First of all thanks to everyone in the community for pfSense, I have been using it for something like 8 years and I cannot measure how great an influence it has been for my IT career and understanding of networking. I have installed firewalls at home and for employers, and during my time at a training company on a few occasions ditched the majority of the Network+ and Security+ materials and delivered courses with practical demonstrations with pfSense. To quote one attendee, "This is free?? We pay thousands of pounds for these features on our firewall!!"
I have donated when it was still possible to do so and own some merchandise and a paper copy of the Definitve Guide. I wish there was more that I could do to give back to the project but finances and time do not allow I am afraid. What I do have however, as I am sure many of us do, is a load of bits and pieces wasting space and gathering dust. What I am hoping to do is offer items for "donation auctions" - I will offer something, and people can bid lets say donations to the FreeBSD project (as recently recommended by Jim Thompson on the digest blog), or in another manner if you have any suggestions. On receipt of proof of donation I will then send the winner the promised item. Examples of items to be offered are motherboards, NICs, switches, ADSL modems etc.
I cannot afford to make direct donations of significance, but if for the few £GBP it costs me for postage I can secure somebody else's pledge of £20, £30 or so, I am more than happy with this. I will be satisfied that I have given back in some way to the community, the project receives a donation upstream in FreeBSD (or if the bid reaches $99, I can encourage purchasing a pfSense Gold Support Subscription), and the winner will have not only contributed but also receives something in return, which I hope makes everyone happy. The items I have in mind would be ideal for newcomers and beginners as they are the very tools I used myself to learn how to use pfSense, so my hope is that this will encourage experimentation and foster the spirit of contributing back to open source projects early on. I am probably not the only one sitting on a heap of "one person's junk is another's treasure" whilst wishing they had some way to repay a debt of karma, perhaps others will consider offering their own forgotten gems.
If anyone is tempted please let me know here or privately by PM so I can gauge interest in this.
**Note to admins - I PM'd one of you a few weeks back, and a couple more of you last week but had not heard anything. I don't doubt for a moment you are all extremely busy and I have noted since that some of you ask not to be contacted via PM, so I apologise if I am being impatient by not waiting for a reply but the topic came up in a private discussion today. If you have any thoughts about this please let me know, I will not go ahead without some approval first in case anyone has any concerns. I will make it clear this is not official in any way, if any of the winners are unhappy with what they receive I will make it clear that no one should be complaining to the pfSense project or the team but to myself alone. And of course you have the pfSense store, if you feel that any of the items I would give away for "free" would result in a lost sale for you then obviously that would be entirely contrary to my intention to support the project. Thank you again for this incredible product and best wishes to you all.
Here are some of the items for auction.
Intel D945GCLF2 Mini ITX Atom motherboard
I can probably throw in a 1GB stick of RAM for this.
Netgear 16 port 10/100 unmanaged switch
Netgear 16 port gigabit unmanaged switch
PCI ADSL Modem
descibed here (not the OP's Traverse card) - https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=79929.msg436451#msg436451
Also some misc. Mini-PCIe wireless cards, at least one works as hostap and I will find out exactly what they are.