Thursday, September 24, 2009

um, you rub it and make a wish...

today i needed a lamp. that's an acronym that refers to a special kind of server, one that contains a server operating system, a database server, a web server, and a web development framework. most of the web servers you interact with on the internet today use a suite, or "stack" of tools like this. and i needed one.

now, i can build a lamp server from scratch: configure a base os; install a web service and database; install the web modules to access the database; install the web application framework; install the web modules to interface with the framework; and configure all the pieces to play well together. frankly, i can think of better things to do with my time, so i headed over to and downloaded their prebuilt lamp installer. boy, was i impressed! the installation was fast, painless, and almost hands-free. in less than twenty minutes i had a working server, ready to hand out interactive web pages.

the webmin administrative interface is really slick: a far cry from where it was when i last used it at the turn of the century (i like saying that.) it took me a couple of minutes of poking around to figure out how to add packages through webmin, which appears to be a necessity since the system didn't seem to recognize the things i installed "manually" using apt-get.

this product really exceeded my expectations. i could install and configure lamp servers all day like this. and considering that this is open source software that's easy on hardware resources, it would be a great virtual server solution and provide an impressive roi. maybe not as cool as rubbing it and having a genie pop out, but almost.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

i've looked at clouds from both sides now

i like saying buzzwords. not because i have any practical use for them, just because it's fun. it's entertaining when standing around at some quasi-professional gathering to work a phrase like "cloud computing" into the conversation. the other person's eyes glaze over, a little dollop of spittle forms at the corner of their mouth, and they become totally engrossed in whatever i have to say. i have become the subject matter expert, and they are now completely in my power. well, we all have our hobbies.

really, one of mine is finding new and innovative ways to do things. i ran across eyeos rather by accident, but was intrigued by the possibility of putting the whole os "in the cloud" on a local network. yes, it is reminiscent of the dumb term
inals and time-sharing systems of yore, but still, an operating system that runs in a web browser has some appeal.

now, i know that it's not the right call for everyone. i certainly don't have any practical use for this right now, myself. but it has got me thinking, and i l
ike that. it's also caused me to take an interest in php scripting, the heart of eyeos applications—and being motivated to learn something new is always cool.

'cause when we stop learning, we start dying.