As all Palers will know, 'Beyond the Pale' has been troubled with difficulties lately. Corrupted links, missing pages, lost guestbook are only a few of the problems the Palers have experienced. And behind the scene the webmasters have been struggling hard to keep the site running. The reasons are many, as detailed below, but the situation that is in our hands needs an immediate solution.
What's happened is this:
BtP is now more than 1,000 html pages (amounting to several thousand printed pages) and a similar amount of pictures. Actually this is a huge number in the Internet world, with most websites representing only a handful of html pages. This has been, and will be, a cause for server-overload, with connection problems and lost files as a result.
The year 2000 problem is already causing problems for computers in general and the Internet in particular. The reasons are many (and too technical for my knowledge), but it should be well known that 99 or 999 for several years has been used as terminating characters in text-based programs (as opposed to graphical-based applications like the Windows world). The backbone of the Net is text-based. Also 1999 is less than one year from year 2000 or '00' as the problem equivalent of it is. This was the reason for the delayed update a couple of days ago, when Europe moved to summer daylight-saving time. Year 2000 problems will continue to grow until they explode next year. The only solution to this is, at present time, to move to a Y2K-approved server.
A Y2K-approved server is very expensive, as it involves firewall technology, and Roland and Jens have no possibility to put up the money required. As it is, BtP is already costing too much (registration fee for URL and search engines, a HUGE telephone bill etc).
So the situation is, something needs to be done, fast. Otherwise BtP will become more and more corrupted, unstable and slow. And finally it will die. We'd like to point out that this problem is NOT caused by Swedish Connection, our current web-hotel. They are doing a great job for BtP.
The good thing is, we have received a very attractive offer from a commercial 'pay-per-view' site. They are prepared to host BtP on a professional and commercial basis. The reputation our website has got in the music world on the web secures Roland and Jens a very lucrative deal. And they are Y2K approved, have unlimited (or next to) bandwidth to avoid overloads, and will use their expert capacity to improve and grow 'Beyond the Pale'.
The website is called Wonder of Music, and is dedicated to one-hit wonders, a label many puts on our beloved Procol Harum (Palers will disagree, but there it is, the popular verdict). As said before, it will be a 'pay-per-view' website although it is free for a limited time to attract new customers. BtP has negotiated a special deal for the Palers, as we think you are the main reason behind the success. You'll get first year and Year 2000 absolutely free of charge! And from 2001 you'll get a cool 50% discount. But to qualify for these big savings, you must act now. You should point your browser to Wonder of Music, and send a message to the webmaster, John, telling him you are a Paler and that you wish to register for free. You must register within two days, or you'll have to pay the full price.
And so in closing ... rather than allowing BtP to drown amidst a stormy sea, we believe it will be in the best interests of Procol Harum fans to transfer our operations to the care of our good friend John, now re-launching his renowned Wonder of Music page with a big subsidy.
Jens and Roland ask you all to welcome John warmly into the community of Palers, Whalers, Mailers and other Sailors that has already travelled so far together. Let him know what you want from the Wonder of Music website ... register your free passage ... and let him carry us all One Step Beyond the Pale.