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Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover
Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad.
Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily.
Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams.
A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'.
A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path.
Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy.
That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place.
And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later.
One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem.
Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine.
The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.
Your Frugal, Money Saving Websites and Forums a Great Resource for Free Stuff In any economy, it is essential to save money and therefore any way there is to get free stuff is a good way. Many pages online offer help, advice and even coupons on how to save money and be frugal. These websites offer coupons to reduce the grocery or department store bill, send out monthly newsletter with the best moneysaving tips and even direct their visitors to free stuff. Many bigger companies, manufacturers of everyday household items and restaurants offer coupons for reduced price or sometimes free products. Visiting every month all the different manufacturers? web pages can be very lengthy and proves to be not very efficient. But by visiting one of the sites that cumulate all that information into their web pages, one can save enormous amounts of time and additionally save dollars when shopping. Essentially, when looking for web pages that offer grocery coupons, links to free products and more it is important to make sure that a trustworthy site is entered. On the Internet, viruses and identity theft are a great concern. Of course, many of these online coupon resources require signing up, but it always depends on the information they ask to determine whether a page is fraud or not. In general such pages should not ask for social security numbers, credit card numbers or other account information. They may ask for name, age, telephone number and address. Signing up to one of these wonderful money saving pages is quick and easy. Many of these web pages also offer coupon printers so that the barcode on coupons gets printed legible for the store scanner. Some of the coupons and rebates found on those pages will help the shopper to free products or credit on a store card so that the shopper is able to receive free products at the next shopping trip. There are pages that even offer state customized advice. These pages offer a list of coupons, free products and special offers from certain stores close to the location that was picked as home location. This function offers shoppers the opportunity to exactly know where they are able to get free or reduced products close to home and shoppers do not have to do a lengthy search to find out which stores will accept certain deals and coupons. Some of the pages also offer forums, where other shoppers will post advice or deals that they saw in the area. This is often a great tool to save, since stores will have a reduced sale, a clearance sale after a certain holiday and other shoppers will post where they saw great deals. This way whoever is subscribed to receive alerts from the forum gets to know where great seasonal or short-term deals due to promotions and clearances can be found. The more pages a shopper is a part of, the more deals can be found and the more money can be saved. Money savers are everywhere and with little effort shoppers can save money for college funds, vacations funds or just to have some money for fun. When looking to reduce monthly spending and still trying to stay at a certain standard of living, online resources can be used to just do that. There are many companies, that will offer free trial sizes or regular sizes of new or improved products and to find out about such deals, a subscription to one of the moneysaving websites can help shoppers to more of these free products. It is easy to save money, and the more experienced a shopper gets and the more a shopper learns about saving money with these websites, the more will actually be saved.
Software company patent A Software Company Patent is the Door to a World of Confusion There is no universal understanding of exactly what a software company patent is. In general, owning a patent allows a company certain rights (or exclusivity) for a prescribed amount of time. Individuals or corporations seeking a patent must apply for a patent in each and every country in which they wish to have one. Unlike copyrights, patents are not automatically granted to applicants and can take quite a while in order to be approved. Another thing to remember, particularly with a software company patent, is that a patent may issue in one or more of the countries in which you've applied but not all of them. The real problem lies in the fact that there really is no central agreement about what a software company patent actually grants among any of the nations so those who are awarded patents may not be getting exactly what they think they are getting in the process. With no universal agreement there really can't be universal enforcement about the laws and the rights surrounding a software company patent. The growth of Internet business and e-commerce in general has led to many patent applications for software, particularly software that was designed for specific business applications. The problem is that while the cases are granted and successfully tried and defended in some countries, other countries offer no enforcement or legal recourse for those who do not honor the software company patent even if the patents were granted in those countries. The fine line between nations about what is and isn't patentable is another challenge when it comes to establishing and honoring patents. In other words, the issue of a software company patent is a rather confusing process at best. Patents differ greatly from copyrights, which are issued automatically and recognized and enforced internationally. Copyrights protect the source code of software from being copied and registration is generally not required in order for your work to be protected. Lately there is a new term, copyleft, which is an obvious play on words and represents the rights to not only redistribute the works that are covered by this but also to modify and freely distribute those modifications. This term is very much in the spirit of many open source types of software and music. The catch for copyleft protection is that the newly created work be distributed in the same manner and spirit in which it was received. In other words if you were freely given the software, then you must freely provide the improvements and modifications you made to that software. Of course this is a long way from the idea of a software company patent. It is also important that you are sure you understand exactly what you are applying for as far as your patent goes. Different countries will grant patents for different things and those are closely regulated and carefully regarded when it comes to software-know what you are applying for and understand what you are being granted. A software company patent means different things to different people in different places and it nearly impossible to get other countries to honor a patent that they would not have granted at the same time they shouldn't expect other countries to honor patents based on their decision to do so either. One unfortunate circumstance surrounding patents is that there seems to be an unequal and obvious disparity between the haves and the have not's. Patent enforcement for software, unlike literature and music is largely subjective. In literature and music, it is rather obvious that the copyright has been abused or that the work has been copied, this isn't as simple with software which is one other reason that software company patent is such a hotly debated subject in the software industry.