OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
June 16, 2004
Roland Casselbrant has written articles for the Swedish computer magazine PC-Plus and this is his first humble try to do something in English. He works at a stock exchange supporting their Windows servers and workstations. He's married, has kids, and has a weak spot for GUI's.
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Perspective from a 'new' user

The last time I made a contribution to this e-zine I was bringing a bit of outside perspective. This time it's a little more of a inside perspective. As I said that time (in may 2002) the OS/2 users has a community that I really would enjoy being a part of”, and now I'm counting myself as a “real” OS/2 user.

What's new?

Since the last time I have moved my web server from the operating system Windows 2000 Professional to eComStation 1.1. From IIS 5.0 to Web/2 from Dink. Before I moved I had between 30 000 and 45 000 hits per month and because of that I hesiteted about doing such a big different as changing server software for the web site. But I had one god reason for doing so. Performance!

The hardware I used to use for the web server was also used for a lot of other services and purposes, so what I needed was one computer working singely as a web server.

My Windows system was in its third year and the memory leaking made me restart the system every third day. I felt that staying by Windows was going backwards with the web site so I had to find a god alternative. And using IIS 5.0 in Windows 2000 Professional for a web server only allows 10 simultaneus visitors. I really like Linux and I have been using Red Hat Linux, Mandrake and some other distributions earlier and always been very pleased with some of the functions in the Linux system. But using a distribution like the ones I named is like using a Windows system, because the best Linux distributions (best from a userfriendly view) is just as bloated as any Windows installation. [Editor: You might be interested in this recent piece about bloated Linux from Slashdot]. So using Linux demands me to know the system from the ground up in a way that neither OS/2 or Windows does, if I want to use it in a optimal fashion. That, and the fact that BeOS is no more made the decision easy. OS/2 was about to become my choice for web server OS.

I used to run my web server on the same system I used for a lot of other purposes, like editing pictures in Adobe Photoshop, playing Red Alert 2 or the worst thing for my beloved web server, downloading files with DC++. Really giving my server and my network hard times delivering the goods.

When I moved the server to a computer dedicated for being a web server and nothing else I also made a decision to clear my network from unwanted traffic, but this is a separate issue that I might come back to later.

The move from a Windows environment to the OS/2 is, for a beginner, a step that does not demands knowledge in every nut and bolt detail issue that you have to read up on in a different environment like Linux. OS/2 or like in this case, to be exact, eComStation 1.1, is nice and easy for the newcomer and lets you concentrate on the web side of things instead for having you reading up on obscure OS-information.

Thus far my experience on using OS/2 as a web server operating system is only positive.

When it came to choose server software I wanted a small but still effective server that had enough functionality to take my already existing web site and just let me copy it from one machine to another. I looked around for a while and then I came to the decision to use Web/2 (earlier in OS/2 e-Zine). The decision where made from two points. It was small and it handled Server Side Includes, SSI, wich I use a lot on my web site.

The transition was easier than one could expect. Web/2 worked out great from start and when I started to get a grip on the SSI-tags to use in Web/2 I was almost at the finising line.

The thing I needed now was a better than great text editor for editing my web pages which know is counting in thousands. I found a editor in MED (formely Mr. Ed). The first alternative I came to think about was FTE but after have tested MED I saw no reason to use anything else. It is almost as good as Crimson Editor for Windows and is outstanding in handling changes in a large number of files at a time. [Editor: I concur! I have used many editors on OS/2, UNIX and Windows, including Crimson Editor. MED is pretty hard to beat for a great combination of power, speed, price and ease of use. Especially for programming where you'd like to know which procedure you're in, it's one of the few editor's that can do that easily].

So, now I stand here with a couple of changes left to do with my web site to make the transition complete. But I don't need to hurry. Now I know I have I solution that will be faithful to me for a long long time to come.

With just these three tools, eComStation, Web/2 and MED, I could move a existing web site with more than 6 000 files (over 4 000 text/code documents) in just a couple of hours. That's strength. That's impressive.

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