Electric Embers: Handcrafted hosting, powering the fires of change

Who we are

adam Adam Bernstein
System Administrator
& Commissioner of Public Works

Adam most enjoys adapting EE services to meet changing needs, and building client relationships and partnerships with other providers.
Adam studied physics and astronomy at Oberlin College, graduated in 1992, and spent a few years as a “rocket scientist” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He moved into independent IT consulting for nonprofits, co-founding Tech Underground, and then moved into software and Internet services with the inception of EE. Adam lives in Oakland, and digs motorcycling, rock climbing, hot springs, Trekkies (the people and the movie), and making things in the kitchen or the woodshop.
ben Benjamin Connelly
System Administrator
& First Responder

Explaining Internet technologies in human terms is one of Benjamin’s favorite parts of working at EE. He also enjoys keeping hardware happy and systems secure!
Captivated by computers early in childhood, Benjamin studied Computer Engineering at Tufts University. Before graduating in 1999 he spent one summer in San Francisco, which was all it took to fall in love with this place. He worked at Teradyne, engineering tests for electronics test equipment. Then he dabbled in teaching and video production, and stumbled into cooperative housing. Now he thrives working in the cooperative movement, bicycle camping, practicing archery, photography, euphonium, and celestial navigation.

Our Story

Electric Embers’ roots go back to 2001: Brent was expanding his hobby Linux web server for friends and family into a small side business, just as Adam was customizing open-source software to provide his consulting clients quality communications tools for smaller budgets. When these two nonprofit technology consultants met and started founding the Tech Underground, it became clear that they shared a dilemma: they loved working with progressive nonprofit groups, but couldn’t find many opportunities to use their favorite UNIX-like operating systems and free/open-source software tools. Their small hosting businesses were a start, but they soon realized that they could accomplish much more by working together than they could on their own. And so on May Day in 2003, Electric Embers was born; Benjamin joined in 2005, and Anne in 2014. In 2015 we experienced our first departure, with Brent moving on to other work, and in 2021 Anne moved on as well.

Since 2003, we have been lucky enough to do work we love for people whose work we admire. We are presently only three, but we are not in this alone. We are very grateful to the developers of the open-source and free software we use (including FreeBSD, Apache, MySQL, OpenSSH, Postfix, Sympa, MailScanner, SpamAssassin, Clam AntiVirus, BIND, Roundcube, PHP, nginx, and OpenSSL) without which our task would be impossible.

We are hosted at MonkeyBrains and RippleWeb.

Emeritus Members

anne Anne Young
System Administrator
Worker-Owner 2014-2021

Anne progressed from apprentice to master sysadmin in her 7 years at Electric Embers.
brent Brent Emerson
Worker-Owner 2003-2015

Brent played a major role in creating EE’s technical systems and developing its governance, management, and operational structures into those of a mature and effective organization.