What is a mail server, proxy server & a firewall?

Explain the differences

How would you go about setting up a mail server & webserver

            Registering a domain name




I have a this domain (www.thedeakin.net) registered with easy space which hosts the website for me as well. How would I go about hosting my own website and registering it. Then how would I make it a mail server as well.

These are the questions and my thoughts on the previous question, I don’t know the answer yet but I will find out.



To first understand all these I need to first find out what happens on the internet.

Webopedia.com is an excellent resource to find out what a computer terms mean.


I know every time you dial up to the internet you are given an IP address, the problem is you are given a different each time you dial up, unless you are connect continually or you have a fixed IP address, e.g. if you have ADSL you will have a fixed IP address, there are advantages and disadvantages to having a fixed IP address but I will not go into this now.


Now I have ADSL I have a fixed IP address so theoretically I can host my own website but how? My computer has to become a web sever which is:-


Webopedia’s definition

Web server

Last modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 

A computer that delivers (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is pcwebopedia.com. The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.

Any computer can be turned into a Web server by installing server software and connecting the machine to the Internet. There are many Web server software applications, including public domain software from NCSA and Apache, and commercial packages from Microsoft, Netscape and others.



While I was working in Tameside schools I know that the schools WebPages where put on the internal Internet servers, I will find out how they did it, I also know they used mdaemon for email.


I have just found a goodweb site



Welcome to the seventh issue of Pineapplesoft Link.

Last month's article on domain names proved very popular. Based on the comments I received, the right mix seems to be some "technical" topics like XML, Java and CORBA and some "background" articles like domain names.

This month is more in the "technical topics" track and I'll discuss the web servers. I have also added a short piece on XML/EDI in Europe. Finally there's the usual section on Pineapplesoft activities that is packed with news.

Please continue to send your comments or suggestions to bmarchal@pineapplesoft.com.

Pineapplesoft Link, July 98:
The Ubiquitous Web Server

In the last few years, the web has become one of the most popular computer applications. New PCs come loaded with a web browser (although there's much discussion on which web browser it should be). The statistics are red hot: more users, more hosts, more sites, more pages are added daily.

However the web could extend even further in our lives. It is not unlikely that, in the near future, most devices will have web capabilities. But that does not mean, they'll all have a web browser!

What is a Web Server?

When you visit a web site, two software applications work together. On your computer, there is a web browser (typically Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer) and, on the site computer, there is a web server.

As web surfers, we are very familiar with the browser but the server role is just as important. It's the server that keeps all the pages and sends them, upon request to the browser. Without servers, there would be no web because the browsers would not be able to retrieve remote pages!

Popular servers include Apache, a free package that is the most popular Internet server, Netscape SuiteSpot, a very complete server from the maker of Communicator and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), a free server included with Windows NT Server.



The Server is Everywhere

There are also many simple web servers that works great on desktop PCs. You too can be a web site!

Why would you want a web server on your computer? The web server is also the basis of an Intranet. Install a simple server, hack a few pages and, in no time, you have created a simple Intranet site. It is a very simple solution to share documents or your agenda with your co-workers but remember that you can no longer turn off your computer -- lest your Intranet is no longer accessible.

The latest versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98 ships Personal Web Server. If you don't have it, you can download it free of charge from the Microsoft web site. My personal preference is for Netscape FastTrack (http://home.netscape.com), which is a very powerful yet easy to use server. O'Reilly WebSite (http://www.ora.com) is another strong choice. What I really like about O'Reilly is the one version that ships with a book "Building Your Own Web Site". The book teaches you everything about building a web site and the software allows you to do it!

But Really Everywhere

However web servers are particularly attractive for non-computer devices. Thanks to progress in electronic chips, a web server can be installed on virtually any device: garden watering system, answering machines, video recorders, etc. In practical terms, it means you can hook these devices to the Internet, or an Intranet, and remotely control them from a PC with a browser.

Imagine you are in the office and you suddenly realise you forgot to water your garden. No big deal, just connect to the web site of your watering device and turn it on! Sounds like science-fiction? It's not. People are building such devices today. The main problem is not the hardware but the pipe. Few homes have the right kind of Internet connection but cable modems and xSDL promise to change that. Both cable modems and xSDL offer more bandwidth to the home. Finally IPv6, the next version of the Internet core protocol, is ready to accommodate more than one device per square meter on Earth!

One of the most intriguing products in that field is probably the web-enabled keylock. In large buildings the ability to remotely control which doors are open and which are closed is essential. At least one vendor has put a web server in its keylocks to support just that. Using a simple web browser, guards can check the building in minutes.

There are many advantages to building a web server in devices. To name but a few: the web is familiar and easy to use. It is also universal. To control the device, there is no need for fancy hardware or software -- a very common web browser suffices. Like the Internet, it's universal: it works both from home and from the other side of Earth. Finally, it's cheap. Web tools are widely deployed.

What About Security?

At this point, you may be worried about security. What if a villain opens the door through the web? What if your mother-in-law screw up your video programming?

Security is a very important issue but lots of work has been done on securing the Internet. There are many standard security and authentication mechanisms to choose from.

Surfing Home

The web is stretching to new horizons and it could stretch

to places we never thought of before. Imagine controlling

your house, from the heating to the cooking, through you web browser -- worldwide!

XML/EDI in Europe

If you read this newsletter since the beginning, you know I have been very active in developing XML/EDI, through the XML/EDI Group. We started the Group almost one year ago, before XML was formally adopted as a standard, because we thought it was a great solution for electronic commerce, particularly EDI.

Things have evolved positively. We won the support of many players and, today, few question that XML and electronic commerce have a long way to go together. On July 5th, CEN/ISSS Electronic Commerce Workshop announced a project, with the co-operation of the XML/EDI Group, to promote and study the application of XML/EDI in Europe.

CEN/ISSS is the arm of the European Standardisation Body in charge of the information society. What the Electronic Commerce Workshop does is evident by its name.

The project has just been approved and we are still looking for partners (not to mention financing) but I encourage you to visit the project homepage at http://www.cenorm.be/isss/workshop/ec/xmledi/isss-xml.html.

As a background to the issue, I recommend the Netscape View Source article I wrote in February, "EDI on the Internet", available from http://developer.netscape.com/viewsource/marchal_edata.htm.

Seminars on XML/EDI remain very popular. I spoke before Edifrance at the end of June. My special thanks to Pilar Barea and Claude Chiaramonti for organizing the event.

Self-promotion department

June was a very busy month and there are so many announcements to make that I don't know where to start.

First, Pineapplesoft's new logo. If you have not visited the web site recently, you have probably missed it. In my view, the logo perfectly symbolizes IT: it has both a very formal part and an exuberant, lively top. Just like good IT which is a mix of formalism and creativity.

No less than two new articles appeared in June:

Also developer.com ranked the February issue of Pineapplesoft Link (What You Need to Know About XML) as a "Cool Resource".

Which gives me a smooth transition to another award. Pineapplesoft web site was designated among the top 100 New Technologies web sites and Business sites in Belgium. Thank you for your support!

Last but not least, the demonstration site, Emailaholic.com, is up and running. The site is still young and features only one applications that demonstrates a database-driven web application. It gives a fun tour in smileyland, written in Java with an object database and CORBA. We will gradually introduce new services for emailaholics, those people who use email regularly.

About Pineapplesoft Link

Pineapplesoft Link is published freely, every month via email. The focus is on Internet applications in its broadest sense: distributed and mobile computing, e-commerce, Java, XML, etc. The articles target people interested or concerned about technology either personally or professionally.

This issue of Pineapplesoft Link may be distributed freely for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution (including the URL: http://www.pineapplesoft.com) is given. For commercial redistribution, please contact me at bmarchal@pineapplesoft.com.

Editor: Benoit Marchal (bmarchal@pineapplesoft.com) Publisher: Pineapplesoft sprl (http://www.pineapplesoft.com)

Acknowledgements: thanks to Sean McLoughlin MBA (smcloughlin@compuserve.com) for helping me with this issue.

To subscribe or unsubscribe point your browser to http://www.pineapplesoft.com/newsletter/index.html. If you have problems with the Web interface, email bmarchal@pineapplesoft.com.

Back issues are available at http://www.pineapplesoft.com/newsletter/archive/index.html.

Although the editor and the publisher have used reasonable endeavors to ensure accuracy of the contents, they assume no responsibility for any error or omission that may appear in the document.

(C) Copyright 1998, Benoit Marchal



I think I’ve found my answer, I am not going to get ASDL until moday the 21st so I will continue this project very soon.


P.S I’ve not proof read this


























I have heard computer people talk about DNS so what is it?

Webopedia’s definition



Last modified: Monday, June 24, 2002 

(1) Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate to

The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

(2) Short for digital nervous system, a term coined by Bill Gates to describe a network of personal computers that make it easier to obtain and understand information.




I have found out that when you type in a website DNS translates the website (domain name) to a IP address which is like a house address but for computers.


What is DNS and what exactly does it do


I understand it until I get to the second paragraph is a DNS service a piece of software that comes with you web browser of what?

I found this picture at zoneedit.com which seems to make more understandable












































Client enters a domain name (www.domainname.com) into his browser

The browser contacts the Client's ISP for the IP address of the domain name

The ISP first tries to answer by itself using "cached" data.

If the answer is found it is returned. Since the ISP isn't in charge of the DNS, and is just acting as a "dns relay", the answer is marked "non-authoritative"

If the answer isn't found, or it's too old (past the TTL), then the ISP DNS contacts the nameservers for the domain directly for the answer.

If the nameservers are not known, the ISP's looks for the information at the 'root servers', or 'registry servers'. For com/net/org, these start with a.gtld-servers.net.

NOTE: The 'whois' information is never used for DNS, and is often misleading and inaccurate


ZoneEdit.Com : Simplified example of how DNS works