This server is a public community resource. If you're reading this, it's highly likely that you're being offered an account on the server. Either that or you just happened to find the link so kudos for finding the link but it won't help you get an account. If you weren't offered an account, don't ask for one. Accounts are offered to friends by friends when a need arises. Asking for an account is one of the best ways to assure that you won't get one.
All individuals that are offered an account on this server are expected to abide by a common set of usage rules. Let whomever is creating the account know that you agree to these usage rules in their entirety. If you have any questions about these rules, please do ask. It's worth noting that this set of rules is intentionally not written in legalese in order to keep things simple to understand and cordial. So read the rules with intent in mind, not the strict wording. If you weasel around the sprit of the rules and cause trouble, you'll likely get permanently kicked off the server.
This is almost entirely dependent upon what the folks on the server want it to do, the capacity of the server, and the resources available to install, setup, and maintain an operation. Some things that the server is currently used for include:
If that wasn't clear, what that means is that yes indeed you can have your own web site for just about any purpose (including commercial, just cut Sean a sliver of the profits if you actually start making money ;-) k?).
The server has old-school 'talk' and 'write' set up for intraserver communication. Feel free to use it if you have questions. You're welcome (and encouraged) to keep a screen session running.
Web services are under /usr/web/SITE where SITE is some website name like my.bzflag.org. Most of the websites are edited as user 'www' for which most users have the ability to substitute via sudo. Example, sudo -u www cp ~/my_file.html /usr/web/something.org/myfile.html or sudo -u www -s for a shell session as user 'www'. You can make a personal web page by creating a public_html directory in your home directory and accessing site/~username in a browser.
There's a java-based ssh client at http://bzflag.bz/ssh/ and a cgi:irc web interface at http://irc.brlcad.org/ and http://my.bzflag.org/irc/
Don't worry about bandwidth. The server can sustain more than a TB/month and uses less than 10% of that on average. Disk space is rarely a problem except for log and backup files that get out of control. The server accummulates nearly 100MB of logs per day that get compressed and filed away. An admin will periodically go through and clean things up if space is tight, but users generally don't have to worry about disk usage. If it's a problem, someone will say something. CPU is presently the main limiting factor. The server is in the process of being migrated to a faster box with bigger disks, but who knows when that'll be done. :-)
If you would like to set up a new service, contact one of the server admins (see the /etc/group file for a list of admin users).
The server really is provided for the communities and individuals that I interact with. I originally started the server in September 2004 primarily for BZFlag list server purposes (hence the name). Things have kinda slowly grown from there encompassing BRL-CAD needs and much more since then.
Most of the account holders are people I would or do consider a friend. Offers to pay for access on the server is appreciated but absolutely not necessary -- so stop asking. :-) Access to the server is free of charge. If you really feel compelled to do something, help administer the server. There's always something that can be done to improve the server. Time and effort is more valuable than actual dollars.
That all said, I hope everyone enjoys using the server. If you need something, just ask.