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Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space
Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site.
The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down.
That's important for two reasons.
All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur.
Here's one way to picture them...
Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random.
Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper.
You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly.
Why should you care?
Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster.
But there's a second effect.
As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces.
So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them.
So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly.
When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance.
Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.
From the Publisher?s Desk: How Book Publishing looks from the Other Side (book publishing) Many writers aspire to writing books. Writing a book is a long, involved, difficult process. Book publishing is harder. A writer may submit his book time and time again only to be turned down again and again. He may eventually be successful. Wouldn?t it have been easier to have just gotten published the first time? Is that possible? You can improve your chances if you understand a little bit more about what happens at the publisher?s desk. Book publishers are busy people with several projects crossing their desks every day. They must make fast decisions about what will sell. They must also delegate their time efficiently in order to keep the business running. Only occasionally do publishers actually seek out work. Maybe understanding the work day of a publisher will help you to get a book published. Persistence Has a New Meaning You all know that writers must be persistent. Regardless of how many times you get shot down and your ideas are thrown in the trash, you have to keep going back for more discouragement. The idea is that eventually you?ll make it in the door. If you can get all the way through, you will finally get to the place where more of your work is accepted than declined. When working with the book publishing world, the rule is the same. If you have a book that you know will sell, you can?t give up on getting it onto the publisher?s desk again and again. You probably won?t be sending the entire book, but excerpts from it. As you continually send your manuscript again and again to publisher after publisher, you should try to market it in different ways. Publishers are looking for a particular kind of writing and will dismiss anything that doesn?t look like what they are looking for. Variation in your marketing techniques may turn a rejected book into an accepted book. The Right Stuff Book publishing is a strange area of business. The people?s tastes are somewhat fickle and a book publisher has to keep up with what kinds of books will sell. It seems that technically written mysteries will always have a place on the bookshelves, but it is unclear how many authors readers are willing to get to know. That market may be tied up until Crichton and Grisham are finished. That is just one example from one genre of books though. Publishers have to keep track of what is selling in all areas of literature. The best way for you to get your work noticed is to make it look like the other writing that is selling. Be careful not to imitate style or voice of another author. Write with your own unique words while imitating the use of popular public opinion. Another way to improve your chances of getting your work onto the right publisher?s desk is to find out who?s publishing what. Are You Barking Up the Right Tree? Some publishers specialize in a certain kind of writing. If you are writing a novel, it won?t do you any good to send it to the people who publish technical manuals. How do you find out who is the most likely candidate to publish your work? There are reference manuals at your library that will tell you the kinds of book publishing that is happening. It will contain valuable information leading you to children?s book publishers, novel publishers and textbook publishers. If the handbook at your library is not quite up to date, your next option is to check out the new release and best seller rack at the book store. Buy a few books and read them. You?ll have a much better feel for the market if you are a consumer. Book publishing is a difficult field to break into. It can be helpful to approach the issue from the direction of the publisher. Before you send out your manuscript again, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Change your marketing style so that you just may grab some better attention. Make sure that you are a book consumer yourself. You?ll get a better feel for what?s selling and therefore what a publisher will buy. You?ll also find out who is publishing which types of books. Finally, by buying the product you are trying to sell, you will improve the book economy all together. Publishers need to see people buying books before they can commit to publishing more.
Software copyright statement A Software Copyright Statement Protects Current and Future Works If you have a site that is dedicated to the sharing and distribution of open source software it is a great idea to have a software copyright statement that explains the limits of use for your software as well as the limits of your responsibility for those uses. I also recommend getting an attorney to look over the statement before posting it just to be sure there are no legal issues that you may be unaware of. A software copyright statement doesn't have to be a 10 page booklet on the law or the protections that copyright offers, it should be a simple short paragraph stating the basics and hopefully covering your rear from litigation and/or responsibility should someone use the software you are allowing them to use for something insanely stupid or frighteningly criminal while establishing your ownership of the material and expectations of those you are allowing to use your creation. This for some is a no brainer because they've done it before and know the ropes. There are new software developers born and made each and every day and this type of software copyright statement may serve to save them a little grief of their own some day. If you are being kind enough to freely share the software you created with others, you'd like to think that they would at least return the favor of using it within the letter of the law or the manner in which it was intended. This, however, is rarely the case so protecting yourself, your copyright, and your future interests by posting a software copyright statement on your website is really the best way to go in a situation such as this. Trust me I'm not trying to talk anyone out of sharing his or her software with the world. I rather like open source software and admit to using it freely (no pun intended). I love saving money almost as much as I love playing around with new technology. Software allows me to do that and find likes and dislikes about all kinds of programs. Issuing a software copyright statement is one way of protecting your investment of time, effort, energy, and sheer brilliance in the making and design of your technological masterpiece. Hopefully that flattery will keep you going a bit longer at any rate. It is important to know that a software copyright statement is only part of the process required to protect your software but for the most part poses a significant deterrent to those that would abuse your copyright and/or your kindness in allowing the distribution of your software. Even if you are charging people for the use of your software (we are a nation of capitalists after all) you still need to protect the labor you have put into making not only the software but the distribution method, the website, the payment method and the thousands of other things that are part and parcel of the business model for your software distribution. Your software copyright statement is a very small protection for your software don't expect it to be the brunt of your protection. Most of the software developers, coders, and programmers (and any other name you wish to call them) that I know aren't as concerned nearly as much about associating their name with the products they create as they are with protecting future potential income from both the products they are currently designing and the future, improvements they will make to the software and the much improved finished product that comes later. By protecting all your work with a software copyright statement you are not only protecting current works but future works as well.