Kevin's Papers

Technical Papers by Kevin Morrison

Why your company should consider dedicated hosting

When moving Web operations to a hosting service it is not enough to say, “Let’s move.” You have to consider what sort of new living arrangements will be made. There are three possible arrangements: managed, dedicated, and co-located hosting services. Here, we will consider the advantages of dedicated hosting services. In a dedicated hosting arrangement, the hosting service provider supplies a physical server dedicated exclusively to your applications. Basically, you are renting an unfurnished house on the host’s property. You don’t have any neighbors on the other side of walls, floor, or ceiling to bother or be bothered by. You can decorate the place however you wish, within reason. The landlord is responsible for maintenance of a few basic things like plumbing connections, but generally you have to keep your place clean and tidy yourself.

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Useability in Web Design

Usability in web design or usability case study are a few that you can use in Google/Bing to research some of what you are looking for. There are quite a few good books on usability that I recommend to anyone asking about this. Don't Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Simple by Steve Krug are two very good books on this subject.

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What business gets in the way of great design?

There are so many variables that get in the way of good design in business and none speak louder than the naysayers. The idea is to bring that person into the project and listen to what they have to say and keep your personal emotion out of it. Many times these people are focused on only one or two aspects of the design and you may have simply overlooked that area. So you really do need to listen to them with an open mind and understand their position, and in many cases you are going to learn something that you did not know about the project.

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Server Permissions Explained

Unix/Linux permissions can be a confusing thing so here is a full explanation on how they work and how they differ on Unix servers.

The basic unix permissions come in three flavors;

Owner Permissions : These are permissions that you have on your own files or directories.
Group Permissions : These are permissions that you and anyone in your group have on the file files or directories.
Other Permissions : These are permissions that other people have on your files or directories if not you, or in your group

So, in Unix, when permissions are configured, the server allows you to define different permissions for each these three different categories of users. In a Web Serving environment these permissions are used to control which website owners can access which directories and files.

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How Not To Get SUED!

Small businesses are often easy targets for lawsuits. A study in Maryland found that 30% of small business owners surveyed had been sued in the past five years, while 42% had been threatened with a lawsuit in the same period. Many litigants figure that small companies who typically don't have attorneys on retainer will often settle for something rather than incur the cost of seeing things through. While there's no magic coat that can be worn to protect a business from legal actions---justified or not---there are measures you can use to greatly reduce your exposure.
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