F 1 D 0 -- 2002 01 27 at 14 00

>   I'd like to know why you would like 
>   to be a server, or have a server,

I'll try.

To appreciate *my* position, you
have to understand how much of the
power of the computer is sucked away
by any MSwindows.

Windows costs between 100-200 dollars.
It is famous, and very slow.

Linux is FREE. it is less famous, and
runs very fast.

Unix can be free. It is Very famous, but
only among the technical.

Unix and linux both have the famous Start
button we have in Windows. They both have
word processing, web browsing, telnet, ftp,
chat, and a whole suite of things you can do.

But there is more.

When you fire up a Unix or Linux box, it
is all ready, without further mucking, to
be a server.

So it doesn't just have TELNET (character
based terminal window) but it has telnetD
(a daemon, a program which serves out telnet
sessions to people. A daemon is just a memory
resident program providing a service).

It doesn't just have FTP (file transfer program,
for getting goodies, the old way), but it has
ftpD so that you can offer such services too.

It doesn't just have Netscape and MSIE, but
also has Apache (an HTTP daemon). This makes
it possible to serve up web pages right from
your computer at home.

Does this make the computer slower. A wee bit.
Not a lot. As a rule, the processes which run
on it are invisible.

People like Bryan have made themselves famous
by running "shell service" on their computer.
Shell? That is like DOS, but for unix and linux.
(it connects to the telnetD etc- character based
commands and program running services).

Something which makes running a home server
possible is the cheap fast 24hour high speed
connections you can get now.  There is no
sense to running a server which ties up a
phone line.  We used to do stuff like that
20 years ago. I helped set one up. In those
days, you'd have to dial into a server. No big
deal.

In fact, such people often ran something called
a BBS.  A Bulletin Board Service.  Jeff Goebel
ran one out of his home for years and years. He
funded the design of the Punternet, a system for
exchange of information between BBSs.

In the days before internet, you needed something
to connect separate computers. Jeff had one.
Joe had one. Jeff had email messages for Joe.
Jeff also had some for someone else, and so
his message had to be forwarded on to the Next
Computer, so that someday the email would find
its way to the Someone Else.

So around 1am, these computers would stop
accepting calls from individuals, so they
could do this exchange of groupchat and messages.

By running a server, we get to set the
rules. For example, Bryan took Qpopper off
of his server, so he could use something with
more features and better security. But this
made it so Mark and I could no longer use
Eudora's PopSend feature.  So if I were
running a server of my very own, I could
run QpopperD on it, and see for myself whether
I liked it (or not).

Even a small computer running a few
services has mountains of advantages
of a MSwindows computer.

Ah, but in spite of those advantages,
I'm not doing it yet.

That's all I know.