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  1. Donation Rhymester
    and RedHotTed
    06 Dec '02 10:40
    At risk of appearing like the village idiot I'm going to ask the following
    questions that have been building up in the deep recesses of my grey
    matter for some time now...


    I know that a server in the non-web sense is just a computer that
    stores common files which other computers connected to it can access.
    I understand that this is called a LAN (local area network).

    I've been told that an internet server is very much the same except
    that it is connected to the users via the world wide web.

    So here are my questions:

    1. Is it just software that turns a computer into a server? If so, what is
    it?

    2. Is a server connected to the web via a normal telephone line?

    3. If so, is this like making a 24 hour a day, every day, telephone call
    with the associated call charges?

    4. Does having a web site 'open' but not active have any effect on the
    server?

    5. Can anyone set up a server in their home home, load web sites
    onto it and become their own ISP?

    6. What factors decide how many users can access a web site at any
    one time?

    7. How many users can a site like RHP cope with at any one time?

    8. Are there any really good, free or inexpensive web site hosting
    sites? Are there any catches?


    Rhymester

    (Wanting to know more about a world I spend a lot of time in)
  2. Subscriber Russ
    RHP Code Monkey
    06 Dec '02 12:18 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Rhymester
    At risk of appearing like the village idiot I'm going to ask the
    following
    questions that have been building up in the deep recesses of my grey
    matter for some time now...
    1. Is it just software that turns a computer into a server? If so,
    what is
    it?

    Any machine can be a server, regardless of the software on it. It is
    just how you use a machine that makes it a server, not what it is.
    In the real world though, operating systems are optimized/installed
    for one role or another. [e.g. Win 2k Server would be used for most
    file servers in a Microsoft biased office]

    2. Is a server connected to the web via a normal telephone line?

    No, it is down to the ISP. They normally sit on some super fast
    connection, it is generally our server speed that slows things down,
    not the available bandwidth of our hosts.

    3. If so, is this like making a 24 hour a day, every day, telephone
    call with the associated call charges?

    Um, kind of. (but not really )


    4. Does having a web site 'open' but not active have any effect on
    the
    server?

    Not sure what you mean on this one.

    5. Can anyone set up a server in their home home, load web sites
    onto it and become their own ISP?


    Not really an ISP, but you can host stuff on your own machine. (I do
    on mine for development purposes - and it is available on the web)
    BUT most ISP's change your IP address each time you connect - so
    hosting in this situation can be difficult, and it is not a permanent
    solution.

    6. What factors decide how many users can access a web site at
    any
    one time?

    Really down to the capabilities of the server.

    7. How many users can a site like RHP cope with at any one time?


    You know what, I really don't know! But this site does get VERY
    busy - it is the number of requests (page impressions) that cause the
    problem, not the number of users.

    8. Are there any really good, free or inexpensive web site hosting
    sites? Are there any catches?


    Lots. Free ones do exists, but they may put adverts on your site.
    One that used to be free for people playing around (they hope you
    will sign up as a paying member if your site gets big) is
    www.brinkster.com. You can use ASP and an access DB, for free -
    great for getting
    started.

    Hope this helps.

    -Russ
  3. Donation Rhymester
    and RedHotTed
    06 Dec '02 13:02
    Thanks Russ.. the fog is clearing slowly

    So let me get this straight: RHP's website is actually on a server at the
    offices of the ISP that hosts it - not in your bedroom or something

    When you talk about 'server costs' you mean what the ISP charges
    you to keep this web site on their server.


    PS. What I meant about open leaving websites open was this: I could
    be browsing another site at the same time as having RHP minimised
    and in the background and wondered if this had any effect.


    Rhymester
  4. Subscriber Russ
    RHP Code Monkey
    06 Dec '02 13:22
    This machine sits in a rack, far, far away from me, in Oklahoma.
    Neither Chris or I have ever touched it, seen it, or even spoken to the
    people who look after it (apart from electronically, such as by email)

    We rent the server – this is a fixed cost.

    We also have an allocation of how much stuff can go down the wire in
    one month on our contract – if we exceed this, it is further fees. (This
    currently happens – this is a busy site - which is why I need to
    make pages lighter and host some images, such as subs ads on
    other servers)

    As far as leaving a browser open, do not fear. You only talk to our
    server when you ‘make a request’. This is the only time that our
    server gets worked. That is why the automatic refresh Luck requested
    would be a bad idea, as it would continuously work our server even if
    he went to make a cup of tea.

    My new ‘beginners dot com school’ forum will be opening soon.

    -Russ


  5. Donation Rhymester
    and RedHotTed
    06 Dec '02 14:26
    Thanks again Russ! Really useful

    LOL I spend so much time explaining the complexities of resolution,
    pixel bit-depth, RGB to CMYK conversions, interpolation, unsharp
    masking, colour correction, file formats, clipping paths, pantone spot
    colour CMYK equivalents etc. etc. to clients, that it makes a nice
    change to be the pupil rather than the teacher.

    Things sure have come a long way since I bought a Sinclair ZX81 (1K
    RAM) which was meant to be the answer to all my computing needs...

    Rhymester
  6. Subscriber Russ
    RHP Code Monkey
    06 Dec '02 15:13
    Well, it may be no great surprise, but the ZX81 was my first computer
    too as a young 10 year old lad (coding in 1k is a real challenge not
    many programmers face today), and boy was I hooked. I mean, I still
    do it today at work AND for fun!!!

    BTW I followed your post until you got to ‘unsharp masking’, at which
    point I was lost.
    Not much need for colour correction on a ZX81, that’s for sure. Ah,
    great days…(Russ drifts off into nostalgic day dream of playing space
    invaders when all the aliens were represented by the H character, etc&hellip
  7. Donation Rhymester
    and RedHotTed
    06 Dec '02 16:39
    Yes Russ... when I 'progressed' on to the mighty 32K Commodore PET
    and played a text based game called 'Adventure' (go East, go West,
    Kill dwarf... you throw knife, it misses, Dwarf throws axe... you are now
    dead... begin again?)... I used to say "Surely it must be possible to
    put pictures with this and control the characters from the keyboard". If
    only....

    Anyway 'unsharp masking' is one of the things that is done to scanned
    pictures to mask-out the unsharp bits ie: a more sophisicated and
    controllable way of sharpening them up for use in print.

    Rhymester
  8. Standard member Padre
    Combat Wombat
    10 Dec '02 23:27
    I hope you guys dont mind but I have been following your
    conversation.. Yes yes I know it is a forum but as you guys were the
    only one contributing to this thread it seemed a little personal...

    Anyway.. I have learned a lot from both of you and as I have online
    language tests and images needing scanning you instill great
    confindence that I should go ahead with my plans of setting up my
    own server in the office. At the moment I pay 500 euros a month for
    this hosting and all the associated maintenance costs.. (pot bellied,
    light starved Coke drinker ocassionally looking to see if that little
    green light is on or is the red one flashing or not...) The only
    problems are that the server I'm looking at costs around 4500 and I
    need a wizkid to maintainit. As the amount of traffic is minimal I'm
    sure a super duper basic computer would cope. There is a server in
    Canada that would cope with these online tests for only $250 p/a.

    My problem is understanding ASP coding and the fact that RealPlayer
    have changed their format so my tests no longer run with sound.
    I have ASDL connection so the server can be online all the time. My
    server host does not support ASP but it does support ..um... the other
    one.. MS Based I think.. which adds to the headache of recoding all
    the tests.

    Anyway I am not looking for a reply to tis lengthy message.. I just
    wanted to vent my frustrations to people that understand what I am
    talking about.. because quite frankly.. I don't know what the hell I am
    talking about.
  9. Subscriber Russ
    RHP Code Monkey
    11 Dec '02 01:27
    Understood. Maybe.
    -Russ