All posts by Dennis Davis

New to WordPress. Primarily a hardware and servers guy with a long history in the technical support industry (call centers and business owner). Currently work for Clark College as a Supervisor at the TechHub as well as beginning my journey as an Adjunct Instructor for Clark College in the Linux arena. Looking to WordPress as a solution for the TecHub web-presence as well as an on going development of a interactive Tech-Blog/forum for the Student-body at large. -D² Background Image: Just_Space by JoeJesus.

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

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HHVM: Speed in WordPress Development

HHVM or Hip Hop Virtual Machine has been ported over to the WordPress development crowd down to the core. HHVM was originally developed by Facebook as a way to curb expenses of more hardware for improved speed and reliability of server side php execution though a process know as JIT or Just In Time.

Through Varying Vagrant Vagrants or VVV, HMVM is ported into an Apache web development environment which allows for near production environment on WordPress functionality down to the core. VVV is a replacement sandbox for MAMP/XAMPP development tools and environments. Continue reading HHVM: Speed in WordPress Development

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Protocol Data Unit: A Suitcase for Electrons

The data, conversations, or pictures of your cute pet you send or view across this web of connections all have to be packed up for travel to the various addresses linked through the strands of the web. Where IP addresses are the street addresses and cables of copper, strands of glass, or the air waves themselves are the roadways you still have to get those ideas of yours you so diligently produced on that machine we call a computer into a format ready for travel.

To help understand the process of packing up those electrons Network Admins and Gurus have developed two models illustrating what happens to the data we see on the screen to the point of the 1’s and 0’s being transmitted back and forth across the web or for that matter any network. The two models are called the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model and the TCP/IP model which we touched on in the article Internet Protocol: Street Address of the Internet. Continue reading Protocol Data Unit: A Suitcase for Electrons

Internet Protocol: Street Addresses of the Internet

The TCP/IP model defines the four communication functions that protocols perform. TCP/IP is an open standard, which means that one company does not control it.

– Network Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion © 2008 Cisco Systems Inc.

TCP/IP: Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

This quote from a Cisco CCNA textbook gives the industry definition for TCP/IP, but it does little to help us understand how the protocol actually delivers electrons of data across that etheric gulf woven of links known as the World Wide Web to our eyes and ears in the comfort of our own home or business.

To help understand the following section of this article think of the Internet Protocol addresses as street addresses identifying each and every resource networked.

The country designation in the address is a large network which can be divided up into subnets which are then represented by the state designator of your address. The resulting subnet is then divided up into smaller subnets to represent the city and divided into what we can consider our “street” subnet. It is in this subnet that our Public IP address which would represent our house’s or place of business’s address number. Continue reading Internet Protocol: Street Addresses of the Internet

What is a Web Server?

Picture form Wikimedia depicting a rack of web servers for Internet Archive
When thinking of Web Servers this is the most common picture that comes to mind.
-Picture is from Wikimedia

A Web Server is a computer system hosting web-centric applications and resources that is accessible through the World Wide Web.

This statement does not justify the Web Server as it is the meat of the Web. Web servers allow the internet to create gossamer links to bring forth the World Wide Web that we as spiders hunting for information or distraction click from link to link traversing a tangled web of electrons pushing and pulling through the internet landing on web servers near and far.

How Do Web Servers Connect?

With links of gossamer strands that you insert into your web presence. These links though have to provide directions to the correct server where the webpage we so desperately need resides.

The link is your Internet Protocol, an address that ties all the parts and pieces together on the web. Continue reading What is a Web Server?