FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions):
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And the answers...
Many Rhodesian Web sites are hosted with free providers (such as Yahoo! GeoCities), or using ISP-provided Web space included with a dial-up or dedicated Internet connection. This subjects these sites (and their addresses) to the capricious whims of those companies, particulary the free hosts. If your site is with free host A today, there's a good chance you might have to move it to free host B tomorrow if free host A goes bankrupt or decides that they don't offer free hosting anymore. When that happens, your site disappears from the radar for a time, and may be lost forever to some people. (In fact, it may be lost to you forever if you don't keep a local copy of your entire site.) The solution is to own your own domain, because you can point your own domain to any server on the Internet so that your site will never disappear even if you have to move the actual files. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from getting your own domain like rhodesia.com (if it's available, which it isn't), but they are not free and you're not going to be dealing with a Rhodesian with an interest in seeing the Rhodesian World Wide Web survive and prosper.
There is no charge for this service.
No, we have no control over the content of your site, as we do not host your site. Sites who use the URL forwarding feature rather than the IP-based DNS service have a short (about five to ten seconds) delay implemented before the visitor is forwarded the the actual address of the site. This delay can be circumvented by the visitor by clicking a link. The purpose of the delay is to inform the visitor of the site's permanent domain and to give them a chance to bookmark that domain rather than the non-permanent address to which they will be forwarded. No advertising will be presented on that briefly-displayed page.
These are good and valid questions. This service is backed by NinerNet Communications, an Internet hosting company in business since 1996 and owned and operated by a Rhodesian who has as a personal goal the stated Purpose of RhoNet. That's why this is free. Of course, as with anything in life, there are no guarantees that NinerNet or its owner will be around tomorrow. However, by placing the operation of RhoNet into the hands of the community of Rhodesian site owners, we hope that this service will survive either the demise of NinerNet, its owner, or both.
Yes, there is! In order to achieve the Purpose of RhoNet, we ask that all members include a link somewhere on their home page (i.e., the main page of the site) back to RhoNet. In fact, this link is small and unobtrusive enough to fit nicely into a corner of every page on your site, especially if you run a template-driven site. Anybody can place this link on their site -- you don't have to be a member. Please paste the following HTML into an appropriate spot on your page:
<a href="http://nic.rhonet.org/" target="_blank" title="RhoNet -- Free Rhodesian domains and network of Rhodesian sites."><img src="http://nic.rhonet.org/rhonet_button.gif" width="88" height="31" border="0" /><br /><font face="Arial,Helvetica" size="2" color="#008800">RhoNet</font></a>
This will produce...
... which will open our site in a new browser window when it is clicked.
We will not send you unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE, also known as "spam"). However, there are many ways to get onto a spammer's list. If you publish the e-mail address you will receive from us on a Web page or in a newsgroup, it will eventually be added to a spam list and you will receive spam. There are many ways to avoid this, but that's beyond the scope of this FAQ. To reduce your possible exposure to spam, we do provide every registered owner of a Rhodesian site with a publicly-accessible, Web-based contact form. You can publish a link to this form rather than your actual e-mail address, and this will go a long way to preventing your address from falling into the hands of spammers.
All members are required to join the RhoNet discussion list. This is a low-traffic list which fulfils one of RhoNet's missions, that being, "To provide to the owners of Rhodesian Web sites a forum through which they can communicate, co-operate and help each other to ensure the mutually-beneficial Purpose of RhoNet is achieved." That Purpose is "to ensure the continuity and availability of Web sites related to Rhodesia, its people and its history." Joining this list is required because staying in touch is vital to achieving this Purpose. The only other e-mail you might occasionally receive will relate directly to the provision of services by the company providing the service, that being NinerNet Communications.
No! We do, however, reserve the right to withdraw your access to a domain without recourse or appeal to you if you are guilty of spamming (i.e., sending unsolicited bulk e-mail [UBE] or unsolicited commercial e-mail [UCE]) or for any other reason we may find appropriate and reasonable at the time.
No, we are not offering e-mail addresses on the rhonet.org domain independent of Web site addresses. However, you might be interested in our sister project, RhoMail, which offers e-mail addresses on a number of different Rhodesian domains.
You can find tips for doing so on this site, as well as a list of people who will be willing to help you.
If you agree with the Purpose and Mission of RhoNet, then there's no reason not to join us. There are two main benefits to you of joining RhoNet and getting your own, free, uniquely-Rhodesian domain: 1) You get the aformentioned domain, which you can use no matter where you actually decide to host your site. It's portable, meaning people will always know where to find your site even if you have to move the files to a different physical server. 2) You do your part to ensure that your site, on which you worked hard so that people could learn about Rhodesia, will always be available even if you die or decide not to spend any time on your site anymore.
As alluded to above, this is one of the key benefits of joining RhoNet. There are many reasons that sites disappear from the Web every day, including, the owner dies; the owner decides not to bother anymore and deletes it; or the free host goes under or starts charging for hosting, and so the owner decides to give up the site. We aim to ensure that Rhodesian Web sites survive all of these events. How we plan to save a site in the event of the death of the owner is something we still have to work out, and will probably have to work out with the owner of each site. However, if the owner of a Rhodesian site decides in advance to throw in the towel, then RhoNet will offer to move the files to our own server and archive the site as it was on the day it was archived (while still being accessible at the site owner's chosen RhoNet domain, of course). There will be no charge for this archiving, but the owner will no longer have access to the site to change, upload or delete files. Of course, if the owner changes his mind, he can "check out" the archive again and resume hosting it wherever he or she wants and, of course, at the owner's chosen RhoNet domain.
If you run a Web site, you're probably already aware that putting your e-mail address on a publicly-accessible Web page means that you will start receiving spam sooner rather than later. There are alternatives, and some are better than others, but we believe that we have developed a pretty good system to stymie both the automated harvesters of e-mail addresses and the people who actually seem to collect e-mail addresses manually, one at a time (read "Nigerians"). Each member of RhoNet will receive their own publicly-accessible, Web-based contact form to which they can link rather than putting their actual e-mail address on their Web site. This will effectively mask the owner's e-mail address, and so prevent that e-mail address from receiving spam.
Good question and absolutely yes. There was much discussion on this point initially, as the initial concept was to include all of the countries that comprised the former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (and therefore to name the project something other than RhoNet). However, much as those three countries (now Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi) were once tied together, that is not necessarily the case today and in the minds of people who used to or still do live there. So, this project was distilled to focus mainly on what was Southern Rhodesia, then Rhodesia, and is now Zimbabwe. However, recognising the shared name, any Northern Rhodesian site that wishes to have a RhoNet domain is welcome to have one. There is the possibility we may start an identical project with a different root domain for Northern Rhodesia if the demand is great enough, but we'll see. If this interests you, please let us know.
The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are millions of vanity sites out there on the Web, and that's not what RhoNet is about. If you have a significant and distinct portion of your personal site devoted to purely Rhodesian subject matter (i.e., no pictures of dogs, babies and a journal of what you ate last week), then you can get a domain for that portion of your site. Even pictures of your Rhodesian Ridgeback in the garden of your old place in Salisbury doesn't count -- the subject matter has to have a broad appeal. Of course, sites that focus on individuals or families significant to the history of Rhodesia do qualify.
Again, the short answer is no. Much the same as with the answer to the previous question, RhoNet is not about promoting sites that do not have anything specifically to do with Rhodesia, its people and its history, even though the site might be owned by a Rhodesian. However, if your company has something to do with Rhodesia or its history (other than just being located in present-day Zimbabwe) and would appeal to a broad cross section of Rhodesians, then you might qualify for a domain.
Not unless you have more than one distinct site.
No, you can only get a domain that is not already taken. There are also some reserved names, which include (but are not limited to), "admin", "ftp", "lists", "mail", "nic", "pop", "smtp", "staff", "support", "web", "www", and all single-letter and -number names. Applications will be vetted to ensure that the domain chosen properly reflects the content of the site for which it is chosen, and is not too generic in nature. If the requested domain is found to be unsuitable, an alternative will be recommended.
Sure, if you think that you can actually get enough for it to make the transaction worthwhile. We don't imagine that these domains will have much monetary value, so we don't anticipate a problem with this. That said, the buyer must realise that their site must be a Rhodesian site, otherwise they will not have the right to continue to use the domain and we are under no obligation to continue providing service to that domain just because they paid someone for it. There will also be an administrative charge to cover the expense of updating the database of US$80 plus 20% of the gross value of the sale (payable in US dollars). However, please note that selling a RhoNet domain defeats the Purpose and Mission of RhoNet, and so will be frowned upon.
Please fill in the form to join us.
A RhoNet domain works just like any other domain on the Internet -- there is no difference. The difference between a domain and the long, ugly address you get from a free host is that you own the domain. (Well, legally speaking you lease a domain, but unless there is a legal reason to take it away from you, you effectively own it.) If you decide to move your site from free host A to free host B, you cannot take your address with you so that people can still find you. However, if you have your own domain, then you can move that to wherever you want.
A RhoNet domain works just like any other domain on the Internet. It can be used to access a Web site and send and receive e-mail (among other things). There is no functional difference between the way microsoft.co.uk works, and the way nic.rhonet.org works.
Your domain will end with rhonet.org. What comes before rhonet.org is up to you, but it can contain only letters (a-z, case does not matter), numbers (0-9) and the dash (-) and cannot begin or end with a dash. Shorter is sweeter. For example, a site devoted to the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) might choose the domain rli.rhonet.org. That site would also be accessible at www.rli.rhonet.org.
This depends on whether you use URL forwarding or IP-based DNS service. In certain situations we can effectively mask your ugly, free URLs and replace them with your nice, short RhoNet domain -- in other situations we will not be able to do that and only your home page (the main page of your site) will be accessed via your RhoNet domain. If this is a concern for you before you decide whether or not to get a domain, please contact us and we'll figure out the best way to make it work for you.
We do not provide Web hosting through this service, although you can buy Web hosting (at a 15% discount for Rhodesians) through NinerNet Communications. You should consult the documentation provided by the company that is actually hosting your Web site.
Anywhere you want. As it says above, NinerNet Communications is in the hosting business. However, NinerNet charges for their hosting -- they do not have any free hosting options, although they do offer a 15% discount on most services to Rhodesians. If you are looking for free hosting you have a few options, the easiest of which is probably the free hosting offered by Yahoo! GeoCities. You can also check with your ISP (Internet service provider) -- many ISPs offer space for a small Web site as part of the package they offer for your dial-up access to the Internet (or whatever connection you might have to the Internet through them). A third option, if you're brave, is to search through the million or so hits for "free web hosting" at Google. A fourth (not necessarily free) option, if you're even braver, is to run your own server at home or from your office -- not an option for the faint of heart, those without a full-time Internet connection, or those without a decent amount of computer knowledge, experience and patience.
If you use the e-mail forwarding feature, you will have the choice to use one or both of two e-mail addresses which we will provide to you. Both will forward to your own, existing mail box. They will be of the form firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, where "xxxxx" will be replaced with your actual choice of prefix. If you use the IP-based DNS and you define a mail exchanger pointing to your own mail server, you will have complete control over all e-mail sent to your domain, thereby giving you the ability to create whatever e-mail addresses you like on your domain. You will also still have the single firstname.lastname@example.org address, and this will forward to your existing mail box.
We do not provide mail storage facilities. If you use the e-mail forwarding feature, your e-mail is automatically forwarded to your existing address, and will be there the next time you check your e-mail as you usually do. If you use the IP-based DNS service, then you should already be smart enough to know the answer to this question.
This is quite possible and a good idea. We can't possibly provide instructions for every e-mail program out there, but we'll give you instructions for the two main ones (Eudora and Outlook Express). These instructions assume you are using e-mail forwarding -- if you are using IP-based DNS service, you should already be au fait with these procedures or should seek support from the company hosting your domain. Eudora 6.2: Click Tools | Personalities; right-click a blank area of the personalities tool bar and select "New" from the pop-up menu; click "Skip directly to advance account setup"; click the "Finish" button; deselect the "Check Mail" check box; fill in the appropriate information in all of the fields using one of your RhoNet addresses as the "Email Address", leaving the "User Name" box empty, and using your ISP's SMTP server in the "SMTP Server" box; click the "OK" button. (Repeat this procedure for another personality if you would like to use both of your provided forwarding addresses.) Outlook Express 6.0: Click Tools | Accounts; click the "Add" button and then select "Mail" from the pop-out menu; step through the wizard, using one of your RhoNet addresses as your e-mail address, your ISP's POP server for your "Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP or HTTP) server" and your ISP's SMTP server for your "Outgoing mail (SMTP) server"; complete the wizard and click the "Finish" button; find the "Mail" tab and click it; highlight the account you just created with a single left-click and then click the "Properties" button; on the "General" tab clear the "Include this account when receiving mail or synchronizing" check box; click the "OK" button; click the "Close" button. (Repeat this procedure for another account if you would like to use both of your provided forwarding addresses.)
If you are planning to use the Web and e-mail forwarding, then all you need to provide us with are your current URL (Web-site address) and e-mail address. If you are planning to use IP-based domain name service (DNS), then we will need the IP address of your Web server and the domain of your mail server. If you are planning to use the name-server delegation service, then we will need the domains and IP addresses of your primary and secondary name servers.
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