Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals My Personal Reviews

Hawkhost review

hawkhost It’s the first time I move kavoir.com to another host from Dreamhost (the last move to Linode was about some of my other sites). The entire move was great except that I was not quite familiar with cPanel and choked a little bit on the transfer and setup of all the interconnected files and database that had been spawned for the last 2 years.

The fact that Hawk host is using Litespeed instead of Apache caused some minor incompatibility issues – at least so it seemed – about which I contacted the support team. They got back to me after approximately an hour, friendly and helpful. The results are positive and problem successfully solved.

Though you will not find parallel documentations with Litespeed against Apache, they are generally interchangeable and Litespeed can handle about double or even triple the traffic of Apache with the same server resources (their official comparison). I think that’s one of the top reasons why Hawk host has been able to offer such a budget hosting without compromising the performance and reliability.

After confirming the domain was resolving to the new IP of Hawkhost, the next thing I did was to examine the loading speed of Kavoir. Results are shown below by Internet Supervision:

loading speed of hawkhost

The speed test stats were quite impressive, averaging at about 450 Kbps, the highest of all the stats I got from Dreamhost, Linode and Pair.com (though very incomplete to compare and give final judgment of the overall serving speed of these hosting providers).

All the reviews I found about Hawkhost on the web and WHT have been rather positive and purchase-encouraging. Search and read, so you know if you want to try them out with a few of your low traffic websites.

I’ll keep you updated for the months coming.

Categories
Internet Tools My Personal Reviews

Dropbox review – the most intuitive online backup storage, data synchronizing and files sharing software

Dropbox - file sync, sharing and backupI’ve tried quite a few online backup services to back up my valuable website data – you just can’t imagine what a nightmare it would be to lose all the files that you’ve been working on for the last half year – I even created my own backup programs that automatically syncs and stores designated files across multiple hosts, however, Dropbox has been the most intuitive application so far.

It’s revealed by Dropbox that backup shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

They’ve got a very slick clean style, both the application as well as the website are so designed that anybody can figure the whole thing out at a glance of 5 seconds. And that’s it. Everything you need to ever know is merely a folder named “My Dropbox”. Thus it goes incredibly breezy on first time users, doing the job perfectly and silently even when you have forgotten it.

Install and forget.

Working from the desktop of Windows, Linux and Mac, Dropbox is not just an online data storage provider, it’s also at its best as a data backup system, files sharing wizard, automatic synchronizer, way-back time machine and free file host.

  1. Offsite remote data storage: this goes without saying. All files and data you put into the “My Dropbox” folder is automatically and quietly transferred to and stored at the their central server securely.
  2. Backup system: intuitively, after you have hit the save button, the document has been backed up on Dropbox servers. Otherwise, just drag and drop anything you’d like backed up on the remote server so a local hard drive crash won’t make you go nuts.
  3. Files sharing wizard: all the files and media (music, videos, photos etc.) can be instantly accessible and downloaded from the central servers across all the computers and mobile devices such as iphone that have Dropbox software installed.
  4. Automatic synchronizer: editing a document, saving it in the “My Dropbox” folder of your office PC and you can continue working on it after opening it from the same folder of your home Mac. The next day, you just open the same file in your office PC and it’s exactly the same file! Basically, any changes you made to those files are instantly synced to the server, thus across all computers of the sync software installed.
  5. Way-back time machine: Dropbox keeps historical versions of your files for 30 days by default, so that you can undo any changes or deletions you regret.
  6. Free file hosting: simply put any file into the “Public” folder and you will be given a public web address (URL) to hand out to your friends and everyone else so that they can view and download it.

Try them for free for 14 days and be ready to be impressed.

Categories
CSS & HTML Tips

You can actually use percentage values for padding and margin

Which seems quite new to me as I have never used any percentage values on them before. Took some tests and I found out that all major modern browsers supported percentage values for padding and margin very well, even IE6.

This should come very handy in positioning things up according to the parent width. See how I did with the title of this site: http://www.rackspacepromocode.com

rackspace cloud sites promo code

You can resize the browser window to see how there’s always a 8% left padding to the <h1> title.

Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals Linux Server Administration Tips

Linux: How to open and extract an RAR zipped file and unrar the archive?

Funny I should use “zipped” for an RAR compressed package. Anyway, you can easily zip or unzip a zip file or tar compress a package, but how does one do it with an RAR file? WinRAR is well distributed across all Windows systems. But on Linux, you have to first install the command package rar.

However, if your host has been around for quite some time such as DreamHost, you will not need to install it yourself as it’s come with the system. Just fire up this command to unrar any RAR archives:

rar x myfiles.rar

Which will then extract all the data from myfiles.rar into the current working directory.

There are other commands you can rely on to achieve the same task though, depending on your host and the server distribution. For example, you may have unrar instead of rar. Other than these, you may also find RAR related installation packages on Debian and Ubuntu by:

aptitude search unrar

It will search and show you related available packages:

p   unrar-free                           - Unarchiver for .rar files

Which is another utility to unrar any RAR files on Linux. Just install it by aptitude install unrar-free and use to unpackage the compressed RAR.

Categories
Affiliate Programs Make Money Online PHP Tips & Tutorials

Best way to hide and cloak your affiliate links?

One may first think of using JavaScript to do this by dynamically changing the windows status bar URL, but unfortunately this trick doesn’t work across Firefox browsers.

The truth is the visitor or clicker will eventually find out that they’ve been referred to the affiliate merchant by you from the ultimate landing URL – sometimes this may be totally redirected to the clean home page of the merchant, but many’s the time it’s not.

So the one thing you can make sure is the reader of your site must click through your affiliate link to get to the merchant. And the following snippet will help you achieve this. Start a index.php file and put this in:

<?php
header("Location: http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345");
?>

In which http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345 is your referral link. Save this file somewhere in your domain such as /go/example. The next time you want hide and cloak the real affiliate URL, or at least make it look more neat, just point your readers to /go/example and they will be automatically redirected to the affiliate link.

Another good way – via Javascript, to hide or cloak the status bar URL

Another way of doing this is to rely on JavaScript for changing the href property of the a tag when the visitor clicks on the affliate link:

<a onclick="javascript:document.location='http://www.example.com/referral.php?aff=12345';return false;" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.example.com">Example</a>

The potential problem of this approach is that if the visitor browser’s Javascript capabilities are turned off, you will not be credited for your referral because they will be using the plain href link.

Categories
HTTP Tips & Tutorials Linux Server Administration Tips

scp, rsync: Transfer Files between Remote Servers via SSH

Chances are you have a bunch of different hosts that are housing your website files, for the sake of data safety (never put all eggs in a single basket) and possibly some SEO advantage. If that is the case, you will infrequently come to the need to move some files from one host server to another. How does one do that?

Well the straight answers include downloading the files from the source host and then uploading it to destination one via FTP. It’s not much of a time-waster with small number of files, especially those small in size. However, if it’s an impressively large chunk of package, say, 4GB, or thousands of files, this’d be quite a daunting job that may very well take the better part of your day or even a few days.

The shortcut is to transfer those files directly from the original host to the other, via SSH. That is of course, if you have both hosts enabled with SSH.

scp Command

Log into the destination host via SSH and try the following command:

scp -r [email protected]:/home/remoteuser/dir-to-be-transferred/. /home/localuser/backup

Wherein remote.host.com is the address of the source host and remoteuser is the SSH user (shell user) account that can read the remote directory to be transferred, namely /home/remoteuser/dir-to-be-transferred. The last argument is the local path that’s receiving the incoming files / directory.

The dot at the end of dir-to-be-transferred makes sure that all hidden files such as .htaccess are copied as well. Without the current directory sign (dot), hidden files are NOT copied by default.

You can also transfer a specific file:

scp [email protected]:/home/remoteuser/mybackup.tar.gz /home/localuser/backup

As a matter of fact, scp works the exactly same way as an ordinary cp command except it’s able to copy files back and forth remote hosts. The “s” of “scp” stands for safe, because all the data transferred is encrypted on SSH.

It’s a great way to back up your valuable website data across multiple different hosts that are physically far away from each other. With the help of crontab jobs that do the regular backups automatically, this is even better than some of the commercial backup services.

rsync Command

The command of rsync is a more preferable option to scp for synchronizing stuff across different hosts because it compares differences and works incrementally, thus saving bandwidth, especially with large backups. For examples,

rsync -av --progress [email protected]:/home/remoteuser/dir-to-be-transferred /home/localuser/backup

This would copy and transfer the directory dir-to-be-transferred with all its content into backup so that dir-to-be-transferred is a sub-directory of backup.

rsync -av --progress [email protected]:/home/remoteuser/dir-to-be-transferred/. /home/localuser/backup

With an extra /. at the end of the source directory, only the content of the directory dir-to-be-transferred are copied and transferred into backup. Thus all the content of the directory dir-to-be-transferred are now immediate children of backup.

To make the transfer of a very large file resume-able, use the -P switch which automatically includes –progress:

rsync -avP [email protected]:/home/remoteuser/large-file.ext /home/localuser/backup

So when the transfer is interrupted, run the same command again and rsync would automatically continue at the break point.

To specify the SSH port, such as 8023, just add:

 --rsh='ssh -p8023'

rsync automatically takes care of all hidden files, so there’s no need to add a dot at the end of the source directory.

To exclude a specific directory from being synchronized:

 --exclude 'not/being/transferred'
Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals

Yet another The Planet dedicated hosting coupon code

The Planet seems to be running quite a series of promotional discounts off their dedicated server hosting plans recently. After the release of this promo code which I can’t possibly find anywhere on their official website now, here’s yet another one for you:

bgsv

Uppercase won’t work. Just copy and paste the lowercase version. It gives 20% ~ 60% discounts off the monthly fee, depending on the plan you choose. For example, the original monthly subscription price of this server Dual Xeon 2.8ghz, 2GB RAM, 2×73GB SCSI is $269, with this coupon, you can purchase it at just $130 per month with over 50% discount.

For managed cloud hosting, you may want to know more about the Rackspace Cloud. For managed VPS hosting, use WiredTree.

Categories
Computer & Internet Literacy Domains

How to get a web address (top level domain)?

There are millions of websites online, each of which has its own unique web address or domain. It’s what the visitors, us, use to type in the browser address bar and go to the site. It universally identifies a website on the web. And it’s something EVERYONE can have.

Yes, you can have one too, in just a minute or even less. You completely own the top level website address in regards to legal terms. It’s officially a piece of the online real estate.

All right, for those of you who can’t wait to own your first web address such as SuperHero.com or Jessica.com, here’s how you can get a domain name:

  1. Navigate to one of the best domain registrars. You may first register an account with them by Create an Account.
  2. Search for a web address or domain by typing it in the “Search For A Domain” text box. For example, mybestfriends.com, and click “Go!”.
  3. The system then prompts with all the results showing the availability of the web address which end in a variety of TLD (Top Level Domain). The domain of your choice may or may not be available with regards to its generic-ness because others may very probably have registered and owned it.
    You will also see .com is unavailable the most of time, so you may choose to go with other top level domains such as .net, .org or .us.
  4. After you have made the decision and selected one or more of the web addresses listed by checking the check box before them, you will click “Add to Cart” to process your order of the web addresses. At the same time, you may consider adding domain privacy which basically prevent others from knowing your ownership of the domain.
  5. The web address is now placed in your cart. Click “Checkout” to check out.
  6. If you have not registered an account with them, now is the time. After you have successfully created the account, you will be able to pay for the web address / top level domain of your choice.
  7. An order confirmation email should be sent to your email inbox to inform you of the your successful purchase of the domain name.

Well, if you have followed these steps to this point, you have had your first ever website address! You may create a website for it and spread the address to your friends! They can visit your website by typing the web address in the browser address bar!

Categories
Linux Server Administration Tips

Linux: Find files changed or modified within xx day or older than xx day

One of the utility commands of Linux that you should know in the first day of your Linux learning seminar is find.

To search recursively in the directory somedir for files changed / created / modified within 1 day:

find somedir -ctime -1

Or within 5 days:

find somedir -ctime -5

To search recursively in the directory somedir for files changed changed / created / modified more than 1 days ago:

find somedir -ctime +1

Or more than 5 days ago:

find somedir -ctime +5

To search recursively in the directory somedir for files modified within 1 day:

find somedir -mtime -1

To search recursively in the directory somedir for files modified more than 1 days ago:

find somedir -mtime +1

Or more than 2 weeks ago:

find somedir -mtime +14
Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals SQL / MySQL Tips and Tutorials

MySQL: How to backup ALL databases as root with mysqldump at once?

When you have a VPS or dedicated server to manage, typically you’d have a bunch of different mysql users granted the privileges of every particular database for the sake of security. While this works well in segregating the privileges and preventing hackers from gaining access to all databases upon the compromise of only one mysql user account, it means much more work when you are backing up all those databases on the server.

The solution is to use the mysqldump command as root. To backup all databases on the mysql server no matter which users they belong to, try the following via SSH:

mysqldump -u root -p --all-databases > all.sql

It’d then prompt you for root password. After successful authentication, the mysql server will start dumping all databases into a text SQL file: all.sql. After it’s done, you can compress (“tar zcf all.tar.gz all.sql”) and put all.sql somewhere safe for backup.

To restore all.sql into the entire MySQL:

mysql -u root -p < all.sql

Can’t be any simpler.