

    Our 3 megabit connection is hooked up to a redundant fiber loop that goes up to Indianapolis and from there to Time Warner, which is the backbone.


  7. How are your servers organized?

    Instead of running a server for each service, suso.org is based on having an independent server for each subset of all the users. This means that there may be many shared servers running and one user will be on shared server A and another will be on B or C. These all have different names that you will see when you login to them via SSH.

    Each shared server runs its own set of services like a web server, email server and shell server. Then we just add a server whenever we reach the maximum user count for a single server. In our opinion this is much more scalable and easier for us to maintain than having one server for each service. It also makes it easier on the users so that they do not have to deal with the side affects of having information propagate around, using network file systems and so on.

    There are some services that are not duplicated, but those are only services that solely need network access to interface with like databases, SMTP(outgoing mail) servers and so on.


  8. How many users per shared server?

    Based on current usage and a scale factor, we have estimated that we can comfortably have 300-350 users on each shared server. This generous low number will give you more resources for your own account. Compare this with other providers who typically have anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 users per server or more.


  9. What kind of backups do you perform?

    We cannot give you all the information, but can give some. Right now we perform daily off site backups to tape. The tapes are stored in a fireproof safe. We also run bi-weekly level 0 (complete) backups to disk and archival backups to tape every other month. This is enough to ensure that in the event of a catastrophic failure, you will lose no more than 7-14 days of information. Most likely you would only lose a days worth.

    We've never had such a loss of information, but the backups are important to have as a last resort for safe guarding everyone's data.


  10. What is your average uptime per server?

    Historically, since 1997 we have never had more than a day of downtime. Most of the time, any downtime that occurs is for less than an hour. On average, we are around 99.95% uptime annually, which means that each server is unavailable less than 4 hours per year. Sometimes our servers have run for more than 400 days without a problem though.

    Since 2002 there has been power, network and drive redundancy. So the servers are not nearly as susceptible to those basic types of outages anymore.


  11. What type of servers do you use? What Operating System do you use?

    Big black ones. They're HUGE! Ok, so they're not that big. We use AMD processors in all of our machines because it works the same and are twice as cheap, we pass the savings onto you! ;-)

    All of our servers are now running on RAID-1 arrays which protect from data loss if any single drive fails.

    And as always we run Linux on our servers. We currently run Red Hat Fedora, but are looking into switching over to Gentoo for even greater availability and maintainability.


  12. Are there any software/technologies that you don't support?

    We try to support open source software as much as possible and don't really care for Microsoft's push of products, so as you find on our account comparison page, Frontpage extensions are not available. Neither is ASP. We also don't run an Exchange server. But all of these things have equivalents that we do support. Like SCP, CGI web applications, PHP, IMAP, mailing lists and other standard mail services.


  13. Do you provide internet access like dialup, DSL or cable modem access?

    No, but for some reason we keep getting calls about DSL. I guess we're too close to Smithville in the phone book and people look at the wrong line. One person called and insisted that "you do have DSL, it was in your advertisement" and when we reiterated that we don't, he got mad and hung up.

    Honestly, we would like to stay out of the internet access business as much as possible. If we ever did provide internet access, it would be on a case basis and would most likely be specialized high end stuff like running fiber optics to all the houses in a whole neighborhood.

    Internet access is a tough business nowadays because you are at the mercy of the phone or cable companies, who in our opinion have no business being involved with the Internet. Its basically a case of bend over and they'll show you.


C. Email

  1. Do you offer POP3, IMAP, SMTP AUTH and SSL/TLS?

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. We've spent a lot of time building up our mail services and are proud to say that we offer pretty much every email feature that is available.

    The POP3 protocol means that when you check your mail, you download all of it to your local computer and then remove it from the server. This has the disadvantage of you not being able to check mail that you have already checked from other computers. Also, it means that you have to download all of your mail from the server before you can view it, which may take minutes or even hours.

    IMAP remedies these problems by leaving the mail on the server and just giving you the headers of the messages. This means that when you check your email, you will see new messages much faster and you will also be able to check all your mail (new and old) from any IMAP client on any computer. So you can check the same mail from work and home.

    SMTP AUTH stands for SMTP Authentication. A lot of times, if you want to send mail, you probably needed to use your local ISP's mail server. Then, if you move your computer to another ISP, then you might have had to change which server you sent mail through. The reason why ISPs have this restriction is to help control spam and provide accountability.

    SMTP AUTH is a way of verifying with the server that you have the right to send mail through it. On suso.org this is done by configuring your email client to use your suso.org username and password when making the connection to send mail. There is a document in our documentation on how this is accomplished in some popular email clients.

    SSL/TLS is a way of encrypting all data that is sent over a network connection. It prevents anyone from seeing the plain text data between you and the server. All of our mail services offer the ability to use TLS (which is basically an intelligent use of SSL) over the connections. This means that whether you are using POP3, IMAP or SMTP AUTH, you have the option (and are encouraged to use it) of using TLS to encrypt all authentication and data transfer.


  2. Do you offer Webmail?

    Yes, we currently use the open source software called Squirrelmail for our webmail system. Squirrelmail works well, but we are still looking for a better program that will not use browser frames and doesn't have trouble keeping you logged in. In the past when webmail first started appearing as a feature, we had to write our own customized webmail client based on Aeromail to handle all the features we wanted. We may have to do the same again with more modern software.


  3. Do you filter spam?

    Yes. We use Spamassassin for spam detection. When Spamassassin detects that an email is spam, it will mark it with an extra header line and optionally prefix the subject line with *****SPAM(5.7)***** or something helpful to identify it. You have the ability to customize Spamassassin for you own account including adding email addresses to a white list or black list and you can even change the weighting of different tests.

    As a counterpart to Spamassassin, we have the procmail and mailfilter programs available for filtering the spam or your mail in general. With these programs you can control whether detected spam is deleted, moved to a separate folder or forwarded to another email address. You can do the same for all your mail according to what matching rules you setup.


  4. Do you filter viruses?

    Not yet. Virus filtering requires more processing power than spam filtering. This is because every time a message comes in with an attachment, it has to scan the entire attachment and analyze it, which can be a lot of data to sift through. If it is a compressed attachment, like a zip file, it has to uncompress it first. Eventually, we would like to do this, but there hasn't really been any demand for it yet. Most people have become accustomed to doing virus checking on their own computer. When we do offer it, we will most likely setup a separate server to do the processing so that it doesn't interfere with more normal resources.

    If you would really like or require this feature, please email email mark@suso.org so that he can give it higher priority.


  5. What email clients can I use?

    Any email client that supports POP3 or IMAP and the SMTP protocol. This means pretty much every email client available. To use features like SSL/TLS or SMTP AUTH, you may need to use a more modern and fully featured email client like Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, or Outlook 6.0.

    We would recommend that you use Mozilla Thunderbird because it is available for Linux, Macintosh and Windows. It also has a full array of modern features, is quite stable, and is open source.


  6. What is the difference between an email account and an email alias?

    An email account means that mail can be delievered to it and you can check the mail at that account separately. This is the case when you have a premium account or email only account with suso.org. An email account also has its own spam and mail filtering settings.

    An email alias is just an address that points to another address. An alias does not store the mail. Usually, an email alias points to an account where you can receive mail, but it can also point to another email alias. Eventually the aliases have to point to an email account so that the mail can be delievered somewhere. Email aliases use the settings of the accounts they point to.

    To use a metaphor with the way the postal mail works, an email account is like a mailbox and an email alias is like filling out one of those cards to have your mail forwarded by the post office to another mailbox.

    On suso.org, if you have your own domain, you can have as many email aliases as you like on that domain. You can also have extra email only accounts, but since they store mail, we charge for them after you reach a certain number of them.


  7. Do premium accounts come with free email only accounts?

    Yes, they come with 10 free email only accounts. You can request them through the control panel interface on the suso.org website. You must have a domain for your account to use this feature.


  8. Can I have extra email only accounts?

    Yes, If you want extra email only accounts beyond the 10 free ones, you can purchase them for $1/month. Simply request more from the control panel interface on the suso.org website and we'll add them to your account.


  9. Can I have extra email aliases?

    Yes, as long as you have a domain tied to your premium account, you can have as many email aliases as you want. To create them, just login to the control pane on the suso.org website and select the "Email Aliases" menu option.


  10. Can I have email only account or alias if I don't have a domain?

    The only way to do this is if you use the susomail.com domain or another shared domain that we provide for you. You will also need to email us a request to do this or use our sign up form. The reason why you can't use the suso.org domain for email only accounts or your own aliases is because we would quickly run out of available usernames. If you sign up for an email only account and don't specify a domain you want to use, you are assigned to the susomail.com domain. Eventually, we will have additional domains for people who would rather use a different domain name. We understand that everyone has preferences for how their email address sounds or looks when it is read by others.


  11. Does suso.org offer mailing lists?

    Yes, we use mailman as our mailing list software. Not many people require mailing lists, but if you need one, simply send an email to mark@suso.org requesting what you want the list to be called including the domain name that it will be on. For this service, you will also need to have your own domain.


  12. What username do I use to login for an email only account?

    Unlike a premium account that would just use the part before the @ sign in their email address, an email only account just uses their full email address as the username. So if your email address for your email only account is bob@smith.com then your username that you use to login is bob@smith.com


  13. Is there a space limitation for email storage?

    Nope. Actually, we were the first internet application provider to offer no disk space quotas. If you don't believe us, some users have used over a gigabyte or more of storage for their email for many years now. And we've been offering no-disk-quota mail and web space accounts since 1997. Beat that Google, Yahoo and Hotmail. ;-)

    How can we do this? Simple, disk space is cheap. No matter how you much you spend on redundant arrays or network storage, disk space is still much cheaper than network bandwidth. So its just easier for all our customers and us if we just don't set any space restrictions. If we ever get close to running out of space, we just add more.


  14. How do I configure my email client to use SSL/TLS?

    It depends on the client, see our Documentation section for more specific information for each mail client.


  15. Is there a size limitation on each message for sending or receiving emails?

    Yes, in order to discourage excessive use of email as a file transfer protocol (which it is not) and prevent certain denial of service attacks, we've placed a limit on email size of 100MB. This number has gone up over time to deal with reasonable use of email. 100MB is what we currently consider reasonable. We would strongly recommend against sending any files more than 5MB in size through email. Instead, put the file on your web space and password protect it or something.


  16. Can I use procmail or mailfilter to control my mail?

    Yes, premium accounts currently use procmail to deliver the mail. Email only accounts use mailfilter. In each premium account home directory is a file called .procmailrc that contains your rules for delivering mail. You are encouraged to read this procmail tutorial to help guide you through configuring it.

    Eventually, we will be switching all accounts to use mailfilter for mail delivery and filtering.

    We are also in the process of creating a web control panel tool that will help you edit your procmail and mailfiter rules and a more straight forward manner.


  17. How can I change my spam filter settings?

    Spamassassin provides a file called .spamassassin/user_prefs where you can set individual spam settings. To learn about what settings are available, please read the Mail::SpamAssassin::Conf man page by running this from the command line:

    man Mail::SpamAssassin::Conf

    Then edit the file using a text editor like nano.

    We are working on providing a web interface for this.


  18. Why doesn't all spam get detected?

    Spamassassin generally can detect a spam message 99% of the time, which is pretty good. But, the spam that spammers send out is getting trickier and trickier to detect. You've probably noticed in recent years that more spam is being sent out that looks more like a friendly email from your friend or relative. This kind of spam is hard to distinguish based on keywords in the body of the message and so Spamassassin can often only rely on the way the message was actually sent to detect it as spam. This leads to some messages getting through. Every time a new version of Spamassassin is released, we usually upgrade to it because the newer versions have updated rules that detect spam better.

    Unfortunately, all of this is an uphill batter and we fear that eventually spam will be nearly indistinguishable from legitimate email. Hopefully, more preventive techniques will help prevent the spam from being sent in the first place. You can help by contacting your Internet Access Provider and ensuring that they have methods in place to stop spammers from using their network.

  19. Can I have all email for a domain go to my account? / Funnelmail

    No, and there is a good reason for this. in the early 2000s, spammers started to change their tactics and send email to many different usernames at any domain name that they send to. So perhaps your real username is 'bsmith' and your domain is thebuzz.com. Even though you may not have such email addresses, spammers will try sending their spam emails to andrea@thebuzz.com, bill@thebuzz.com, chris@thebuzz.com, dan@.., jim@.., jane@..., etc. This means that if those emails are allowed to get through, they will get processed by the spam filter and fill up your inbox with tagged spam. This would result in extra resources being used for mail that should be dropped. Most people don't realize that this extra email is coming in for their domain, which can amount to as much as a couple thousand extra messages per month.

    It is better for you to create aliases as you need them. This way you know which addresses are being used and will have less spam in your mailbox.

  20. Do you offer a vacation autoresponder or other autoresponders?

    Yes, there is a program that you can run from your shell account called 'vacation'. It will prompt with a few questions and ask you to edit your response message. Right now this program will only work for premium accounts. Eventually we'll have an option for email only accounts too. Right now we don't offer any other autoresponders.


D. Website hosting

  1. Are there any limitations on disk space?

    Nope. None at all. Some users use over a gigabyte and one even uses over 20GB. All we ask is that you put the emphasis on webspace and not personal items in non-web space. In other words, its fine if you use lots of space in your web accessable directories for things like images, videos, audio files, etc. But please don't use your home directory for backing up your computer, large file storage and such. Although we might not say anything if you do, if the server starts running out of space before we are ready to add more drives, we might ask you to remove any large files in your non-web/non-mail space of your home directory.


  2. Are there any limitations on bandwidth transferred?

    There is no hard limit, but each account has an allocated amount of free bandwidth that they can use before having to pay for extra bandwidth. Unless we've told you otherwise, you have 10 gigabytes (GB) of free bandwidth transfer per month. If you go over that, the cost to you is $1 per GB per month. So if your website transfers 7GB of data in one month, you will not owe anything beyond your normal monthly fee. But if you were to transfer 15GB in a month, you would be charged $5 for that month in addition to your normal monthly fee.

    This is an aggregate measurement done across all of your websites. So if you have two websites on your account and each transfers 6GB for a total of 12GB, then you will be charged $2 for the 2GB that you are over.

    Also, we define a Gigabyte to be 230, which is 1,073,741,824 bytes. The webalizer web statistics software that we use counts bandwidth in kilobytes, so the number it gives you may be deceiving. We provide an accurate measurement that is used in calculating your bill and is available from the account control center on the suso.org website.


  3. Do you offer PHP?

    Yes. PHP is a server side language that allows you to make dynamic websites and applications. You can find out more about it at http://www.php.net/


  4. Do you offer CGI?

    Yes. CGI standards for Common Gateway Interface and is the method for a webserver to send and receive output from a program on the server. This, mostly like PHP, allows you to write dynamic websites and applications in a variety of languages like Perl, Python, C and even BASH shell script.

    To allow CGI scripts to safely run, we use Apache's suexec program, which makes the CGI programs run as the user that owns them. This offers a great number of advantages in addition to security. Most notably that you can write a program that can almost read/write any file that you could if you were logged into the server via ssh.


  5. Do you offer Java Server Pages?

    Not yet. We've been looking into it, but right now its kinda low on the priority list. If you have a strong interest in using it or a need to use it, please let Mark know by emailing him at mark@suso.org and he will reprioritize it accordingly.


  6. Do you offer ASP?

    Nope, and we hope never to do so. In our opinion, ASP is crap. Mark Krenz actually helped implement ASP at a previous job successfully, but it required too many extra modules that you had to purchase just to do simple things like send email. In our opinion, sending email should be a basic function of any programming language. Not an extension that you have to buy. So we simply don't want to support the use of such a poorly developed language and encourage you to avoid using it as well.

    Think tens of thousands of ASP programmers can't be wrong? Sure they can, millions of American voters where also wrong. ;-)

    Instead, we would recommend that you use PHP, it has all of the features of ASP and more. It also doesn't restrict you and has better performance.


  7. Do you offer Cold Fusion?

    No, simply because there has been little demand for it and it is also starting to lose popularity in favor of PHP. It might be silly to put this question in an FAQ if nobody has asked for it. But we're putting it here for anyone who might ask.


  8. Do you offer feature 'X'?

    If you want us to support a feature of piece of software, let us know. Most of the features of suso.org came about because of user's requests. You could be next!


  9. Can I use Dreamweaver with your server?

    Yes. We haven't done extensive testing with it yet though.


  10. Can I use Frontpage with your server?

    You can use Frontpage to make websites and then transfer them using SCP or FTP. But you won't be able to use the publish function of the Frontpage software. You will also not be able to use Frontpage extensions.

    We will not offer Frontpage Extensions, ever. The reason why is because their implementation under non Microsoft based webservers is limited and the protocol is undocumented. on top of that, it really just sucks. Don't believe us, take Suso's word for it.


  11. Can I put a counter on my website?

    Yes. Just find some webcounter software that you like that works as a CGI or PHP program and install it. You can also use your normal site statistics that are generated via webalizer. If you need help, just email mark@suso.org with your questions.


  12. Where are my website files kept?

    All of our website files are in your www directory. From there, you will probably have subdirectories for each of the websites that you have. For example, if you have a website address, 'www.toycars.com', then you should have a directory called 'www/www.toycars.com/'. If you have another website with the address, 'www.bobsmith.com', then you will have two directories in your www directory, one 'www.toycars.com/' and another one 'www.bobsmith.com'. The content for each website goes in each of those hostname directories.


  13. Why is my website kept in a subdirectory of the www directory?

    In order to properly accommodate multiple independent websites, we decided to use the www directory as a "directory gateway" to your website content directories. This way you don't have one website's content in a subdirectory of another website's content directory (called a Document Root).

    This also has the advantage of organizing your websites better. A lot of suso.org users have multiple websites, so we had to provide a standard to go by.


  14. Can I have multiple websites / domains?

    Yes. In fact, as stated in the question above, we have a special setup for doing so. You can have alias hostnames for a single website and you can have multiple websites. You are allowed up to 5 websites or 5 domains before you need to pay extra for them.


  15. How can I password protect a file or directory on my website?

    With the use of a .htaccess file in the directory that you want to protect, follow the following instructions:

    • Run htpasswd2 -cm /home/yourusername/private/.htpasswd username.
      (You will be prompted for a password twice)
    • Create a .htaccess file in the directory that you want to protect and put the following contents in it:
      AuthType Basic
      AuthName "Restricted Files"
      AuthUserFile /home/yourusername/private/.htpasswd
      Require valid-user
              
    • Now try going to the URL for that directory and make sure your browser prompts you for a username and password.

  16. Do you offer database access such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle or MSSQL?

    Yes, right now we offer MySQL for shared hosting customers. We are looking into ways of offering PostgreSQL, but it is more difficult to do so because PostgreSQL doesn't lend itself as well to shared hosting environments.

    If you need to use data from other database servers, it may be possible to establish a connection to your database server from suso.org. Another option is to dump all the data from the other server, convert it and insert into a MySQL database on our server.


  17. How can my webpages access a MySQL database?

    Please read this document for more information.


  18. Where are my website's statistics?

    http://hostname.for.your.website/stats/

    You can also access suso.org generated statistics about your websites by logging into the suso.org website and clicking on "Website Stats".


  19. Can I have direct access to the logfiles?

    Yes, in your home directory there is a link to your log files generated by the webserver. The link is called 'logs'.


  20. What webserver software do you run?

    Apache 2.0.x


  21. How do I upload my website from my local computer?

    Throw it really fast out the window and watch it grow wings and fly over to our server. Oh wait... nevermind.

    Probably the best way to upload files is by using an SCP program, which uses an SSH connection to send your files over an encrypted connection. Check out this document for details.


  22. Is PHP safe mode turned on?

    Yes.

    Why?

    Safe Mode is is a PHP setting that is used on many shared web servers to protect users from having their files accessed by other users. It basically only allows you to access files that are owned by your own user account. Unfortunately, this can cause problems if you have a PHP script that creates files, because the files will end up being owned by the web server user instead of your own user. There are many brain dead programmers out there that think that web hosting providers that have safe mode turned on are bad and should be avoided. However, these programmers usually don't understand the importance of providing this protection of file access by other users on a shared service. They are also usually used to running their own private webserver that doesn't need this restriction. Unless the web hosting provider is doing something special to protect users from this type of access, you should not trust providers that simply turn this feature off. Your website could end up being hacked.

    So as you can see, we can't turn it off without jeopardizing the security of all Suso users.

    Recently however there has been a solution to this problem. On our new shared user server, we are testing a technology that allows PHP scripts to run as the user that owns them. This is done similarly to how CGI scripts can run as the user via software like suexec. By doing this we can safely turn safe mode off and you will no longer have this access restriction. This premium service does however come with a small price of $2/month extra per vhost. We have to charge the extra amount because this technology requires more resources than standard PHP and we don't want to simply turn on this feature for everyone if they don't need it. This policy helps keep the server load reasonable for everyone.

    If you are a current customer and would like this feature for your website, please contact us.


  23. Is PHP register globals turned off?

    Yes.


  24. Do you offer any applications like a Shopping cart, photo album/gallery, discussion forum or guest book?

    Right now we are working on a few of these so that they work well with your suso.org account. They should be finished within 2005. Til then, you are welcome to install any PHP or CGI based application, let us know if you need help or if it gives you trouble.


  25. Are there any restrictions on content?

    No, as long as its not violating any laws or causing any adverse effects to the server. But if it is violating a law we won't ask you to take anything down unless we receive a notice for it.

    We do have the right to restrict your content for technical or security reasons. Here is an example. Let's say you want to create a website that speaks out strongly against malicious hackers. Well, it is just obvious that you may anger a lot of people who are quite capable of spending all their time trying to hack the server that your account is on, send massive amounts of spam, blackmail us somehow or cause us other massive technical headaches. Thus, we can decide based on this kind of precedent whether we will allow your content or not. Not because we agree or disagree with you, but simply to protect the best interests of all suso.org users who want to use the servers.

    For this reason, we will not host online Casino sites because they are frequently the victim of such blackmailing and many of them simply pay the ransom, which encourages the backmailing.


  26. How can I change the default error pages (like 404, 403 and 500) for my site?

    404, 403 and 500 are error codes that the webserver generates when something goes wrong with your web request. Either because a file or resource does not exist, lack of authentication or a server error of some kind.

    As an example of a 404 error, follow this link to a file that doesn't exist on the server. You will see that the default 404 error page shows the suso.org logo and gives a helpful error message to the user. The same happens by default on your own websites.

    But if you want to change this default error message, you can create an HTML or PHP document, put it somewhere in your webspace (We recommend creating a directory called 'errordocs') and then put the following in a .htaccess file in the base directory for your website:

    ErrorDocument 404 /errordoc/404.html

    And so on for 403, 500 and other codes that you might want to catch. If you choose to use a dynamic format like PHP, then there are some variables that Apache sets that you might find useful, check out HTTP_HOST, REMOTE_ADDR, REMOTE_HOST, REQUEST_METHOD, HTTP_REFERER and REQUEST_URI. These will allow you to show dynamic information about the request that was made. As an example, check out the custom 404 error message for suso.suso.org


  27. Where can I change the description and avatar picture that show up on the suso.org top websites list?

    By logging into the www.suso.org website and clicking on "Website Options". There you will see two links for every website that you have. One for changing the description and visibility of your site and the other for changing the avatar picture.

    Your description and avatar image are most notably used in the top websites listing on the suso.org website.


  28. Can I have an SSL certificate for my website?

    Yes. You can even buy a CA signed certificate from us. We are an official reseller for Comodo, which is a well recognized Certificate Authority (CA). What this means is that clients visiting your SSL enabled site will not receive a warning message that the certificate is not signed. The cost of the certificate is $79.95 and then we also charge $1/month for the service of using an extra IP, which is required for SSL to work. Pricing for the SSL Cert may change if the issuer changes the price. Please let us know before you request one.


  29. Do you offer any kind of shared wildcard SSL cert for all suso customers?

    Sort of. We have one now that can be used upon request. We're in the process of setting it up for everyone so that some applications will make use of a wildcard certificate. This wildcard certificate will be for *.suso.org, so all suso users will be able to use https://theirusername.suso.org/ for encrypted requests. At this time the wildcard SSL certificate will not be a CA signed certificate.


  30. Can I use a self signed SSL certificate?

    Yes. But you will still need to pay $1/month for the extra IP that you will need to make SSL work for your site. Either we can sign the certificate and key or you can provide us with them.


  31. Can I have a dedicated IP address for my website?

    Yes. The cost of the extra IP address is $1/month.


  32. Can I stream video or audio from my website?

    Yes. Often times streaming is simply done through the use of a CGI or PHP program. Other times it might be done through the use of a shoutcast/icecast server or video streaming server. You should email mark@suso.org to let him know what your requirements.


  33. Do you submit websites to search engines for indexing?

    We do not directly submit your website to search engines. We do however provide a list of websites on the suso.org server on our own www.suso.org website that the search engines will see and should add to their database of sites.


  34. How can I make my page ranking better in search engines?

    Probably the best way is to switch your site over to a Cascading Style Sheets model. Using CSS will often make relevant content show up higher on the page. This will often make search engines rank you higher because the content of your page is more relavent for certain keywords. Its also important not to use HTML Frames.


  35. How can I create a redirect for a page?

    Depending on how you want the redirect to function, this can be a tricky task as using the mod_rewrite module for Apache is not as straight forward as it might seem. You should be careful with this because you can easily cause your site to become unavailable. Please read the documentation on mod_rewrite and the URL Rewriting guide on the Apache website.

    To give you a few examples, here is a redirect that will redirect any client visiting URL A to URL B.

        RewriteRule /pageA.html /pageB.html [R]
        

    Seem easy? Think again. Now lets try to redirect someone from http://yourwebsite.com/pageA.html to http://yourwebsite.com/subdir/pageB.html

        RewriteRule /pageA.html /subdir/pageB.html [R]
        

    Opps, didn't work, did it. You'd think it would be that easy. The problem is with the way mod_rewrite has to be written to do everything it does, it kinda makes the syntax confusing for the user.

    This is the correct solution:

        RewriteRule ^pageA.html /subdir/pageB.html [R]
        

    There are many other things you can do with RewriteRule, but it is too much to mention here. Read the documents mentioned above to find out more.


  36. Why do I get 403 Permission denied?

    This is most likely because you have created a file or directory that has permissions that are too restrictive for the webserver to access them. The webserver usually falls into the "world" or "other" category. This means that any file you want to be accessible from your webpage. needs to be world readable. This can usually be accomplished by running this on the specific file:

    chmod o+r filename

    For more details on this, see this page.


  37. Why do I get 500 Internal Server Error?

    Usually this is either because you are using and invalid command or syntax in a .htaccess file or because a CGI program you are trying to run is having problems. For more information on potential CGI problems, read CGI scripts with suexec


E. Shell access

  1. What is shell access for?

    Shell access refers to logging into the server using your username and password so that you may have direct access and run programs interactively on the server. Usually this is used to run a mail client, manage website files or do network queries. Some people just prefer to have a Linux/unix-like environment.

    As an example, using the shell, you can run mail clients that respond much quicker (because they don't have to draw graphics on your screen) and sometimes have better functionality. You can directly edit your website and manage your files. You can also run many other programs that probably are not available on your local computer. Here are a couple screenshots.


  2. How can I access a shell for my account?

    suso.org provides an SSH server for providing shell access to the server. So to access a shell on the server, you need to use an SSH client. Once you have one, you simply ssh to the host yourusername.suso.org and login using your username and password. Your SSH program will ask you if you wish to accept the key for the server, go ahead and accept it.


  3. What program do I need for ssh?

    If you use Linux or a version of unix, you probably already have it installed. Just try running: ssh yourusername@yourusername.suso.org

    If it says "Command not found" then you will need to download and install openssh.

    If you use Macintosh then try downloading and installing one of the programs or .

    If you use Windows then your best bet is to use Putty.


  4. Why can't I use telnet to access my account?

    Because telnet is insecure and transfers data over unencrypted connections. By using telnet, your data is being sent as clear-text through the network and would be visible to anyone who has access to any network that your data is transfered through.


  5. What is all this talk about clear text/plain text?

    When data is transfered over the network, it is seen by many other network devices both local and remote. As your data goes from point A to point B on the Internet, some people have the ability to listen to the data you are sending and receiving. This is called network sniffing.

    Many older and unencrypted protocols on the Internet send their data in a way that makes it trivial for anyone to reconstruct the information and view private data like your password, name, username or other data like a credit card number if you were submitting it through a webform.

    By encrypting data through the use of SSL and a protocol like SSH, you can be more certain that your data cannot be seen by others on the network.


  6. What programs can I access from the shell?

    Many. We try to have most popular shell programs installed because many people on suso.org prefer to use shell access. See this document for a partial list. You can email mark@suso.org if you have questions about the availability of other programs.


  7. How can I change my password?

    You can change your password by logging into the suso.org website and clicking on the "Change Password" menu item. You will be prompted for your old password followed by your new password twice.

    Eventually, we'll have a password changing utility available again from the command line. We had to disable the standard Linux version after moving the location of the encrypted passwords to make it possible to change the password from the website.


  8. Do you auto-logout users after X minutes of inactivity?

    No. Auto logging out a shell after X minutes is usually done in bash using the TMOUT environment variable, which we don't set by default. Were it is possible and where it makes sense, we try to allow users to keep themselves logged into services until they choose to logout.

    If you are having trouble keeping a shell connection open due to network issues, you might try using the screen command so that you can run commands in a shell and detatch from them and come back to them later.


  9. Can I have crontab access?

    Yes. Cron is a way of running programs periodically. Each user has their own crontab for running their own programs. To access your crontab, just run:

    crontab -e

    The format of a crontab line is like this:

        * * * * * command to be executed
        - - - - -
        | | | | |
        | | | | +----- day of week (1 - 7) (monday = 1)
        | | | +------- month (1 - 12)
        | | +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
        | +----------- hour (0 - 23)
        +------------- min (0 - 59)
        

    So if you wanted to generate some web statistics at 11:30pm on Monday Wednesday and Friday, you would setup a line like this:

    30 23 * * 1,3,5 webalizer -Q -c ~/webalizer.conf

    Any output from a command being run will end up in your mailbox. Please be careful when running something more than every 10 minutes. You should test your program a few times first and make sure it runs relatively quickly and doesn't affect system resources to much. You can check by running your command on the command line prefixed with the time command. This will show you how long it takes the CPU to run your command. Anything with a combined sys and user time over 0.1 seconds or a real time over 60 seconds is pretty long and you should limit running such commands to less than once every 30 minutes.


  10. Can I run programs unattended?

    If it is related to the content of your website or mail, that is fine. For example, we provide a program that Suso Banderas wrote called randomsig, which will generate a random .signature file every time you write an email from a shell email program like pine or mutt. This program runs as a background process and can be left running for long periods of time on the server.

    Running a program like an IRC bot, SETI@Home client, game server or similar is not allowed. Simply because it is not really related to what suso.org does and is a waste of server resources.

    In the future (as we have in the past) we are probably going to setup a separate server to run such processes on for whatever purpose. We also may run a gaming server for a few popular games.


  11. Can I compile software on your server?

    Yes. We have a mostly complete build environment setup for you to use. However, use good judgment in what you are compiling. Small programs are ok. Large programs that take more than a minute to compile are in the gray area. Anything longer than that should be avoided. As an example, it would not be ok to compile the Linux kernel on the server. Not sure why you would want to compile something large anyways since your target environment is most likely going to be different.


  12. Why is my shell access so slow? Lags? Stops?

    It could be high load on the server. But usually it is network latency and congestion somewhere inbetween suso.org and your connection.

    If your terminal connection just stops all of a sudden and doesn't respond for more than 10 seconds. Try pressing Ctrl-Q on your keyboard. Sometimes people accidentally type Ctrl-S, which stops the terminal output.

    If you are going to send an email to us about this, please include the exact times that you experienced the lag, otherwise we can't help you.


  13. How can I transfer files to/from the server?

    The recommended way to transfer files to and from your account is by using the SSH protocol in the form of an SCP (secure copy) program.

    On Linux, if you have ssh installed, you should have a program called 'scp' that you can use.

    On Macintosh, try using ...

    ON Windows, you should use WinSCP.


  14. FTP doesn't work for me?

    It could be that you're using "passive mode FTP". Look around in your FTP client's settings for an option to turn Passive mode off. You are however recommended to stop using FTP and switch to SCP, as it is much more secure.

    Eventually, FTP support will be dropped from suso.org in favor of SSH/SCP and more secure and encrypted protocols.


  15. How can I learn more about using the shell?

    You might try some of the following links to tutorials and documentation:

    The Linux Terminal - A Beginner's Bash
    Advanced Shell Topics: Intro

    Or try searching online for "Bash Tutorial" or "Shell tutorial".


F. Domains

  1. Do you really register a free domain for your customers?

    Yes we do. Right now we only do this for premium accounts. Upon creating your account, you can request a domain from us that we will purchase on your behalf and will continue paying for as long as you have an account with us.

    The main reason we do this is so that you can take advantage of all the features of suso.org, some of which (like email aliases and extra virtual accounts) are only available if you have your own domain name.

    Unless you let us know otherwise, your mailing address used on your account application will be used as the contact information for your domain.


  2. What name servers do I point a domain to?

    First, before you transfer a domain to our name servers, make sure that we know that you plan on doing this by emailing mark@suso.org. This will make sure that we have the domain setup prior to the transfer and that you will not lose service for the domain.

    Once we have given you the go ahead, the domain can be transfered to the following DNS servers:

        primary:    ns1.suso.org  (IP: 216.9.132.140)
        secondary:  ns2.suso.org  (IP: 216.9.132.150)
        

    Note that not all registrars require the IP addresses listed above. You will probably only need to use the hostnames.


  3. Can I buy a domain from you?

    Yes, if you would rather that we manage the purchasing and renewal of your domain, we can purchase one for you and bill you for it annually. Please email marina@suso.org for pricing and details on this service.


  4. How can I register a domain on my own?

    If you want to register your own domain, all you need to do is find a reputable domain registrar and register one through them. Then point the domain to the following DNS servers:

        primary:    ns1.suso.org  (IP: 216.9.132.140)
        secondary:  ns2.suso.org  (IP: 216.9.132.150)
        

    Note that not all registrars require the IP addresses listed above. You will probably only need to use the hostnames.


  5. Which registrars do you recommend?

    Not all registrars are equal. In fact, there are some that are just downright bad to go through. Many people think that all the registrar does is sell you a domain and then its responsibility is finished. That's not from the case.

    A registrar's main responsibility is to make sure that your domain is loaded into the Internet's root DNS servers consistently and routinely. In the past there have been some registrars that failed to do this reliably, which meant that some people's domains would stop working, even though the company hosting the DNS server and website of the customer were working fine. This would of course cause intermittent outages around the Internet.

    Some registrars that we have gone through in the past and generally do a good job include DirectNic (directnic.com), Omnis (omnis.com) and Register (register.com). Network Solutions does a good job but is comparatively a bit expensive and has notoriously lengthy customer service wait times.

    We would recommend that you stay away from the following registrars because of poor service or technical difficulties that we have experienced in the past:

        Go Daddy (godaddy.com)
        RegisterSite (registersite.com)
        Gandi
        

    Also, there is no reason for you to pay for domain parking or website hosting service through registrar, if they offer it, it is only because they are trying to make extra money off of you.


  6. How can I transfer my domain from another DNS server or web service provider?

    Check to see which registrar your domain is registered through. When you registered your domain, you should have been given or choose a password to access their website so that you could change the DNS servers that your domain is pointing to.

    Before changing anything, you should contact us first and let us know if there are any special requirements for your website or email like database access, a specific computer language that your website uses, mailing lists for your email and so on. This will help us ensure that your transition goes smoothly and that you have no outages.


  7. Why does it take so long for my domain to start working?

    Once a domain has been registered or a DNS change request has been made, it can take up to a day or two for the change to take effect. Most of the time it will only take a few hours, but sometimes it can take much longer. This has to do with who registrars communicate with the Internet's root DNS servers.


  8. How many domains can I host on my account?

    You can host as many as you want to. You will not be charged for extra domains unless you go over 15. The charge for extra domains beyond that is $1/month/domain.


  9. Can I just point specific records to your server?

    Yes, just let us know exactly what records those are in advance.


  10. Can I just host email with you or just host a website with you?

    Yes.


  11. How can I add additional records to my domain?

    Just make a request for which records you need to mark@suso.org.


  12. Do you provide an interface for managing my domains and records?

    No. In our opinion, these interfaces are not good because it allows users to make changes that can affect the availability of their website or mail. We understand that there are people who understand how to properly make these kinds of changes and we may eventually provide an interface, but for now, no. As always, you can simply send us changes via email and we will happily make them after verifying that they will work and do what you are intending.


  13. Why is there a 'web' record and a 'www' record for my domain?

    :-) Glad you noticed that. Adrian Hosey, who Mark Krenz used to work with, came up with the idea of using 'web' as a hostname to mean website instead of using 'www'. This is simply because it is easier to pronounce.

    See Adrian's own explaination.

    So, to help promote this, all domains hosted with suso.org have a web record as well as a www record. Both will always point to the same place.


G. Dedicated Servers, Colocation

  1. What is a dedicated server?

    Sometimes the services and features that a customer needs exceed what is available or possible with a shared server. At that point, the customer would want to look into having their own server and customized services.

    A dedicated server is where we (or you if you want) setup a server and the software to meet your requirements. This server is then only used by you and any of your friends or clients that need to use it.


  2. What is the difference between a colocated server a dedicated server and a virtual server?

    These three terms have been confused over the years by customers and companies that try to sell them as similar products. The generally accepted definitions are as follows:

    A Dedicated server is as stated above, a server that a customer has all to themselves for customized use and services. This dedicated server is then managed by the company that provides the server or network access.

    A Colocated server is similar to a dedicated server, but instead the customer completely manages the server and is usually given physical partitioned space for their servers that is separate from other customer's servers.

    A virtual server refers to the practice of creating a separate software partition of software that acts like a dedicated physical server, but is actually hosted with other virtual servers on the same physical server. Sometimes people will also say virtual server and mean virtual host, which is simply a partitioning of websites from each other. Virtual hosting is something that is done by the webserver software (like Apache).

    Suso currently offers dedicated servers and colocated servers.


  3. Do you buy the server for me?

    Yes, we can if you sign up for at least a 6 month contact. If you have your own equipment then you just need to pay month to month. Email mark@suso.org to ask about the current specifications of a server that we would purchase for you.


  4. Can I provide my own server?

    Yes. The only thing that we ask is that you provide one that is rack mountable and comes with mounting rails.


  5. Do you have redundant power backup?

    Yes. We have UPS devices in the rack that kick in immediately in the event of a power outage. After 30 seconds of power loss, the diesel power generator will automatically kick in and stay on for at least 30 minutes afterwords. The diesel generator can last for over 40 hours without refueling and can be refueled during an outage. The longest power outage we've had in the last 5 years only lasted 4 hours.


  6. Do you have a redundant network?

    Our connection to our network backbone is redundant. At this point, we do not have live redundant network switches and dual nics on each machine, but that is something we will implement in the next two years.


  7. What type of server facilities do you have?

    We are currently hosted in a secured colocation room in downtown Bloomington. The building itself is locked after 7pm and on Sundays and the colocation room has restricted access. The room is cooled to 17 degrees C (62 degrees F) and has locked server racks. The room is environmentally monitored.

    From the machine room, there is a sonet fiber loop that runs between Bloomington, Columbus and Indianapolis. In Indianapolis, the fiber is connected to a major internet backbone through a 100baseT cable that runs only a few feet. So the network is very resilient to potential problems like a cable cut.


  8. What services can I run on the server?

    Almost anything you want. We don't allow you to run any Windows operating system due to security concerns that it brings. The only other services that we will restrict are ones that would do any malicious activity or send spam.


  9. Will I have 24/7 access to my machine?

    Yes. However, it might be different than you expect. Right now we can't allow customers to have unaccompanied access to their servers, so always have an employee on call to accompany you into the machine room. Our response time is pretty fast (around 15 minutes) and you will be able to contact us at anytime, day or night and on holidays. In fact, this may be more convenient for you if you are out of town because we can provide services for you like power cycling your server or letting you know what it says on the console, etc.


  10. Will anyone else have access to my machine?

    No. The only people who would be able to touch your machine are suso.org employees and yourself. Of course, we will not do anything with your machine without contacting you first or if emergency warrants it.

    If you mean network access, we have a requirement that you provide us with a method for checking the security of your server. This includes one of the following.

    • A current list of software packages installed on each of your servers and sent to us weekly.
    • A normal user account that we can use to access a software listing.
    • Superuser access to your server so that we may perform updates for you at an additional cost.
    • Permission from us to waive this requirement of information.

    We only do this so that we can maintain the integrity of our network.


  11. How many IP addresses do I get?

    1 per physical server. If you need more IPs you can purchase them for $1/month per IP.


  12. How many power outlets do I get?

    1 per physical server. If you need more outlets for a single server then you can purchase them for $10/outlet/month.


  13. How much physical space can I use?

    The price of a server allows you to use 1U of vertical space in the rack. The server can be up to 28" deep including cables coming out the back. If you need additional vertical space, it can be purchased at varying rates depending on whether it is your first or second server. See our colocation page for details.


  14. How much bandwidth do I get?

    50 Gigabytes per server. If you go over this limit, you will be charged $1/GB per month that you go over. We measure a gigabyte as 230 (1,073,741,824) instead of 109 (1,000,000,000), which is to your advantage. So, 50 Gigabytes is 53,687,091,200 bytes.


  15. Will you backup my dedicated server(s)?

    Yes, unless you ask us not to. If you need to have your own backup system that is separate from ours, we can also change the media and store it offsite for you.


  16. Can you manage the server for me?

    Yes. The price will depend on what level of support you need. All dedicated servers come with basic support which includes giving you on call access to your server, changing backup media (if you have separate backup) and doing remote reboots. Anything in addition to this averages anywhere from $100-$500/month.


  17. Can I reboot the server remotely?

    Currently, you can only do this by contacting us. This means that you will have about a 15 minute delay before your server is rebooted.


H. Website programming / maintenance / design

  1. Do you have a portfolio of websites you've created?

    Yes. It is available here.


  2. Can you make an interactive website for me?

    Yes. In fact, that is our specialty. Almost all of the websites that we create are interactive, many of them have backend administrative features and so on. All you have to do is tell us what you need.


  3. Can you create flash animations?

    Yes. Anywhere from something simple up to complex flash based websites.


  4. Can you setup an online store?

    Yes. We can either write a solution for you or use existing software.


  5. Can you support / maintain / repair existing sites?

    Yes. Support, repair and maintenance of existing sites is done on the current hourly basis. Our knowlege of many different programming languages, databases and software allows us to quickly make minor fixes and give an accurate estimation prior to doing any job.


  6. Can you create a database based site?

    Yes. In fact, almost all the websites we create use a database in some way. This FAQ itself uses a database to store the questions, answers and information about usefulness.


  7. What languages can you work in?

    For computer languages, we like to work in PHP and Perl, but we can also work in ASP/VB, Python, Java and C.

    For natural languages, besides English, we can create sites in Spanish and Russian. We also know people who can perform translations to other languages at a contract rate.


  8. What databases can you work with?

    We prefer to work with MySQL or PostgreSQL, but we can also work with Access, MSSQL, Oracle and dbm. We are experienced working with normalized design of databases, transactions, complex queries, optimization and much more.


I. Linux and Open Source support

  1. What is Linux?

    Linux is an open source operating system that is cheaper, more stable and has greater flexibity than many other operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS. You can download it for free off the Internet and install it on almost any computer. It allows you to run all types of applications including network services, programming, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing, 2D and 3D graphics, games, audio editing, video production and much, much more. Linux has recently started to become more mainstream so we have started to support it and Open Source to help it reach more end users.

    More information can be found on our Linux page and at http://www.linux.org/.


  2. What is Open Source?

    Open Source refers to a method of distributing the programmer's code that is compiled into functional applications. When you buy proprietary software in the store or download it off the internet, you are not able to view/modify or redistribute the code that was written to create the application you use. This makes it impossible for you or others to fix any bugs, security problems or enhance the software.

    Open Source remedies this problem by providing a licensing framework that gives additional rights to the user of the software including being able to view, modify and redistribute the source code under the same conditions. This has many advantages over closed source development. An example of a closed source program would be the Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. An example of Open Source software includes the Linux operating system, the Apache web server and Mozilla Firefox web browser. There are many other examples of course.

    Click here to read more about Open Source software.


  3. Do you support Linux and Open Source?

    Yes, we provide both onsite and offsite support and training for Linux and Open Source software. We actively contribute both code as well as monetary donations to the community.


  4. Can you help me install or support Linux?

    Yes. We can usually install Linux in 1-2 hours. We can also help answer your questions while with you and also by phone or email.

    Feel free to ask Mark a question right now


  5. Can you help me install or support other Open Source software?

    Yes. We can help you in person, by phone or through email.

    Feel free to ask Mark a question right now


  6. Do you sell computers with Linux pre-installed on them?

    Yes. We currently have only one model available, which is called Suso Uno. We can also custom build a machine to your needs and install/configure Linux for it.


  7. Do you offer or sell distributions of Linux?

    Yes. Actually, we give them out to people in the Bloomington community for free. We currently offer Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and S.u.S.E. Just stop by our office to pick up a disc.


  8. Do you offer Linux/Open Source training?

    Yes. We have many classes that we offer dealing with Linux and Open Source software and technology.


J. Classes

  1. What kind of classes do you offer?

    Most of our classes center around Internet and Open Source technologies. We offer classes that are introductory, intermediate and advanced as well as individual and group settings. Our classes can either just inform you or help you train for a professional certification.


  2. How much do your classes cost?

    This depends on the length of the class and whether it is considered advanced or not. Please check our course and price list.


  3. What topics do your courses do you offer?

    Here is a partial list of topics:

    • Web design
    • E-commerce
    • Webpage creation: HTML and CSS
    • Data objects & XML
    • Javascript
    • Linux
    • Databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL)
    • Programming (PHP and Perl)
    • Web servers (such as Apache)
    • Mail services (such as Postfix or Courier)
    • System Administration
    • Computer hardware


  4. What is the difference between the STAIRS classes and other classes you offer?

    STAIRS (Suso Technology And Information Related Sessions) classes are mainly to help promote information technology to the Bloomington community and are free 1.5 hour long sessions. They are held on Wednesday evenings from 6-7:30pm and are open to anyone, regardless of experience. They are there to get people excited about internet related topics and hopefully generate their own projects and interests.

    All other classes that we offer are more structured and more hands on. We will go into greater detail and the classes have more allotted time. You will also be provided with free materials during these classes.


  5. How many people can attend a class?

    Our classes are limited to 1 to 2 people per class. Most of the time it will be one on one, which allows you to get very personalized attention and ask all the questions you need.

    STAIRS classes are limited to about 4 or 5 people per class.


  6. Do you have group rates?

    We normally charge per person that attends a class. If you have a group of 3 or more we will discount the per person rate by 10% for every 3 people going up to 40% at 15 people. After 15 it is 50% off per person.


  7. Can you do a class on X? How do I find out?

    Most of our classes cover Internet and Computer topics, to find out if a specific topic can be covered, please email mark@suso.org.


  8. Can you do a class on Weekends, at night, during the day?

    Yes. The only time we can't do a class is between midnight and 7am. We need to sleep then. ;-)


  9. Can you travel to our location to give a class?

    We can travel up to 30 miles away from Bloomington, Indiana for a class at no extra charge. Beyond that we need to charge $1/mile traveled in addition to the fee for the class.


  10. Are there any materials I need for a class?

    Just yourself and an empty glass.


  11. Who teaches the classes?

    Most classes are taught by Mark Krenz, who has a great deal of experience tutoring people with computer topics, giving lectures and presentations.

    Additional classes are taught by Marina Krenz, who has a lot of experience in programming, e-commerce and website development.

    We might also from time to time have a guest instructor.


K. Billing

  1. How often are invoices sent out?

    Invoices are sent out monthly and usually between the 1st and 5th day of the month. We try to get them out on the 1st or 2nd. You are given til the last day of the month to make any payment that is due.


  2. How are invoices sent out?

    Invoices are sent out via email to your suso.org account as well as to the email address you provided us when signing up. If you have multiple suso.org accounts, then it will be sent to the primary account.

    If you need a paper invoice sent via postal mail, please let us know and we can arrange that. We'll even buy the stamp for return payment. ;-)


  3. Can I have my invoice sent to an alternate email address or postal address?

    Yes, we can send the email invoices out to multiple addresses, you just have to let us know which ones. Postal invoices can also be sent to multiple addresses, but you need to let us know which one you want the return payment envelope to be in.


  4. What methods of payment do you accept?

    Cash, check, credit card and Paypal.

    We also of course accept our own credits that you receive for things like refering new users.


  5. Can I setup an automatic recurring payment?

    Yes, by credit card. The best way to set this up is to choose the recurring payment option when you sign up for your account or to make a payment using our suso.org account config website and choosing the recurring payment option.

    You can also stop by our office to set this up.


  6. Can I pay online?

    Yes. By logging into the suso.org website with your username and password, there is a menu item called "Make Payment". If you have multiple accounts, you will need to login under the primary account.


  7. Can I pay at your office?

    Yes. Please call ahead to make sure that we will be in the office at the time you plan to stop by. Please do not slide payments under our door.


  8. How safe/secure is my credit card or payment information?

    Quite safe. We spent a lot of time coming up with a secure way to store credit card and payment information. If your credit card information is written down anywhere, then that paper is either destroyed via shreder or stored in our safe.

    Any time your credit card information is stored digitally, it is kept in encrypted form and only a secret passphrase known to select employees can be used to decrypt the information.


  9. Are there any late charges for not paying on time?

    Currently we do not charge anyone for being late on payment, but you are of course subject to having your account or service disabled if you do not pay your balance due within 15 days of the due date.


  10. What happens if I don't pay?

    If you don't pay your balance that is due within 15 days of the due date, your service or account will be disabled. If your service is disabled then you may lose important emails or visitors that you probably won't get back. So its important to pay on time.


  11. Can I get my data back after my account has been disabled?

    Yes. We believe that even if someone doesn't pay for service anymore, they still have the right to data that belongs to them. Within 3 months of account cancellation, we can provide you with your data free of charge. Afterwords we charge our hourly rate for the time it takes to retrieve your data, regardless of whether we can get it or not. We can either email it to you if its small or provide it to you on a CD or DVD with the cost of the media at your expense.


  12. Is there any fee for re-enabling my account?

    To re-enable your account you will need to pay any outstanding balance that you owe plus a $25 re-enablement fee.

    The $25 fee is waived if you were disabled at your own request (such as if you were on a long vacation, etc.)


  13. Who can I contact about my bill?

    For questions regarding your bill, please email billing@suso.org or call 877-336-7876 or write to:

        Suso Technology Services, Inc.
        P.O. Box 3476
        Bloomington, IN 47402
        

    Please include your username and/or invoice number in any correspondence.


L. Other questions

  1. Why are you so lax and personal with people?

    Because they are people. You are a person. You have a brain, you have feelings and emotions and expectations. So why should we destroy our relationship from the start by putting you on hold while we transfer you, send you cheesy form letters, make bold marketing statements that tell you nothing, and use policies and shareholders as a straight jacket for controlling you.

    You deserve better than that. We all do.

    Business leaders will try to tell us that we can't mix business and personal time. But they haven't stopped for long enough to realize that we all have become so busy in our lives that business and personal have mixed together into a giant sludge of work time. No matter what anyone says, business IS personal.

    All of us have put up with our share of scripted customer support, run by people who have been trained to treat customers as cattle. They only help people because they have to. Their thought is always "How much can we get away with" instead of "How can we help each other and make our lives better". Well thats just plain sickening and we're not going to take it anymore.

    Our goal is to always be this way. Never sacrifice this great relationship that we have with people. And if we ever do, all our customers have the right to come back and smack us in the head, because we'd be betraying their loyalty and the reason why we're here.

    Because its your business too.


  2. What can I expect from Suso in the future?

    Growth. We are planning on growing to serve more people and show the world how a company should be run and how it should treat its customers. As cheesy as this might sound, an example for other companies is sorely needed.


  3. Who is Suso Banderas?

    Suso Banderas is Mark Krenz. Mark Krenz is Suso Banderas. Suso Banderas is the penname/pseudoname that Mark originally used for suso.org and developing Open Source software and creative works. If ever you see a reference to Suso Banderas, it is refering to him.


  4. What is up with the naming of the servers?

    Usually servers and computers on a network are named by a theme, such as colors, foods, fictional characters, types of trees, famous people, rude noises, etc.

    The naming scheme that we're currently using for suso.org servers is based on the lesser known names of famous musicians and composers. Here is a list of the current names used up until now.

    • Antonio (Antonio Vivaldi - Composer)
    • Franz (Franz Liszt - Composer and pianist)
    • Lata (Lata Mangeshcar - Indian Singer)
    • Felix (Felix Mendelson - Composer)
    • Gustav (Gustav Mahler - Composer)
    • Bela (Bela Bartok - Composer)
    • Arvo (Arvo Part - Composer)
    • Darius (Darius Milhaud - Composer)
    • Trent (Trent Reznor - Composer/Performer)

    They have all made good pronouncable names for servers.


  5. How can I meet other suso.org users?

    Write them an email. Run susochat from the shell and wait around. Come to our office and hang out, you'll eventually run into one. One of the great things about suso.org is that its more than just a webhosting provider. Its a community. So we actually encourage users to get to know each other.


  6. Do you ever have public events or parties that I can attend?

    The first official public event we had was the opening of our office. There were some unofficial events like the hIQ live music sessions that Mark Krenz had in his apartment. In the future we want to have more events that bring people together. We also had a Linux gaming fest in our office in April, 2005 and we'll have one again in the Fall of 2005.

    Any special events that we hold will be announced to all the users and posted on our website.


  7. Do you have an IRC/Chat server?

    Yes. It isn't accessible from the internet, you need to login to your shell account and connect to it using a shell based IRC client. Or you can run susochat, which starts up an IRC client for you.

    For adventurous users, it is also possible to setup an SSH tunnel to your shell account that connects to the IRC server and then use a GUI client on your local computer to connect through the SSH tunnel. Email mark@suso.org for details on how to do this.


  8. What other neat stuff can I find on suso.org?

    Well, if you look through the top websites list you will find all the different sites that are hosted here. Sometimes we have special services like a game server for popular network games.


  9. Can I resell suso.org accounts?

    Yes. Contact us for details.