Woah! Slow down!

I have reached my funding target.

Please don't send me any more money. Instead, if you want to support FreeBSD please consider donating to the FreeBSD Foundation, or buying something from the FreeBSD Developers Want List for a FreeBSD developer.

Fundraising for FreeBSD security development

Dear FreeBSD users,

Slightly more than three years ago, I released FreeBSD Update, my first major contribution to FreeBSD. Since then, I have become a FreeBSD committer, joined the FreeBSD Security Team, released Portsnap, and become the FreeBSD Security Officer. However, as I have gone from being a graduate student at Oxford University -- busy writing my thesis -- to a researcher at Simon Fraser University -- busy doing research and writing papers -- my "to do" list of FreeBSD-related work has continued growing, and I have now come to realize that some of the items on that list will probably never be finished until I get a chance to work full-time on FreeBSD.

This is where you come in. I'm hoping to raise $15,000 Canadian (about US$13,000) to pay me to work full-time on FreeBSD for 16 weeks over the summer. This will allow me to devote more time to my role as FreeBSD Security Officer, perform a complete overhaul of FreeBSD Update, and make some significant improvements to Portsnap.

Based on my estimates of the number of systems currently using Portsnap and FreeBSD Update (about 8500 and 4500 respectively based on my server logs) this works out to one US dollar per computer (or two dollars for systems using both Portsnap and FreeBSD Update); I don't think this is an unreasonable amount to ask for even if I only receive donations from people who are using Portsnap or FreeBSD Update. That said, if I don't reach my target for donations, I'll get as much work done within the time I have funds for before returning to other paying work (most likely at the university again).

Donations can be sent by paypal to cperciva@freebsd.org; if you would prefer to send a cheque (which is probably only worthwhile for cheques in Canadian or US dollars), please contact me by email to obtain my mailing address. In either case, please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous.

Colin Percival


1. What do I plan on doing?

As much as I can of the following, in approximate order of priority:

2. How much money do I need?

I'm hoping to raise $15,000 Canadian (about US$13,000). This is approximately what I would earn by working at the university -- I say "approximately" because the university pays some payroll taxes and provides some benefits, so I'm really not sure if this amount will end up being more or less than I would earn from the university.

Note that this is absolutely not what I'd earn if I was doing research or writing code for a large company -- this rate applies when I'm doing the work I want to do (whether it is academic research or working on FreeBSD).

3. How can people donate?

Via paypal to cperciva@FreeBSD.org, or by cheque (email me for my address). Wire transfers might be possible, but I haven't investigated this -- I'll look into this if/when necessary.

UPDATE: Another possibility, which probably only applies to Canadians, is an Interac "email money transfer".

UPDATE: Please don't send me any more money; I have reached my funding target.

4. How little/much can people donate?

Due to paypal's transaction fees, anything less than $5 isn't very practical. For cheques, I don't have to pay any fees to accept Canadian dollar cheques, but US dollar cheques less than $10 probably aren't practical; for other currencies (e.g., UK Pounds or Euros) I don't know how large the bank fees are, but they're probably rather large.

As for an upper limit: If you're considering donating more than $1000, it's probably worth contacting me first to see if we can avoid paying paypal's transaction fee, since it becomes rather large by that point. Aside from that, please check the running total (see the next question) and contact me before sending a large donation if I'm already close to my target.

5. How much has been donated so far?

I have received the following donations (dates are in UTC, and in the case of checks and funds which paypal marked as ``pending'' for a few days reflect when I received the funds, not when they were sent):

2006-03-30Christian Laursen50.00 USD
2006-03-30Nicholas Evans100.00 USD
2006-03-30Helen Marks20.00 GBP
2006-03-30Thoumie Florent15.00 EUR
2006-03-30Peter Thoenen50.00 CAD
2006-03-30Chris Buechler20.00 USD
2006-03-30FreeBSD Brasil LTDA50.00 CAD
2006-03-30Randall Ehren20.00 USD
2006-03-30Thomas Øksnes50.00 USD
2006-03-30John Nielsen15.00 USD
2006-03-30Ryan Taylor50.00 USD
2006-03-30Thomas Vogt150.00 USD
2006-03-30Anonymous75.00 USD
2006-03-30Arjan van Leeuwen50.00 EUR
2006-03-30Mikhail Goriachev100.00 AUD
2006-03-30Lucas Holt10.00 USD
2006-03-30Daniel Nebdal20.00 CAD
2006-03-31Kenneth Stox200.00 USD
2006-03-31Phillip Murray100.00 AUD
2006-03-31Coast to Coast Hosting20.00 USD
2006-03-31Danny Puckett20.00 USD
2006-03-31Patrick Collins50.00 AUD
2006-03-31Eric Anderson100.00 USD
2006-03-31Manuel Chaviano10.00 USD
2006-03-31Matt Jarjoura25.00 USD
2006-03-31Jakob Breivik Grimstveit10.00 USD
2006-03-31"SorAlx"20.48 CAD
2006-03-31Aloha Consulting20.00 USD
2006-03-31Joe Stevensen25.00 USD
2006-03-31Alessandro de Manzano50.00 EUR
2006-03-31Frederico Costa35.00 GBP
2006-03-31Tobias Roth50.00 USD
2006-03-31basis06 AG50.00 CAD
2006-03-31Fedder Skovgaard15.00 USD
2006-03-31Motrix Data50.00 EUR
2006-03-31Omer Faruk Sen & EnderUNIX.ORG40.00 USD
2006-03-31James Snow81.92 USD
2006-03-31Paul Dekkers25.00 EUR
2006-03-31Michael Proto15.00 USD
2006-03-31Beat Gätzi100.00 CAD
2006-03-31William Harris25.00 USD
2006-03-31Calvin Ng15.00 USD
2006-03-31Charles Sprickman30.00 USD
2006-03-31Jean-Michel Lacroix10.00 USD
2006-03-31Jeff Thomas50.00 USD
2006-03-31Brad Robertson50.00 USD
2006-04-01Jonas Sonntag20.00 EUR
2006-04-01Adam Baldwin35.00 USD
2006-04-01RetroWeb.net30.00 USD
2006-04-01David Stanford15.00 USD
2006-04-01Lars Cleary50.00 USD
2006-04-01Gustav Bylesjö25.00 EUR
2006-04-01Olivier Saut20.00 EUR
2006-04-01Chih-Chang Hsieh50.00 USD
2006-04-01DNS Watchdog10.00 USD
2006-04-01Joshua Tolbert50.00 USD
2006-04-02Mikko Tyolajarvi50.00 USD
2006-04-02Andre Arko50.00 USD
2006-04-02Royce Williams50.00 USD
2006-04-02TaoSecurity LLC100.00 USD
2006-04-02KENJI IKEDA100.00 USD
2006-04-02David Dapena Garrido20.00 EUR
2006-04-02Sean Dicks25.00 CAD
2006-04-03Anonymous30.00 USD
2006-04-03TAISEI IZUMI20.00 CAD
2006-04-03Mark Mellis100.00 USD
2006-04-03Yoan Talagrand30.00 USD
2006-04-03Eric Ziegast25.00 USD
2006-04-04Panagiotis Christias55.00 EUR
2006-04-04Remko Lodder100.00 EUR
2006-04-04Ben Lake10.00 USD
2006-04-04Alan Batie5.00 USD
2006-04-04PZINTERNET.COM18.00 CAD
2006-04-04Jetpants.com10.00 USD
2006-04-04Tod Oace25.00 USD
2006-04-04DaveG.ca20.00 CAD
2006-04-04JongHwan Park15.00 CAD
2006-04-04Simonas Kareiva8.30 CAD
2006-04-04Martin Ziegler20.00 CAD
2006-04-04Peter Vermeulen10.00 USD
2006-04-04Christopher Knight30.00 CAD
2006-04-04Jean-Francois Dockes10.00 USD
2006-04-04NAKAMURA Takeshi5000 JPY
2006-04-04Björn König16.00 EUR
2006-04-04Angel Lafuente Echeazarra20.00 EUR
2006-04-04Anonymous5.00 USD
2006-04-04Russell Meek30.00 USD
2006-04-04Koichi Suzuki100.00 USD
2006-04-04Daniel Seuffert200.00 USD
2006-04-04Issei Suzuki5000 JPY
2006-04-04Egidijus Serplis20.00 CAD
2006-04-04Gideon Klok1.00 EUR
2006-04-04Philippe Lang50.00 USD
2006-04-04Silicon Landmark, LLC30.00 USD
2006-04-04Peter Quilty30.00 USD
2006-04-04Robert Beer10.00 USD
2006-04-04Matthew Kanner75.00 CAD
2006-04-04Ironsystems Inc35.00 USD
2006-04-04Mickey Boyd20.00 USD
2006-04-04Steven Kirk10.00 USD
2006-04-04Konstantin Saurbier100.00 EUR
2006-04-04Celso Viana10.00 USD
2006-04-04Dario Cardoso10.00 USD
2006-04-04Andre Nicolai10.00 USD
2006-04-04Patrick Tracanelli20.00 USD
2006-04-04Bart Frackiewicz20.00 EUR
2006-04-04Wayne Lee15.00 USD
2006-04-05Adrian Wontroba10.00 GBP
2006-04-05Dirk Estenfeld20.00 EUR
2006-04-05Ricardo Alves Reis5.00 USD
2006-04-05Datapipe.com100.00 USD
2006-04-05George Neville-Neil100.00 CAD
2006-04-05Michael Benjamin5.00 USD
2006-04-05Daniel Parriott20.00 USD
2006-04-05Cory Bajus20.00 CAD
2006-04-05Sam Lawrance50.00 CAD
2006-04-06Seamus Hartmann100.00 USD
2006-04-08Katsuji Ishikawa33.00 USD
2006-04-09Justin Hopper100.00 USD
2006-04-10Terje With Lunndal20.00 USD
2006-04-10Jiro Isetani1.27 USD
2006-04-12Moto Kawasaki100.00 USD
2006-04-13Mike Tancsa100.00 CAD
2006-04-15Mark Hobden50.00 CAD
2006-04-19Anonymous10.00 CAD
2006-04-23Paradigm Shift Security75.00 USD
2006-04-23Alex Burke20.00 GBP
2006-04-23Anonymous100.00 USD
2006-04-24Peter Skomoroch20.00 USD
2006-04-24Edwin Groothuis100.00 AUD
2006-04-24Adam McMaster20.00 USD
2006-04-24Martin Jaokb50.00 EUR
2006-04-24Frank Cameron75.00 USD
2006-04-24Petr Wolf10.00 USD
2006-04-24Paul Hoffman25.00 USD
2006-04-24Andrew Sousa50.00 USD
2006-04-24Rong-En Fan100.00 USD
2006-04-25pil.dk1000.00 USD
2006-04-25Naoyuki Tai50.00 USD
2006-04-25Anonymous50.00 USD
2006-04-25Yung Chen Hung30.00 USD
2006-04-25Alson van der Meulen10.00 EUR
2006-04-26InsideSystems87.88 CAD
2006-04-27Lace Media, LLC30.00 USD
2006-04-27Rainer Duffner100.00 EUR
2006-04-28Pair Networks6500.00 USD

Total received: $14,868.78 Canadian (out of a target of $15,000). Considering that the Canadian dollar has increased by 5% against the US dollar in the past month, and my bank will be paying about $130 of interest on this money between now and the end of August, I'm satisfied that I've reached my target.

6. What happens if I get too much / too little money?

If I don't reach my target of $15,000 Canadian, I'll get as much done as possible within the time paid for before returning to other paying work (most likely at Simon Fraser University again).

If I receive more than $15,000 Canadian in donations, I'll contact the donors whose donations went past the target and offer them the option of having their donations refunded.

7. When do I plan on doing this?

Between 1 May 2006 and 31 August 2006, with the exception of the last week in July (due to a long-planned holiday at a music camp).

8. While I'm doing this, will I fix <insert bug here>?

9. While I'm doing this, will I add <insert feature here>?

If it relates to FreeBSD Update or Portsnap, probably. Send me an email and explain the problem, and I'll add it to the list of things I'll try to handle if I have time.

Things which people have already asked for:

10. Are donations tax-deductible?

I'm not a tax lawyer, but my basic understanding is as follows:
  1. I'm not a charity, so you can't claim these donations as a charitable donation.
  2. Legally speaking, this is contract work, so companies can claim any donations they make as business expenses. I will issue invoices upon request.

11. What about sales/income taxes?

My understanding is that I do not need to charge sales tax to anyone since my total revenues ($15,000, hopefuly) are below the "small supplier" threshold of $30,000.

I have to pay personal income tax on the money I receive from this, but this is something I will handle myself (in early 2007, when I complete my income tax return for the 2006 tax year).

12. What progress have I made so far?

After I start work in May 2006, I'll post reports on my progress on my quasi-blog, Daemonic Dispatches. I can't guarantee that it will be entirely up to date -- I'm not much of a blogger -- but it should at least provide some idea of my progress.