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Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space
Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site.
The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down.
That's important for two reasons.
All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur.
Here's one way to picture them...
Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random.
Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper.
You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly.
Why should you care?
Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster.
But there's a second effect.
As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces.
So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them.
So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly.
When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance.
Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.
Web Hosting - DNS, How The Internet Keeps Track of Names The way computers communicate is, in a way, very similar to something very familiar: the postal system that delivers letters and packages. Here's how... The Internet is just what the name suggests, a large inter-connected set of networks. But those networks are pointless without the one part that forms what is called their 'end-nodes', otherwise known as computers. Those computers often need to share information because the people who use them want to share information. But, in a system where there are millions of separate computers, how can you enable them all to communicate? One very important feature of that solution is performed by something called DNS, the Domain Name System. Every part of a network that is going to send or receive information is assigned an IP address. That's a numeric identifier that uniquely specifies a particular 'node', such as a computer, a router that directs traffic or other component. They look like this: 18.104.22.168 But those numbers are more difficult for people to remember and work with. They also aren't very attractive from a marketing perspective. So, a naming system was layered on top of some of them, mostly the computers involved, though routers have names, too. But once you have a system that associates a unique IP address to a given name, you need some way of keeping track of all of them. That's carried out by several different pieces of the system: Name Registrars, DNS Servers and other components. The Name Registrars, overseen by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and other international bodies, provide and keep track of domain names. When you register with GoDaddy or any of a hundred other intermediate companies, ultimately that information makes its way into a number of specialized databases stored inside DNS Servers. A DNS Server is the hardware and/or software that tracks and forwards the IP Address/Domain Name pair from one place to the next. In many cases, there are a number of them between your browser and the remote computer you want to share information with. Suppose you request information from, say, Yahoo's site by clicking on a link on their site. DNS resolves (translates) the name of WHO IS making the request and OF WHOM, to addresses, then passes the request through the network to the requested IP address. The requested data is then passed back through the mesh of network components to your computer and displayed in your browser. Whether the communication is between a desktop computer and a server somewhere, or between one server and another, the process is essentially the same. DNS servers translate names into IP addresses and the requests for data are forwarded on. In some cases those DNS servers are part of a specialized network computer whose sole job is to do the translation and forwarding. In other cases the DNS software may reside on a server that also houses a database of general data, or stores email, or performs other functions. But however complicated the chain or the parts, the basic process is simple. Translate the name to an address, just as the postal system does. Whether international or local, your name is associated with an address, and the deliveries are made to the address, then forwarded to a particular name.
Continuing Education Key to Being a Better Employee Employers now recognize the importance of continuing education for employees. Over the past few years, more and more employers have begun to offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education classes to their employees. While this was once thought of as an excessive expensive, it is now understood that continuing education benefits the company as much or more as it does the employee. The job market is becoming more and more competitive everyday. Only the best employees are getting jobs in certain sectors. That means that your skills need to be sharp in order for you to remain valuable to your company. This is where continuing education comes into play. No matter what type of job you have, just about all companies are investing in continuing education. The reasons why are simple. Even though the company may spend a good deal of money on continuing education for their employees, they see an even larger return. By having employees that are on the top of their game, the company will be more productive as a whole. Thus the company will make more money. With that in mind, it is very important that employees always take advantage of continuing education classes when they can. You will be able to stay on top of whatever new trends are coming up and possibly acquire skills that will allow you to move up in the company. By taking continuing education classes, you will become more productive. Studies have found that employees that continue to have their skills refreshed and renewed are more productive on the job. This is a perk for both employees and their employers. You will be able to finish more work in less time and with more understanding. Thus making your time at work easier. If you are not sold on the idea of continuing education, think of it this way. Your employer is paying for it. It is a perk of your job that you should take full advantage of. If you are working towards acquiring skills that will lead you to a promotion or an entirely new job, you are doing something to better yourself. And, it is costing you less, or nothing at all. The best companies to work for in the country have great training programs. This is no coincidence. These companies, which also make a ton of money spend thousands of dollars training their employees so that they can go out and make the company the most money possible. Less successful companies have begun to follow suit. No matter what type of job you have, there are continuing education programs that can help enhance your job experience. Continuing education is a great way to break out of a rut. If you are eager to change jobs or get a promotion, you will fair much better in the job market if you do some continuing education. Use whatever means your company offers to better yourself and become more marketable. The type of continuing education you choose depends on your career goals. It is always helpful to have an advanced degree in a certain field. If tuition reimbursement for graduate school is an option, take it. Having a Master?s or PHD will help you become an expert in your field of study. If your job has company continuing education, take them up on it., Even if a promotion is not exactly what you are looking for, being cross trained is always a good idea. Gain as much in the way of knowledge and skills as you can. When you move on to your next job those skills will look great on your resume.
Job Hunt Challenges for the Over 50 Crowd If you have just recently lost a job or maybe are not happy with the job you are currently holding, you are going to be on the hunt for a new job. Hunting for new job is never easy, whether it is your first or your tenth job. You know that it takes a good amount of preparation till you might hold another permanent job. But for the older crowd, especially the crowd over fifty, the challenge of finding a new job is even greater. Explore some of the facts why it is more challenging to find a job after 50. Starting out by the age factor, many companies want young and dynamic employees that are open to new and challenging tasks. Many employers believe that a person over 50 is set in his or her ways and therefore not able to tackle the same great tasks that might open up as a young, fresh out of college open minded person. A person over 50 is closer to retirement and might not want to take any risks as a young career fresh from school employee. Risks are sometimes what a company needs to get forward, new ideas, new thinking. Another reason is the salary competition. If you are over 50 and looking for another job, you most likely have a lot of experience in you sector. Experience usually is measured in money and the salary for an experienced person is generally higher than a starter salary. While experience is desired, some companies can just not afford to hire somebody for 10-20 thousand dollars more than they can get the fresh from college employee. If you lost your job, you might accept one of the lower salaries, but while you are in the application process, the human resource person reading your résumé does not have that information about you. Some of the bigger companies get scared by the fact that you are really close to retirement and if there are certain retirement plans and structure in place at a company, they might not want to hire you. You could retire within 10-15 years or less and then the company is stuck with paying you retirement payments. Hiring a younger person instead guarantees them no retirement payments or plans for retirement in general for the next 20-30 years. From the employer?s side, these are great savings for their pocket. Another reason often seen from employers as a reason not to hire a person over 50 is that the person they are hiring might be more prone to sickness and take more sick days than a young person. Why would they think that? Statistics have shown them that the tendency for time off due to sickness is greater for people crossing the age threshold of 50 years versus younger people. Be honest, being over 50 means for most people more aches and pains all over the body. You are more tired and get exhausted quicker. So if you do get a chance to go to an interview when looking for a new job, you need to make the best out of it. Besides all the factors mentioned above, a person that is over 50 and is looking for a job can be a great addition to any company and you need to make sure that you let your interviewer know that. An interview is a great challenge and can be mastered quite well if keeping these thoughts that employers have in mind. Emphasize the fact that you do bring experience and connections. Let them know that if they hire you, they get a person that at least is settled in life. You have had all your children, or did not want any, but at least you will not be missing because of pregnancy, birth of a child, and sickness of a young child or similar events.