Tcp.com shutdown

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UPDATE: As of December 2011, I no longer own the tcp.com domain and can no longer forward any old email addresses.


tcp.com will be shutting down all hosting operations as of February 28, 2007. This page will tell you how to deal with this transition.

(Note: if you have additional suggestions you can hit 'edit' above and add your comments.)

After the shutdown, tcp.com will no longer host any third party web sites, ftp servers, shell accounts, email accounts, mailing lists, domains, domain registration service, mx service, muds, databases, etc. I will continue to host only my own sites and services.


I will make every effort to assist you in moving your services to a new service provider, however it is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements prior to the end of February.


To assist with the transition, the following services will be provided through the end of August 2007 as a 'best effort' service:

  • E-mail addresses in the tcp.com domain will be forwarded to the address(es) of your choice. Before the shutdown, please tell me the address you want your email forwarded to. (E-Mail is subject to spam and virus filtering before forwarding.)
  • Web sites under the tcp.com domain (e.g. http://www.tcp.com/~user/) will be redirected to the web site of your choice. Before the shutdown, tell me which URL you want your site redirected to.
  • If you have a tcp.com subdomain (e.g. example.tcp.com) then you can transfer this to your new hosting service. You will need to setup the subdomain with your new hosting service and then send me the DNS servers for the domain. You will need your hosting service to provide web, email and dns hosting.
  • A change of address notice may be provided on any tcp port offering a mud or other interactive service. Before the shutdown, tell me what message you want displayed on which port.

The above services will be active at least through the end of August 2007 and will be removed without further notice after that.


I will also retain and make available for a only limited time backups of all files, configurations, databases, etc. It is highly recommended that you copy off all files prior to the shutdown date.

If you have your own domain registered, you will need to find new hosting for that domain. I will not provide any web hosting, dns hosting, mx forwarding for any personal domains past the shutdown date. You will need to make all necessary arrangements to host your domains prior to the shutdown date.


Q) Where can I get basic web hosting/email/etc.?

A) There are a wide variety of hosts available for this. You should be able to get sufficient service for your sites for only $5-10/month.

Here are some of the hosting services other tcp.com users are moving to:

I do not have sufficient experience with commercial web hosting services to be able to recommend any particular service, but am currently using HostGator's Baby Plan which costs $9.95/month. Here is a list of other prominent web hosting services:

RealMetrics Shared Hosting


Q) I want to run a mud, run tf, run screen, modify the web server, or other more customized service not offered by a general web hosting account?

A) You will probably want to get what is called a 'Virtual Private Server' where you get a virtual server to which you have root access and can modify the software, install new software, create multiple shell accounts, and run pretty much whatever you want, however you do need some Unix admin experience. Here are some of the VPS services tcp.com users have used:

For a budget VPS solution, check out WestHost which offers VPS with every web hosting account from $4/month and up. This is a good option if you have modest VPS needs, however they offer no guarantees of how much CPU or memory you will get, and their disk space and bandwidth allowances are rather minimal. Still, this is a much better option than just a shell account.

I do not have sufficient experience with commercial VPS hosting services to be able to recommend any particular service, but am currently using VPSLink's Link-4 plan which costs $39.95 per month. Here is a list of other prominent VPS hosting services:

RealMetrics VPS Hosting

Please note that some of the general web hosting services above offer ssh shell access, however the terms and conditions typically only allow such access for maintaining your sites, and not for general shell usage. In contrast, a VPS usually has few restrictions on what you may run.


Q) How can I transfer my files without slowing down tcp.com?

A) Instead of downloading from tcp.com, download from neko.tcp.com instead. It is on a separate network connection, so your downloading will not slow down everything else. You can login there with the same user name and password as tcp.com and will have access to everything in your home directory. However, your incoming email box will only be available on tcp.com itself.


Q) What will you be doing about domain registrations?

A) I will continue to renew any domains which are expiring prior to the end of February 2007. For domains expiring after that, you will need to take care of renewals on your own. You can either keep your domain at my registrar, Joker.com or you can transfer it to another registrar. Sometime after the shutdown, I will remove myself as contact for all domains (except my own) registered through Joker.com. After that point I will no longer have any access to your domain. It is therefore critical that you take control of your domains before then.


Q) How do I access my domain(s) if I want to stay at Joker.com?

A) Go to Joker's Website. In the upper left corner enter your domain name in the 'Whois Search' box and hit 'GO'. Look for the owner e-mail address for the domain. Then look at the menu items on the left and go to the very bottom and select 'New customer registration'. Then register an account using the exact same owner e-mail address as shown in the 'Whois Search' result. When you log in to the account you should be able to access the domain(s) registered with that owner address. If not, you can still renew any Joker registered domain by using the 'Simple Renewal' process. You should also go into the 'Service Zone' to remove me as contact for your domain(s).


Q) How do I transfer my domain(s) to another registrar?

A) Follow the procedure above to access you domain at Joker.com. If your new registrar supports AUTH-ID transfers, go into the 'Service Zone' and request the AUTH-ID and then start a transfer with the new registrar using this AUTH-ID. Otherwise, in the 'Service Zone' remove the transfer lock from your domain, then at your new registrar, request them to transfer in your domain. Please note that transfers take at least a week, so don't leave it to the last minute.


Q) I tried the above but cannot access my domain(s)?

A) Please send me the details of which domain(s) you are trying to access and what you tried and I will try to assist you.


Q) Is there anything I need to do once I've moved my domain to a new hosting service?

A) Yes. You will need to tell me remove your domain configurations from tcp.com. Otherwise there may be problems accessing your new site correctly in some cases, and e-mail from tcp.com users will not work correctly.


Q) I have an application that uses a mysql databases on tcp.com. How do I move it?

A) Check if the application has a 'backup' or 'database dump' feature. If it does, this is usually the best way to get a hold of your data. Otherwise you can use the command line program /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqldump to get a backup of your database. Let me know if you need assistance.


Q) How do I download/move my e-mail?

A) If you access your email with an e-mail program on your desktop such as Thunderbird, Mozilla, Outlook, etc. then the easiest way is to just drag and drop your e-mail messages either to a local file on your desktop computer or a folder on another server. You can access your tcp.com e-mail via IMAP or POP protocols using server 'tcp.com' and your regular user name and password. From the command line your e-mail inbox is in /var/mail in a file named after your user name. For example if you are user 'jsmith' then your inbox will be /var/mail/jsmith. If you used server folders then your folders are typically in the mail or Mail subdirectories of your home directory.


Q) I have a mailman mailing list on tcp.com. How do I get the list of subscribers and archives?

A) Please contact me with the name of your list(s) to obtain these items in flat file format.


Q) I have some other service or application on tcp.com I need help moving?

A) Please contact me with the details and I'll do what I can to assist.


Q) Why are you doing this?

A) Relax. It's not that I don't love you anymore. tcp.com takes a fairly significant amount of time and money. When I started it, there really wasn't a good alternative, but over the years commercial services have improved to the point where they are much cheaper and professionally run than I can do myself. I would also like more time to focus on my business.


Q) What will happen to your own web pages, mud, lists, databases, etc.?

A) My own stuff will be moved to commercial hosting services.


Q) Can you still host my web page/list/mud/database/etc. if I pay you?

A) No. All of these services are available commercially for much cheaper than I can offer them.


Q) I'd like to give you a little something to thank you for all the years you hosted tcp.com?

A) Thank you very much. You can send a PayPal e-check payment to 'jlick@drivel.com' (no credit cards!) or a real check payable to 'James Lick' to one of the following addresses (in order of preference):

10469 台北市中原街52號1樓
黎建溥先生
TAIWAN R.O.C.

James Lick
1F, #52 Zhong Yuan Street
Taipei 10469 TAIWAN R.O.C.

James Lick
14781 Memorial Drive #2115
Houston, Texas 77079

For credit card donations you can send to PayPal account 'billing@tcp.com' though note that PayPal will take a cut.