Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – underground antifreeze edition

Oops – sorry.

Should read “underground antiFREEPER edition.

In case you didn’t know, the non-stop Freepathon (less than three weeks between each quarter now) is starting to piss some of the Freeperati off a tad.

Apparently you CAN’T fool all of the people all of the time.

And yet another underground antifreeper campaign being conducted via freepmail

Posted on 7/17/2017, 11:48:56 PM by Jim Robinson

“Yet another”? How many have there BEEN, Jimbo?

Received a copy of the message pasted below that apparently is circulating via freepmail.

In response, all I can say is John is my son and my partner in FR along with Chris and Amy. None of us make a six figure salary. I designed and wrote the original version of FR back in ’96, but it was my very first internet project ever. It worked, but codewise it was a dog. And virtually impossible to maintain.

When John came in with me, he rewrote the software and made it work greater than ever before and included maintenance tools that were sorely needed. I never dreamed that a homegrown internet site could handle the traffic and the millions of posts that we do. And even including the few times when we were down hard for more than a day, over the last 21 years we have better than 99% uptime.

And later, when our growth saturated and used up all the resources of our original ISP, John designed and built our multi-server hardware system, negotiated a contract for sufficient bandwidth and installed it at the San Jose data center. I’m not a techie so the hardware and software are John’s baby.

And he and Chris are planning on running FR after me and Amy are gone. We are not about to let it die, assuming there’s still a need and willing members.

This is about 20th warning being circulated during the last 20 years that FR’s demise was imminent within the next year. Someday they may be right.

Lastly, if the guy who wrote the message below thinks he can do a better job than we do, he should go for it. And, for crying out loud, if he thinks he’s being ripped off he should stop donating immediately and possibly should start posting somewhere else.


“I don’t want to answer this question out in public, but I do want to answer it because I believe that many potential donors are in the same position. I have donated fairly regularly, but am becoming increasingly hesitant to continue on.

We see from the numbers that EXCLUDING expenses (collocation, bandwidth, legal, credit card processing fees, etc.) Jim (and I assume John shares) is pulling in a cool quarter million per year from this. Its his baby… he created it, he does what he can from home to babysit it… that’s fine… more power to him. It seems that his son John is the other principal who does the running to the data-center when things need fixing.

I don’t know how much John gets from this… but there’s enough profit there for BOTH Jim and John to make a six-figure salary. John apparently already has a full time job… he gets around to FR issues “when he can squeeze in the time”. If someone’s getting a six-figure salary to mind a system then that system ought to be sort of a high priority, not something that can be squeezed in on weekends now and then.

It is what it is… but here’s where it’s reaching the breaking point for me and I think many others:

Given the frequency of hardware failures, it’s becoming clear that it is now more likely than not that FR won’t exist a year from now. Many of us have suggested that hardware upgrades are becoming increasingly more of a priority… they’re now imperative.

There in NO discussion of this even being considered. I get it that Jim’s a stubborn guy… no one likes change, and a migration is a scary project.

But, without it, this site is going to evaporate… soon. Hardware is cheap… he could get a pair of great servers for $20K… the software is fine, no need to spend a ton of money writing some fancy new system. Just replace the hardware with something modern. Get some of the many experts here to volunteer a few days to work on the migration.

A brand new setup would cost less than one month’s “salary”… but would guarantee that FR survives. If giving up one month’s pay to invest in the future of his site (and the future of his income) is too much to ask, then hold a special freepathon to raise it. I can almost guarantee this money, if it was known that it was being allocated to a legit hardware upgrade plan, would be raised in a matter of a few days.

Perhaps Jim’s plan is to simply squeeze as much money out of it until it dies, then forget about it... we don’t know… he’s not saying anything (at least publicly that I can see). If that’s the case, he should at least be honest about the plan to the people he’s asking to pay his salary. If he has a plan for the site to continue, then he would be better served telling his donors what that plan is…. that would encourage more to be on board with the plan.

I would hate to see FR die abruptly and permanently. The likelihood of that happening soon is becoming very high at this point if these outages and other hardware issues continue on their current trend. If that’s NOT the plan, then I wish Jim would communicate to his donors about it and get moving to prevent that… before its too late.”


What a screed.

And the freepmail he referred to is pretty hairy, also.

I do notice that whoever forwarded this freepmail didn’t bother to tell Jim Rob who actually sent it, though.

Accidental omission, or a dead fish in an overcoat?

Not going to post too many responses here, as the Freepers who agree with the anonymous freepmailer (and isn’t it odd that this $800,000.00 / year site can’t run a simple text search on the Freepmail module?)  – well, they’re laying low.

Most responses are like this one:

To: Jim Robinson
I would be delighted if all of you made that much.
I can’t imagine that any but a tiny, irrelevant minority would begrudge you a good living from FR.
You don’t have to explain, or justify what you make from FR, the best Conservative web site on the internet, influential to powerful people who give you very little public credit, and followed by people all over the world. 

I would give more if I could, and if my business ever starts to make money


I will.

3 posted on 7/17/2017, 11:57:31 PM by Steely Tom (Liberals think in propaganda)

Since the anonymous antifreeze letter and Jim Rob’s screed of need took up so much front page space, the rest is below the desperate plea to “read more”.

More freakishly fast Freeper fellatio follows….

To: Jim Robinson


We are offering a prayer here for you and John and your families.

May God bless you abundantly.

9 posted on 7/18/2017, 12:06:28 AM by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)




To: Jim Robinson
I actually was hoping you earned more. It would suggest your model is successful and be an encouragement to other hopeful startups.
One of the original reasons I like FR was the light weight format. Not riddled with third-party ad monsters and unnecessary image and video fluff. 

But I gotta say,

Uh oh.

both as a simple site user in a world of many options and as a web and database developer / IT guy myself… the performance issues are baffling.

It does not (should not) take much power to serve a site like this. Assuming you have sufficient bandwidth, it should be relatively easy to have stable performance. And should require little maintenance.

Take that for what it’s worth to you, but it is accurate.

12 posted on 7/18/2017, 12:10:24 AM by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)

To: Jim Robinson


Free Republic wouldn’t be the same if it were run with “corporate efficiency.” A little down time let’s everything breath(sic).

24 posted on 7/18/2017, 12:36:56 AM by LeonardFMason (426)

…like a fine wine.
Or a strangling wino…..
To: Jim Robinson


Appreciate the sentiment but, I hate it when people say “ God Bless”.

Does that mean “God Bless You” or “Homeless, will work …” ?

27 posted on 7/18/2017, 12:40:53 AM by A strike (Academia is almost as racist as Madison Ave.)

You mean the guys begging at street corners for money?
If so, would that be a “Bum-a-thon”?
To: Jim Robinson
Its my understanding the Jim has MS. My wife also has MS. For those of you that don’t understand the medical costs associated with this disease, the costs can enormous. One MS medication costs over $15,000 a month!!! The one my wife takes costs $5,000 a month, and that’s for just ONE.
Don’t know how much Insurance Jim has, but its NEVER enough,
luckily we do have good insurance. Not to mention the cost of other drugs to treat it, the cost of a Wheelchair van, and other costs. Not only that but California has one of the highest costs of living in the country.I don’t know what FR pays in hosting fees, but It isn’t cheap.

Somebody wants to complain about FR, they need to live in Jim’s Wheelchair for a few days.

74 posted on 7/18/2017, 5:54:52 AM by amigatec (2 Thess 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:)
Don’t worry – you can pay for it all with the hundreds of thousands in your Trumpcare medical savings account. Of course, if you lose your current job, you’ll both be out on the street faster than you can say:
“Pre-existing condition” !
A few dozen more knob-laving posts follow, then…
To: Jim Robinson


I do have to say that if the chronic technical issues were my responsibility, they would have been long ago solved.

Can’t think of any significant IT system I’ve encountered in two decades plus of enterprise computing in which this low level of reliability and performance would have been tolerated. Speaking perfectly frankly, if you ran a business-critical system in this manner for an operation in my area of responsibility, I would be forced to fire you to keep my own butt out of liability; it wouldn’t even be optional.

On the day I signed up for FR I was a junior programmer becoming a senior programmer. Now 20 years later I have a fair claim to be one of the most skilled and experienced business information techs on the planet. I’ll make one last offer to help then I’ll keep my peace on this issue.

80 posted on 7/18/2017, 6:15:35 AM by thoughtomator

To: drop 50 and fire for effect; Jim Robinson


>If the guy who wrote that message thinks he can do a better job, he should write up a serious and proper proposal to fix the glitches. I’m not IT expert, but 32 years in the military taught that if you are going to discuss a problem, bring a potential solution with you.

We’ve had these ongoing problems for many years. Jim has been unwilling to accept any volunteer help from the FReeper community, from what I can tell.

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened.

81 posted on 7/18/2017, 6:18:46 AM by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)

To: Jim Robinson 

I love FR and read daily. I am lost when it is down- no fault of yours. I am so grateful that we have a forum like FR! God Bless you! I would give more monthly if I could but SS doesn’t go far.

Just wait until Trump gets through with it, and it’ll go even less far than it does now.


Chickens / Col. Sanders vote.

It is sad but I wonder how much of this “ concern” about FR comes from trolls and their wishful thinking. Trolls have popped up for years and many have very old signup dates.

89 posted on 7/18/2017, 7:16:20 AM by nclaurel

One Freeper uses this opportunity to bewail the lack of civility on FR, and can’t they all just go back to typing “G_d”?
To: Bartholomew Roberts; Jim Robinson


And crude language.

Profanity is used quite regularly these days. In fact, many FReepers’ see nothing wrong with using profane and scatological references. Sewer talk is becoming more and more acceptable on FR and it should stop.

In the past profanity was not allowed and FReepers would self-censor and use alternate spellings or use their creative language talents to express themselves.

Not so today, and that is sad.

Left-wing sites use/permit profanity, after all, those sites are intellectually lazy. We are better than that.

93 posted on 7/18/2017, 7:58:05 AM by Hulka

The f**k you say, you G_d-darned woman’s naughty bits!
Well, that’s it for this week – see you good people next Monday morning!
(as an aside – I actually wondered today for the first time what it would mean to have Freeperville go belly-up. Of course, I’d be out of a job, but on the other hand, I could finally get clean without the aid of scouring powder and steel wool)

One thought on “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – underground antifreeze edition

  1. JimRob: “cain’t stop now! There’s griftins’ in them thar Hills O’Dumb!”

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