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Following are news and thoughts from Michael Dipper, founder and maintainer of atic.org ...

About

ATiC Logo

The Africa Twin Internetional Connection (ATiC) is an independent group of Honda Africa Twin riders on the net. Its origin may be found in 1996, when me (Michael Dipper) and Achim Mühlberger decided to go for a first international meeting with some very few people in Zell am See / Austria.

An idea was born! Meanwhile ATiC has more than 2000 members living in more than 50 countries spread all over the world. They are all united by the guiding philosophy of encouraging international cooperation and adventure with the common hobby, the Africa Twin.

Our aims are to support those people in coming together regardless of borders or nationalities. We provide a platform for the exchange of news and information. We want to be free of any pressures or duties that arise in a club and so this is just a connection and not an official club. You won't get a membership card or a club newspaper... On the other hand you are free to join or to leave whenever you want.

Michael Dipper, atic #1

The past has shown that the ATiC meetings became cool and worthful events to proove our internationality and team spirit. Everytime it is once more impressive, which distances people accept to join on ATiC meetings and how easy communication between different nationalities can be!



Future of ATiC?

Some time has gone by since Honda has stopped the production of our common hobby and legend - the Africa Twin. Since that point in time also the the ATiC community has encountered several dramatic changes that might have us think about how to go on in the future.

Initially the ATiC project was started by me to be an international online community of AT riders, living from communication and exchange between the members. The next steps were public events (AKA meetings) in order to ease contact and strengthen the community. These were not only great and unforgettable events but also became a really essential point of my annual holiday life.

If we now look back for 3-4 years it is obvious that ATiC has divided into two mainly independant parts: The first part is the ATiC community around the website atic.org and the other part is anyting that has to do with events and meetings.

While in the beginning both parts were endorsing each other quite soon those people that participated in the meetings were not necessarily those that helped in building the community. However, an online community only lives as long as there is feedback from the users - but this has dramatically decreased. For years ATiCs have been asking me for new website technology and new features which were introduced step by step. First we had the web pages, then mailing list, mailing archives, chat and finally the forum. Surprisingly in the same way the technology enhanced, the user's participation decreased. I have been asking so many times for participation in the ATiC community by sending reports, articles or any other stuff - I really don't want to count. Despite me always asking for support the feedback went down from year to year. Lately we had less than 5 postings a month, roughly the same amount of private mails in my own mailbox, very limited private contact, no user contributions for at least two years and most important no more christmas video mass mailings :)

The next effect was that also response to the meeting announcements went down. Perhaps the reasons were quite exotic locations in the years before like Crete or Norway which were not really easy to reach? But on the other hand questions for alternative locations and especially for volunteers (!) in organizing the events were not really widely answered. It would not say that there is no interest in going on with the meetings, but organization is very tardy, as long as nobody volunteers as the "ATiC travel agent" - a name I sometimes thought about giving myselves ....

From my point of view all this is far too less feedback. So many friends have simply and silently disappeared (meanwhile we also seem to be a german-only party ?) and I never heard the true reasons - where is Italy, France, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Greece, the Netherlands, ... (sorry for those i forgot) ?

My conclusion is that ATiC has come to a stagnancy. Among the members there is still some motivation for keeping at least the meeting part running. However, I also think that the meeting part cannot survive without the community because otherwise we are in five years nothing more than a 10 people travel group with no more internationality and no new faces coming in. This makes me quite sad since ATiC community has been accompanying my life for more than 10 years and that what has been left over now looks quite poor.

In these thoughts I want to thank all of you for a great time with cool events and lots of fun. I have no idea what the future will bring but for the moment I suppose there will be no news and updates on atic.org since keeping up a large website like atic.org without a minimum amount of user support is a hard task and currently I am not willing to do this solely on my own.



News

December 2006

Sorry guys! Due to the facts described above currently there will be no more maintenance or content upgrades on atic.org. The pages will remain here for historical reasons. There is no reason not to change this decision within the near future, but currently community participation seems to be too low to keep atic.org up to date.

Services will remain running as long as there is no maintenance needed (updates, security patches, ...) but may be stopped without further notice. As a result there are no new registrations to ATiC possible.

September 2006

After a three month test period with our new forums I have stopped this project. Participation was too low and we have seen that the forum does not spur communication but instead divides the members in "forum users" and "mailinglist users" which leads to the problem that you never know where to reach the others. Going on the
mailinglist way should focus back communication to a central point and obsoletes my tasks in monitoring an additional forum in order to avoid legal issues.

May 2005

Once more we had to switch equippment and location of our server since the sponsored hosting in Stuttgart is no longer available. We are now online on a rented root-server located in Nürnberg/Germany. Donations welcome :)

September 2004

New Hardware! Since we realized that the SUN SparcServer is a quite cool server but not relly a performant one we switched back to Linux, now running a Dual Pentium3 with 800Mhz. Thanks to LF.net in Stuttgart for free hosting of the server!

November 2002

Since changes and vitality on atic.org became quite low during the last months, we decided to invest some energy in a new server structure for easier modification and insertion of new information. We are now running a content management system, so basically it should be possible for *everyone* to participate on atic.org's growth with input of text and graphics without knowing about Unix or HTML.

If you feel like keeping atic.org alive, feel free to contact us.

September 2000

New Hardware! atic.org now runs on a SUN SparcServer 20 dual CPU system.

March 2000

The ATiC pages have a new home. Since the old server at the University of Münster was no longer available, we had to look for new hosts. Currently the site is hosted in two different locations: The domain, main pages, cgi-scripts and database are hosted in Stuttgart/Germany at LF.net. Tour guide, accessory pages and mailinglist are located in Brno/Czech at Grisoft. Thanks to those companies for supporting ATiC!

Due to financial limitations we can no longer operate a dedicated server. This will reduce the quality of some services but we are trying to reinvent them as soon as possible. If you have any webspace to share feel free to contact us :)

April 1999

This month we had a very nasty hacker on the machine who attacked a vulnerability in the mailserver. To avoid remaining backdoors, we did a complete reinstall of the machine. The offered services are reduced to an absolute minimum now and we hope that this improved the security.

February 1998

While you are reading this page, it seems that our new web server www.atic.org is up and running. The idea of putting the ATiC pages on a dedicated server machine arised on our meeting in Greece due to the fact that the old storage at the University of Stuttgart will be available only until the end of 1998.

To save money for the hardware we have decided to set up a Linux machine (P100, 1GB). Its location is at the University of Münster which is so friendly to provide the connectivity. Linux allows a very cost efficient server and gives me the ability to do all the management tasks remote from Stuttgart (about 300km away ...). The hardware runs quite smooth up to now. However, after some sudden uncontrolled stops we had to change the power supply and case in October.

normal "running conditions" of www.atic.org ...



May 1996

Here we go! After our first meeting in Zell am See/Austria which was called an International Africa Twin meeting, we have no decided to call ourselves the Africa Twin Internetional Connection. The hompage was switched from the "prviate" look to use this new "semi-official" name. We are looking forward to see this thing growing and would like to hear your feeback.



 
 
 
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