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Linux Business

Journal: How To Build a Linux VPS Host in 24 Hours

Journal by palegray.net
Everyone seems to be interested in server virtualization these days, from small developers to folks interested in starting a hosting operation of their own. Fortunately, there are a ton of options for setting up a virtualized hosting environment. I've written an in-depth, step-by-step VPS tutorial for turning any reasonably modern PC into a virtual private server hosting environment using the following freely available tools:
  • Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS (base operating system)
  • VMware Server 2.0 (virtualization suite)
  • Debian Linux 5 (virtual machine operating system)
  • ISPConfig 2.2 (hosting control panel)

Everything is documented with detailed configuration instruction and screen captures of major installation processes. The tutorial is aimed at helping small development shops take advantage of virtualization to create well-structured development, test, and production environments. Information technology professionals working in other fields will no doubt find the information useful as well.

In the near future, I'll be adding chapters and additional resource links that explain how to use additional virtual machines to create scalable database, mail server, and backup server envioronments that can easily be migrated from one physical VPS host to another. For now, I hope you enjoy getting started out with your first VPS setup.

Mandriva

Journal: Using Mandriva Linux One 2009 As An XHTML Validation Server

Journal by palegray.net
Related to my earlier post on using Debian as the host for a W3C validator, I've written a new tutorial explaining how to use Mandriva Linux One 2009 as a local XHTML validation server. This tutorial uses the latest W3C validator code, and is designed specifically for those implementing the server as a virtual machine in products like VMware Server.

Running a validator server locally allows developers to test internally developed and/or hosted content for standards compliance prior. This can be especially helpful for reducing issues with browser compatibility later on in a project's development cycle.
Debian

Journal: Setting Up a Local W3C XHTML Validation Server on Debian

Journal by palegray.net
I've written an in-depth tutorial on setting up a local W3C markup validator using Debian GNU/Linux. This can be of great help to web developers who want to test internal content for standards adherence, such as development versions of websites or intranet content.

I'll be publishing a similar article soon based on Mandriva 2009; this version will include instructions for installing the validator software from the W3C source distribution, which is more current than the version provided in the Debian "stable" repositories.
The Military

Journal: Joining The Navy After High School - A Slashdotter's View

Journal by palegray.net
As many of the folks on my friends list know, I'm an active duty member of the United States Navy. Prior to enlistment, I spent a few years as a general I.T. nerd, doing software development (desktop and web applications, mostly on Linux) and network security work. At age 25, I made the decision to enlist in the Navy, and have been extremely happy with my decision ever since.

In my somewhat limited spare time, I maintain an educational resources web site. I take a great deal of pride in my job in the Navy, and have written an article for people thinking about enlisting after high school. I enlisted a bit later in life, but I hope I'll still be able to relate to folks in the 18-20 year old range.

Please feel free to give me feedback on the article, and I'll do my best to answer any questions my fellow geeks may have regarding military service.
Programming

Journal: Beginner's Perl Tutorial

Journal by palegray.net
Since I do most of my web development in Perl under Debian Linux, I decided to write a beginner's guide to Perl development. It's a work in progress, but already has eleven chapters as of this posting. Source code examples are provided for each concept. Here are the current chapters:
  1. Introduction and Motivation
  2. System Requirements and Getting Perl
  3. Variables and Data Types
  4. Program Flow Control
  5. File Input/Output
  6. Subroutines and Code Reuse
  7. Your First Web Application
  8. Getting User Input with HTML Forms
  9. Coding Style and Maintenance
  10. Security Considerations
  11. Additional Programming Resources

Please feel free to give me some feedback on the tutorial; I'm looking for ways to improve it. Thanks!

Programming

Journal: Newly released embedded version of crossword generator.

Journal by palegray.net
I've created a web-based embedded version of the open source crossword generator application on ClassHelper.org's Crossword Generator page. This version allows visitors to your web site to create custom crossword puzzles using their own words and clues, and we support customization of the template it uses to match your site (we perform this service for free).

The free version is ad-supported; you can subscribe to the paid version for $3/month. Happy puzzling!
Education

Journal: Ways to build a Creative Commons based community?

Journal by palegray.net
My wife and I operate a small educational resources web site, under which we're trying to build a community of educators and parents who are willing to submit content licensed under Creative Commons style licenses. The objective is to ensure that member contributions are accessible to and freely usable by the largest audience possible, primarily educators and parents. I designed the site to include a donations system to allow people who find content useful to reward the author with a monetary donation of their choice, as an incentive for people to submit useful articles.

I'm at somewhat of a loss for how to really get the word out about this sort of system, without resorting to buying AM talk radio spots :). We don't have the budget for that sort of thing... my "day job" is active duty military, and my wife works as an EMS instructor. Wikipedia has the massive inertia factor working in their favor, and things are looking to get even better for their community with the switch to Creative Commons licensing for their content. What sort of communities are out there that could help us promote our ideas and build a community of education-centric folks?
User Journal

Journal: Still working on my new site.

Journal by palegray.net
Been spending a lot of my free time working on my new educational resources site, ClassHelper.org. Today's mission is to create five new crossword puzzles in the "History" section :). I've spent enough time programming; this will be a nice break that still serves to make the site a better resource for others.

Anyone can contribute to the site, free of charge. It's ad-supported for the time being; if I can build up a decent community around the site, I may offer an ad-free subscription based version. The site is primarily designed for teachers and others in the education community, but all feedback is welcome!

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred. -- Superchicken

Working...