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The Internet

Web-Based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 54

Mike Caprio wrote in to say that there now is a official web-based Hitch Hiker's Guide available. What is strangest to me is the stunning similiarities between it and Everything. Pretty cool.
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Web-Based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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  • Why do people do this [netcraft.com]?
  • Grab your flash plugin and drop on by the Ford Prefect section [h2g2.com] and watch the hilarities! Kudos to Adams. May the fun continue.
  • Not quite yet....remember, the real guide spoke out loud...(and transmitted a mental translation matrix for the babelfish) :-)
  • Posted by Ken Clean Air System:

    Hey all,

    Perhaps im biased being a somewhat happy ASP-MS-SQLer, can someone point me to any whitepapers, articles etc comparing load capabilities between
    Apache and IIS.

    I have been part of large scale IIS sites and have had some problems with heavy load and IIS difficulties, but from my recent readings here it seems that sometimes /. can get /.d (well a little bit anyways) :)

    Just trying to seperate the facts from the ideologues. Any info appreciated
  • The Hitchikers Guide series (of which I am now finishing up Mostly Harmless for probably the sixth time if not more than that) is definitely a damn near seminal literary work in my life. Well, it's a load of giggles anyway. :) I'm absolutely ecstatic that something like h2g2.com is taking off! I can finally horn in on the act, as it were. Yay!

    Except...

    Damn the exceptions.

    It would seem that, after browsing about a bit and then actually registering, I need to use MS Blisternet Exploder 4.whatever to actually do anything remotely useful . What a bummer considering I'm not a Windows 9x or NT user (except for at work where I'm not officially supposed to mess around doing personal stuff anyway -- Yeah. Right.) I was so close to contributing to The Guide that I was practically salivating on my keyboard only to find that it's time to grab my towel and clean it off.

    Holy cripes on toast! Does that ever suck.

    But I still have high hopes. Maybe it will be fixed for those of us in the Real World who maybe don't use much MS-anything and who even from time to time use browsers that aren't even graphical. (Yup, the Real World can be a pretty ecletic place. Kinda neat, isn't it?) Well, maybe...

    Sigh.

  • "www.microsoft.com is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT3 or Windows 95" is that some kind of error?
    maybe because they are running some totally mutated version of Windows NT? Or is Microsoft really using an older version of their own product?


    [/usr/sbin]$ queso www.microsoft.com
    207.46.131.137:80 *- Unknown OS, pleez update /etc/queso.conf

    weird.... I figured Queso would have detected whatever is routing their web traffic.. .

    -Erik-
  • Seems h2g2.com does not have a DNS entry, or has
    spearead around the net yet.
  • The h2g2 site looks quite nice, but unless they have loads of researchers, it's going to end up like the newsgroups. 100dB noise 0.1dB signal.

    An interesting project would be an open web based mulitmedia encyclopedia, same idea as Encarta, but accurate information instead. Similar concept to h2g2 but significantly more limited set of contributers.
  • I wish they would... then I wouldn't have to be one of the First Five Callers After A Slashdot Posting in order to get to see the site.
    At least PGG (megadodo) has sense enough to run on a real OS...
  • We have no intention of excluding anyone - we tested the site using several different browsers. If your browser doesn't work with the site, let us know and we'll fix it.

  • T1's aren't only available in the US, you know...
  • We've found a few unfortunate bugs with the way Netscape handles cookies and we're trying to fix them. We've got no intention of letting IE be the only browser that you can use with h2g2, so don't worry about that. In the meantime, the best thing to do is make sure you're using "www.h2g2.com" rather than plain old "h2g2.com" with everything.
  • Ooops, you're probably right... it's a 2Mb, anyway.
  • They came up with the concept, they just didn't get the implementation right.
  • by yoz ( 3735 ) on Wednesday April 28, 1999 @04:36PM (#1911660) Homepage

    Dammit dammit dammit. We really didn't need our pipe /.ed right now.

    Okay, here's the deal. There we were, four of us Digital Village techies, standing in the British Library with Douglas sitting between us and the cameras, and we're quite happily browsing the site no problem.

    7:30pm: The programme starts.

    7:31pm: 3 gazillion British net users click from the BBC site straight through to h2g2.com all at once. PerlEx and IIS go mental. Boom.

    (Fortunately we managed to turn that to our advantage: Douglas got to say that the site was so popular that it couldn't take the strain.)

    Now, several hours later, the site is unusable from the outside. However, it's not NT's fault, as the server's fine; it's the pipe. We're only on a T1. We're frantically moving various images off to mirror sites now, hopefully that should help all you guys actually get in and see the thing.

    We're really proud of it, as it goes, and some other people seem to quite like it too [floor42.com]. Everything [slashdot.org] didn't inspire the site but we did look at it several times while we were designing. (Everything is similar in some ways, but not many - however, I still have a lot of admiration for Everything's features, and we'll be trying to send h2g2 in that direction as time goes on, as well as many other directions too... we've got a lot of big plans, and we're not going to sit still)

    So, yeah, it runs on NT, but there are reasons for that. (even though that may be unthinkable to some /.ers, who obviously have never had to do a professional site on a tight budget and deadline) And a good chunk of the blame for any site instability goes to Perl and PerlEx (which manages to throw away 50MB every time it restarts an interpreter... can someone please show ActiveState how to check for memory leaks?)

    But I would hope that the server system comes second in you guys minds to the fact that it's the Hitchhiker's Guide! The real thing! Online! And you can contribute!

    Come on... hands up everyone who doesn't want to be a Guide Researcher. Thought so.

    So, traffic permitting, we hope everyone can log on, join in and fulfil at least one childhood dream.

    -- Yoz

  • Lemme see. Take my Palm IIIx, add a cellular modem, a "Don't Panic" sticker, and a whole lot of spare batteries...

    EUREKA! IT FLOATS!

    Keith Russell
    Whatever happened to peaceful coexistance?
  • Project Gutenberg for a time had the idea that the way to go on this issue was to first put on the net the text of an out-of-copyright encyclopedia (the 1906 Encyclopedia Britannica, I think) and have people update articles, add new articles for things that weren't around in 1906, etc. I don't think this went anywhere, but on the other hand, I'm not sure if more than the first volume of the 1906 EB was ever put on the net.
  • by jsm ( 5728 )
    Yup, that's what I've always thought, especially the Web.
  • First off: The site looks really cool, I want to go back when I have some browsing time and energy! Only point you could take from everything is the random linkage feature, which keeps you moving around, and provides some connections that Ford himself wouldn't have thought of.

    Secondly:
    who obviously have never had to do a professional site on a tight budget and deadline

    As someone else mentioned, yeah, many of us have. For me, Linux (free) + Apache (free) + mod_perl (not only free, but blazing fast and low-overhead) always somehow ends up looking like the best server solution. Granted, I can have a box from naked to serving pages in a couple hours (at most), due to experience with the system. It'd be worth trying it out, especially if you're using perl. Perl is, deep down, a unix thing, and pretty much runs like a dog on NT (which has unfortunately gotten it a bad reputation among many NT bound manager-types I know). Just some ideas from a (hopefully) less insulting faction of the Linux community. :-)

    You guys are off to a good start, keep it up!
    ----------------------

  • "www.microsoft.com is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT3 or Windows 95"
    is that some kind of error?
    maybe because they are running some totally mutated version of Windows NT?
    Or is Microsoft really using an older version of their own product?
  • I knew that fellow, many many years ago. He was a good friend of mine when he was actively working on it, but I haven't heard from him in an age. The site is certainly very clever and is definitely worth a look.

    I don't think he's done any changes to the site in years. I think it's set up for Netscape 2.0, so if you happen to have a copy of it lying around somewhere it would probably work.

    D

    ----
  • So, yeah, it runs on NT, but there are reasons for that. (even though that may be unthinkable to some /.ers, who obviously have never had to do a professional site on a tight budget and deadline)

    Actually many /.ers have done exactly that. What do you think Slashdot is?

    And a good chunk of the blame for any site instability goes to Perl and PerlEx (which manages to throw away 50MB every time it restarts an interpreter...

    Without that.

    ...can someone please show ActiveState how to check for memory leaks?)

    Submit bug reports to ActiveState [activestate.com], not a bunch of Slashdotters. What would we know about Perl anyway?

    Besides, the PerlEx license reads, inter alia:

    LIMITATIONS. You may not:
    modify, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble (except to the extent applicable laws specifically prohibit such restriction), or create derivative works of (except as provided otherwise herein) the Software;
    ...

    Source? Patches? Hah.

    Jonathan
  • Actually, come to think of it, this sounds more like a server memory-management bug than a PerlEx plugin bug.

    Microsoft support, anyone?
  • ...that the HHGTTG runs on IIS/NT. Alright, Netcraft told me so. Damn. Poor souls.
  • IMHO, the site could do with a decent "This Is How It All Works" page. Trying to figure-out exactly HOW to contribute an entry is insanely complicated, and we really don't want to be hitting the Don'tPanic button every five seconds.

    The site's performance is still weedy today, and it's only 5 hops away from me, so I think my emailled moan still stands - even if you didn't reply to it.
  • What about the millions of PGG Articles? Will they be wasted? Hey I do not like it. It is a commercial site. I really do not like it. PGG seems better. Yeah. It must be a vogon site.
    --
  • DNA is suspose to be launching The Digital Village's "fantastic new internet project" tonight on the BBC1 show Tommorow's World Tonight. You can read the press release. [tdv.com] From what I've read at various places it is a follow up to the original Infocom game, but multi-player and online. They have something going on at fordprefect.h2g2.com as well.
  • Seems to me that any site that excludes more than it includes is NOT the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - If it truely was what it claims to be, then Mac users, Netscape users, BeOs users, Linux users, etc., would be able to fully use the site.

    Sorry, this is just a sham wannabe.
  • The is the home page for the ... Vogon Heavy Industries. Alast it doesn't seem to like Netscape4.5(Linux) Djj
  • I've always thought of the Net as the *real* Hitchiker's Guide. I can't quote from memory (although I should be able to, read it enough:), but wasn't it described as a full compendium of human knowledge containing much useful informtion, but also a great deal that is erroneous, downright wrong, and often dangerous.
    Sounds like the Net to me.
    Douglas Adams is a visionary. Take a good (P5 1ghz) laptop, throw in a cellular connection (iridium 10mb/s), slap a big "Don't Panic" sticker on the front, and you're there.
    When this things comes out let's have a Perfectly Normal Beast BBQ, maybe Elvis could play....
  • The server just fell over because of the bbc this time not us. Must be using NT.
  • The h2g2.com server seems quite distressed ever since the post on /. I was using the site this morning and it was speedy... NT & IIS under heavy load, ick.
  • Been there, dealt with that. I never use PerlEx unless I have to... in fact (don't hit me) I program in ASP using ActiveState PerlScript now. Memory leaks all gone. PerlEx runs in the memory space of IIS, it has none of it's own. If you forget to undef ANYTHING before a PerlEx script terminates, IIS doesn't clean up after it.

    It's actually better to use straight-up perl.exe, as long as you have plenty of memory in the server if it gets loaded.

    I wouldn't blame ActiveState, I blame M$ for not giving developers clear specs for how to write software for it's crappy systems.
  • Chill out baby, everything's copacetic.
  • Doe this sound about right??
    I was running Internet Explorer on my machine and
    I thought "Hey I think I will see if any Windows98
    updates ar on... so I went to Microsofts website and what happned... IE Crashes... Always nice...
    >8)
  • Just been there. It looks BRILLIANT!

    ... but how did you get a T1? Are you hosted in the US or something?

    Not important. Just curious.

  • OK, yes, there are other countries where you can get a T1 line, but UK isn't one of them. Are you sure it's not an E1 that you've got?
  • Does the page have any relationship
    to the hitchhikers guide?

    If i remember right, in the manual
    for the "Hitchhikers Guide to the

    Galaxy" Infocom game, Megadodo is
    the company that manufactures the guides.
  • Still /.ed
  • Its rather funny that you say that cuz the I'm friends with the PGG(Megadodo) site and he's been outa the Linux loop for so long that I had to help him install RH 5.2



    PDG--"I don't like the Prozac, the Prozac likes me"
  • There's been a project guide for about 6 years now which can be found at http://megadodo.com [megadodo.com]. Anyone can submit articles to it, and it has thousands, some of which are hilarious.



    PDG--"I don't like the Prozac, the Prozac likes me"
  • Surely a Pilot is the nearest thing we've got to The Book at the moment? :) Anyone tried it?

    Wonder if we can get special edition Pilots with "Don't Panic" on the cover..
  • So, yeah, it runs on NT, but there are reasons for that. (even though that may be unthinkable to some /.ers, who obviously have never had to do a professional site on a tight budget and deadline)

    Funny.. would you call a site that constantly saturates a 10Mb Full-duplex ethernet connection, built on a 2k machine an amateur effort? We can't plug it in a 100Mb port, we'd have no external bandwidth..
    Usual load average, 0.03

  • Aww man... if they were going to do this, at least they could've done it right.
    -
  • Because PHBs think that this is the easy and good way to go.

    In fact I sit 10 feet from developers that code .asp pages linked to MS-SQL all day... for a living... and get paid very well for it...

    That doesn't make it suck any less...
    -

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page

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