[ubuntu-us-nc] Promo Report

markthecarp markthecarp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 04:05:56 GMT 2009

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Hi All,

Tonight I was to demonstrate how to run a web server using a free
dynamic dns service (dyndns.com) on any GNU/Linux, Apache and use the
ddclient perl script to handle updating a dhcp assigned external
external IP address. The audience was the Forsyth County Computer Club,
mostly windows guys.

Nothing went as planned. I've had a site running with a free domain name
from dyndns.com for some time on a variety of hardware and os's. Most
recently on an old E-Machine running REHL 5.2. I'd tested this as
recently as a week ago; tested name resolution. Tonight that failed, I
think because I've just switched to using opendns.com and something
there is causing a name resolution problem.

Bad thing two: part of my plan was to have Apache running on my laptop
to demonstrate that a server is just software, change the base Apache
install to use a different DocumentRoot... I left the laptop's charger
at home! Having a six year old battery I figured maybe thirty minutes.

I was distracted by conversation during boot up so I booted the laptop
into Jaunty instead of Intrepid, which already had Apache installed with
rehearsed config files and a simple website. I should note here my
laptop was connected to a projection system. At this point I'm flying by
the seat of my pants so why not just install Apache on the Jaunty
installation! (battery clock is ticking) I did: "It works!" displayed in
the club's machine when they point a browser to my laptop's IP. We
edited the default index.html and I had just finished installing
ddclient when my battery died; the battery lasted around 1 hr 15 mn! I
expect maybe 45 minutes under Intrepid.

After the disaster that wasn't so bad, 4 out of 8 in attendance were
quite interested in running a test server at home, I was chatting with
the club President. Seems the club's meeting place, SciWorks in Winston,
wants them to have some "educational" event to justify their access.

I suggested a Saturday session with some Linux emphasis, perhaps my
somewhat botched presentation on home private/public webserver. He
seemed quite intrigued by the idea.

It's a good location as far as accessibility from highways but folks
would have to bring their own machines.

I do plan to pursue this possibility.

- -mark

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