Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So I would just like to pen another ode to technology. I have these moments when my faith in society ebbs to the point where it collides with my admiration and sometimes-astonishment at the amount of technological progress in our world. Think about hosting a website from your house.

1) have a computer (figuring out how to build these was no small feat)
2) plug that computer into the power grid (also incredible - in our country we have virtually endless sources of electricity running to everyone's house - think about it next time you plug in)
3) plug that computer into a flat screen monitor (remember CRTs??)
4) plugin in your wireless mouse and keyboard (yeah, no wires)
5) Plug into a router that can broadcast your signal wirelessly, or via a wire
6) Plug that into your router that translates signals coming in from your cable wire (yeah the one that also brings in TV)

So you did those 6 simple things that took way longer to type than to actually do.

Now you are on the internet (no shortage of amazing there), and ready to figure out how to host a website. This is the part about society. The internet allows all these people who have done what you are trying to do (pretty much everytime you do something, someone else has tried it, unless your last name is Newton, Da Vinci, or Einstein), to write about their experience. So I figured out that I needed a static IP address, which was no problem, once I got rid of Verizon. OK, now I punch in "host website at home" into google (another pretty awesome thing that people take for granted). I got a few thousand results. I decided to check the first one that came back:

I notice that the instructions include a router that is very similar to mine. So I follow said instructions to point the router to my server on the ports that I want. So far so good. Now it should work fine, but wait! I need a web server. That's going to be a pain in the ass, right? Nope, all I have to do is download apache and build it and install it (following 5 simple steps - note - this is way more complicated because I am running Linux). OK, now I start the server.

It all works. I can go to my new site. It just works. With another couple of steps, I can make an arbitrary string (the domain name) point to my computer.

This all took about 45 minutes. Incredible. Sorry if everyone out there doesn't share my enthusiasm for all this. I think when you work in the technology world, you are interfacing with these technologies all the time, and you begin to take for granted that they will just work (which is a very good thing, means they DO work), but sometimes you have to stop and think about all the amazing problems that man has encountered and defeated. Anything can be done!


Johnnie Francis Xavier MacIntyre said...

What's the URL!!!

Kirk Gray said...

I haven't hooked it up to a domain name yet, and I don't have the security setup correctly yet, so I'll post it when those things happen...maybe tonight if I get a chance.