What is New? – As of September 2014, I am no longer employed (after 4 years with the company). While over 5,000+ people visit this site daily and I have helped millions with my information, I rarely get a note of thanks or a donation. As such, it would be greatly appreciated if you would dig down deep, even $5 US dollars helps a lot and donate to keep the wheels turning. I wish to thank you, kind reader, in advance for your generosity.
If you cannot or are not willing to donate: Follow my Twitch stream or Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Following or Subscribing will allow me to become a partner and have more options available.
GoFundMe link: http://www.gofundme.com/blackviper-com
GoFundMe also has the option of remaining “Anonymous” in the respect that your name will not be displayed on the campaign page as public information along with the donation amount. I still have the ability to thank you personally for your contribution via email proxy.
GoFundMe Text, posted April 7, 2015:
Starting in 1999, I began www.blackviper.com as a personal project to learn about how the web worked and meet people. It turned into much more (article from 2002) What Is The Purpose of BlackViper.com?
I also have a passion for performance and removing unneeded, often memory hogging and CPU cycle stealing processes.
I began optimizing Microsoft Windows 2000 and realized people were actually using my information I posted. From that point on, I continued updating through Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and learning more and more about how computers worked, but it has come at a price.
In order for me to have legal access to all Microsoft OS’s for me to do my testing, an MSDN subscription costs ~$700 a year. Multiply that by 16 and you have a large burden that I have carried for a long time. For those not wanting to whip out the calculator, the total is $11,200.
I also maintained a separate internet connection from 2000 up to 2005 while I was hosting the entire domain from my house, maintaining all servers and learning the hard way what it really takes to keep a resource online on the internet. I never had any advertising on the site from 1999 to 2007 due to my feeling that my work was a hobby and I should not get paid for it. This varied in cost from $80 to $130 a month for five years, or on average $100 a month/$1200 a year or $6000 in that time span.
From 2002 to 2009, I was in a variety of traditional media outlets to include various magazines, radio shows as well as two live TV shows: Black Viper In The Media
None of them I was actually paid for and did not ask for any money.
In 2005, I moved closer to my family. I was unemployed for two years.
My savings disappeared and I began working for minimum wage in a small town for three years, not even taking home enough to pay for the house payment. During this time, I used high interest credit cards to pay income tax and fill in the gaps, while still keeping my website updated as much as I could afford to do.
From 2007 to date, I have paid my hosting provider a sum of $105 a month/$1260 a year to keep the domain up and running with high up time and massive bandwidth availability. Something that I could not do on my own. This price alone is ~$12,000. I have also swallowed my pride and stooped down to having Google advertising on my site and every time I see an ad displayed, I cringe deep down.
Since very few IT jobs are in the local, Northern California area and minimum wage was just not cutting it, in 2010, I started with a company traveling full-time. Usually, I was only home 24 hours in a 7 day period (I flew out on Sunday and flew home on Saturday… rinse repeat).
In September 2014, I was part of a layoff due to a contract renegotiation and my job disappeared.
In October 2014, I decided to purchase an SSL certificate to allow website visitors to login using the verified and secure method of HTTPS. The certificate is $400 a year. It will expire in six months.
Now, I am fully in deep with credit card debt, but still have over 5,000 visitors per day and millions of page views in the last year alone, yet I am struggling to keep the electricity on. I love helping people for free, but it is getting harder and harder to keep going.
In 2014, my server reports 1,410,582 unique visitors with 6,945,408 pages served.
As a contrast, Google reports 1,999,329 pages served in 2014. In other words, less than a third of all pages served I get revenue via ad income.
Just counting the expenses that I have accounted for on this page, ignoring my free time (thousands upon thousands of hours) and various other expenses related to the domain (P.O. Box fees for people to contact me via snail mail), hits a grand total of $29,600!
My minimum credit card payments each month across four different maxed out cards is $988.
The campaign total that I am asking to raise ($36,000) is the amount I have outstanding on my credit cards as of April 2015.
The only thing I ask is to get back to where I was when I was honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1998: credit card debit free.
Thank you, kind reader, for getting this far.
– Charles “Black Viper” Sparks
Update on April 13, 2015:
In order to give back to the internet community as a whole and an effort on my part to reach my goal, I will state this:
If I reach my GoFundMe campaign goal of $36,000 US, I will release all content posted on www.blackviper.com, to include all images and text, past present and future, into the public domain.
This means, I will not claim any Copyright on any and all images, including my install guides, or any text that I have drafted for Windows Services!
This action, I feel, is the best way to give back to everyone that I have helped as well as, I feel, an amount of money I never, ever would have thought possible to earn with my “hobby” website.
I thank you, in advance, for your generosity!
-Black Viper of www.blackviper.com
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If I have helped you, please take a few seconds to donate via PayPal using your credit card, an existing account, or create a new one. International donations are also accepted via PayPal (converted to $US).
All donations will:
- Help pay for hosting charges.
- My time used to provide this free information.
- I am currently unemployed. Any money will help keep this domain going.
If you do not desire to use PayPal, you may contact me at the postal address listed on the Contact BV page.