Welcome to www.austincarshare.org
Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
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.
Working on Your Own Time: It?s What Freelancing is About (freelance jobs) Do you have a busy life? Do you wish that you could schedule your work around the rest of your priorities? You work to make money so that you can live. You have no choice but to pay for housing and food and other life necessities. Because you need the money, work tends to creep up to the top of the priority list. Other things are more important though. Freelance jobs allow you to put work where it belongs on the list of priorities. You can play with your kids when they?re home, enjoy doing the things you enjoy outdoors while it?s daytime and spend your Sunday mornings at church instead of behind a counter. The work still needs to get done, but you can do it when you have time instead of from nine to five, Monday through Friday or worse, whenever you?re put on the schedule. Kinds of Freelance Jobs Do you have the appropriate skills and abilities to work at freelance jobs? There are many, many different kinds available. Those with professional degrees can consult. While the jobs that result from extensive education generally lead to many hours working for a good salary, your education can lead you in another direction. If you can manage to find the clients, you can work by appointment only, guiding those who do not have the experience or education that you have. If you are not a professional, you may still have the appropriate talents that will get you into freelance jobs. Writing is a very popular freelance opportunity. You live in a world that relies on the written word. You do not go through a single day without reading a considerable amount of text. Someone needs to do all of that writing, and much of it is hired out to freelancers. Actually, any skill that you possess may be suited to freelance work. Check out a few job boards and find out who?s hiring. Tips of the Trade Freelance jobs are out there, but so is the competition. To get yourself to the top of the hiring list, there are a few things you can do. First, use any experience you have to your advantage. Even if a previous job was short term or didn?t seem significant to you, you gained experience there. Let the employers know about everything you can do. Another thing you must do as a freelancer is to be very consistent and organized. An employer will be much more likely to rehire you if you turn out a good product. Everything you turn in should be clear and professional. Always meet deadlines. While most of the freelance jobs are extremely flexible, allowing you to work at your convenience, there are still deadlines. The work needs to be finished when the employer asks for it. Most of the qualities that will get you more freelance jobs only require common sense and a good work ethic. Living on Sparse Paychecks One downside of freelance jobs is that they are not necessarily consistent. Especially if you jump from one job to another, working for different companies, you will not have any guarantee about how much you will get paid each month. The flexibility may or may not be worth the uncertainty of freelancing to you. If you can manage to save effectively, the distance between paychecks won?t matter. If you do get frustrated about always wondering where the next paycheck is coming from, just remind yourself that the trade off is getting to enjoy more precious time not tied to a desk. There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to freelancing. You just need to decide how important it is to you to prioritize your life around what really matters to you.
How to Succeed as a Writer in the World of Freelancing (freelancing) Many may view freelancing as a writer as an acquired taste. There are many things about freelance writing that may be deemed as undesirable for many writers, including the common low pay and high demands. However, most writers would consider the freelance writing field, and many enjoy the freedom of freelancing. Being a freelance writer involves writing as well as the marketing of oneself and one?s work. For freelancers, it is important to give careful attention to the business details of the writing world, such as quarterly taxes, and staying ahead of the changing trends of publishing. Freelance writers also have the job of writing according to the editor or publisher?s rules while staying true to their own style. Being a freelance writer may seem ideal to some writers, but in the world of freelance there is stiff competition and most writers receive a hundred rejections before receiving one letter accepting their work. Many freelancers don?t consider being a freelance writer as an easy job, but there are some steps that can help turn any person succeed as a freelance writer. First, it is important that the freelance writer is honest about the quality of their writing and the depth of their writing skills, as well as their knowledge of freelancing. Editors will not spend time with submissions that have many grammatical or spelling mistakes, so it is important to know your own limits, learn your weakness, and use your strengths when writing on a freelance basis. There are many freelance writers who consider themselves professionals, but who don?t have the proper training or degree in any field of writing. So, the next step to being a successful freelance writer is to take a writing course or attend a workshop. Learning techniques from an instructor can be very helpful to a freelance career, and may inspire some writers to move higher on the career ladder. Writers may benefit from receiving comments on the quality of their work from instructors and peers, and may benefit from the pressure of writing well on deadlines. Freelancing requires a certain amount of promotion of oneself, and writers must learn how to write query letters to editors well. For freelance writers, a query letter briefly proposes their idea for an article, gives their qualifications as a writer, and makes the editor believe that the idea is better than every other idea out there. Next, the freelance writer should use web sites for writers to improve their writing skills and to find freelance job opportunities. Many writing web sites have features that are very helpful to writers, and some even offer advice and lessons on how to become a freelance writer and how to maintain a freelancing career. Freelance writers may find it difficult to begin their career, but a simple starting point is the local newspaper or local magazines. It is usually best for a writer to contact the local paper or magazine and ask to submit an article ?on spec,? which means the editor may choose not to pay for the article but will be willing to read it. Typically this method works as a good introduction into the freelance process and world, and helps the writer learn the proper techniques for presenting work. Freelance writers should also work on many small points to improve their career, such as professional presentation. It is advisable for a writer to create a portfolio of clips that prove that they have experience as a writer. This may be difficult for inexperienced writers, but they can begin to build their portfolio by volunteering to write for community publications. Online communities also offer writers the opportunity to write and create material for their portfolio. Freelancing may not be desirable for all writers, but for many it is passion, and some believe the writing world cannot survive without freelancers.