It makes me feel good to know I am appreciated. A few things have changed and neither IHG or the site are going away. Now the bad news: I'm not going away either!
I explained that my time is limited because of work commitments, but I have sufficient time to make sure the IHG project goes well. Thus my Manager title. I may even solve a host every month or two, like I did IMG.YT last month. (I wrote the original IMG.YT, but they changed their site, I rewrote it but it turned out the old posts weren't compatible with the new solution, so I fixed that and I hope they stay nailed down.)
It's too early to discuss the tentative arrangements I have made. They say if you talk about something good, it won't happen, and if you talk about something bad, it will happen. I don't want to annoy the gods. You've heard the saying, "Men make plans, the gods laugh!" or "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." -- The plan is that we may be joining a larger forum as an Image Host Grabber dedicated support section. Artfulbodger and myself will be moderators of that section, and support will continue from the new location. Concurrently this forum will be placed in "read only" mode as an archive for as long as we need it. I don't want to go through another ordeal over changing the hostf.xml location (or make IHG users do the same) so this site will continue on in "read only" mode for at least a year, probably more. And the best part about it (from my point of view) is that I won't have to maintain the forum or pay for the hosting any more.
The donate thing didn't work. Screw up at PayPal. They said we were good to go, then somebody made a very generous donation, PayPal refused to let me accept it until I linked the account to my credit card or bank account. Understand that I am leery about doing that because I don't own IHG, I just run the forum. Matt is in prison, but he sold the rights to IHG to a third party (who presumably isn't in prison), and in reading PayPal's agreement I realized I was opening up a path for legal action to reach into my personal finances if there were any lawsuits brought. The risk wasn't worth it to me. Sadly, I pushed the button that returned the donation to the person who made it. At least I know there are good people out there, generous ones. It's sad that I don't see generosity often.
So that covers most of it. Now the fun part! I like NAS (network attached storage) which is just like a USB HDD except it plugs into your router and you can access the drive from any computer or other device attached to your network. Although I have some serious criticism about Western Digital's MyBookLive and MBL DUO NAS servers, I own several. As the name implies, they look like modest sized hardcover books, several inches tall, maybe 4 inches deep. They come in single, maybe 2-1/2 inches wide, and DUO about 4-5 inches wide. The difference between the MBL and MBL DUO is the latter has two HDDs and can be spanned for twice the storage, or operated in RAID 1 which keeps identical data on both HDDs so that if one fails you just replace it and the other HDD rebuilds the RAID back. Worst case if necessary you can remove an HDD and copy the data to another location.
I own one MBL 3TB, one MBL DUO 3TB and three MBL DUO 4TBs. The DUOs are all operating RAID 1 so I have 15TB of RAID storage and another 3TB standard storage, online to my laptop or any other device on my network.
How much data (or how many images) can you put on 18TB of storage? I don't know and have no simple way of counting it. I do know that I probably have over half of my storage capacity empty, and that it is unlikely I will run out of storage in the foreseeable future. I think it's quite possible that I may have more zip files than you have images!
I often don't even open the zip files, my work takes too much time away for me to have time to look at them. My guess is that if I unzipped all the zip files I could easily have 100x more images than anybody using IHG. If somebody has more images than me I sure hope they haven't looked at every image! You wouldn't have any life other than looking at images if you looked at that many images. You'd go blind. Or you'd get sick of the subject and get a real life.
So that about does it. IHG is not going away, but probably moving. The donate button may come back if I can find a trusted person to handle our finances and make a contribution to supporting the new forum we are joining. (The new forum is running on a dedicated server, not shared hosting like mine, and will be much more expensive for them to operate than I've had with my shared hosting account. I'd like to help them by paying part of their costs.) And I'm sorry Virginia, but when it comes to who has the most images, I probably have the biggest dick on the block!