A summary of the organization as it came to be follows.
The primary activity of the Artifex is providing free, permanent internet services. Common services are:
- e-mail accounts and domain-level e-mail hosting
- web hosting
- unix shell accounts
Other services include:
- help in learning about the UNIX server environment
- SQL database hosting
- web application deployment
- print/textile media distribution
Membership is open to the public. People with no relation to any member can contact the administrators to set up an account, and they have. Nonetheless most members find and join the Artifex through the acquaintance of one or more existing members.
Some members represent non-profit entities or groups of users. They thus have multiple accounts and specialized hosting. In this manner the organization provides, and has provided hosting to both non-profits and groups of loose affiliation. It does not, and has not, provided services to for-profit businesses or ventures.
The first Artifex server came up in Houston in the first three months of 1997. In August 1998, the organization registered with the state of Texas as a not-for-profit corporation. Its board of directors remains the three people responsible for the first server’s administration: Jack Lange, Ben Eloy, and Hunter Blanks.
Today the primary Artifex server resides in California on a dedicated fiber link. Member donations provide funding for new equipment. The largest size of the Artifex bank account, to date, remains under fifteen hundred dollars.
This is what brief story I can offer about our small outfit; it has already taken too long for me to put together. For further information, please write to me, Jack Lange, Ben Eloy, or Mike Hugo. I’m hblanks on the artifex.org server.
Hunter Blanks, 11/29/10