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Friday, December 02, 2005 

Uphook update

void main()

So I ran into some small problems with the site already:

1- Comcast blocks incoming port 80.

So I changed my http server port to something other than 80 and redirected my domain to that address. However, the name server at my DNS registration host was slow to update and replicate changes. Sometimes it worked, and then it stopped for some reason, etc. I messed around with redirects and forwards all day trying to get it to work.

2- Comcast will probably send me a nasty gram if I host the website off my cable modem.

The TOS for my cable internet states that automatic services are not allowed for the basic customer plan. In other words, they'd want you to buy the Business Plan to host a server. Of course, as stated above, there are ways to host on ports that they don’t block. But who's to say they wont routinely scan for web servers. Plus its sneaky and I'd prefer to use port 80 for the web server anyway. www.uphook.com:8080 is just plain tacky.

3- Dynamic IP would not be a good idea for a web server.

Eventually I would need to obtain a static IP anyway. Although I would have unlimited bandwidth using my cable modem, the transfer speed itself would be low-- unless I can upgrade my upload speed, hosting a site to handle multiple incoming connections might not be the best idea. Too many hits and the pages would be served up too slowly.

So my solution was to consider a web server-hosting provider. Turns out the site that registered my domain for me also offered cheap web site hosting. By cheap I mean less than $4 a month. My breakfast costs more than that ;-)

And that’s for 5gb transfer/month. Not bad, considering I can always get more later if I need it. Also, keep in mind, Uphook will be simple in design. Meaning most of the content will be markup, not graphics. If I get enough traffic to exceed 5gb/month transferring mostly text then I'll be doing quite well.

So now I'm hosted here. They even had an option for "Linux or Windows" platform for their hosting solution. Awwww...what an utterly pointless marketing scheme. So I picked Linux just for kicks. I say its pointless because if I cant log in and configure my system how I want it then its NOT Linux. It’s somebody else’s box. To me, Linux implies personal ownership of virtually all aspects of the operating system. If I installed some Linux distro and it behaved like Windows (modded kernel and fs to lock me out of all kinds of features, or attempted to do everything FOR me instead of letting me do it myself, etc) I wouldn’t consider it Linux at all. But I digress.

I am (heavily) considering utilizing my home box for serving up some of the content as well. By having a static IP, I would now have a platform to redirect to my home PC, even if its IP changes. A simple php script that I could access to change where all my other scripts point to access the data would be easy enough to implement. If I do decide to store images, I can store them on my box and link to it when people need it. This would distribute the load to two servers, allowing me to have more content. However, problems could occur if one server can’t keep up. Trial and error will have to determine what happens. Either way, I'm certainly making progress.