27 Jun 2011

Mobile Websites - That's Handi

The mobile internet has exploded and today everyman and his dog has an iPhone or Android, devices used with increasing predominance as main access portals into our connected lives and pushing a whole new genre of mobile websites and mobile website design services.

When we say mobile we don't just mean accessible from anywhere, that's a given as all websites already are (providing there's relevant connectivity). Mobile in the context of handhelds means the site is specifically designed around touch tap technology for limited screen real estate. Desktop websites are meant for desktops and even with auto area selection are still annoyingly difficult to navigate when pinched, scrolled and sectionally zoomed.

17 Jun 2011

FTP access for Windows instances on AWS EC2

The Amazon AWS platform is firewalled using their superbly simple 'Security Group' method and as such is inherently secure from default, an obvious advantage however it can catch you out if you're not on top of the technology. 
One of the more common stumbling blocks, and an obvious show stopper for any web server, is that of FTP access for Microsoft based instances (Server 2003 and/or Server 2008). Across regular VPS offerings it's a simple procedure to install a 3rd party FTP server (i.e FileZilla or perhaps Cerberus) and configure secure access for uploading website files and data, however there are forums full of queries from tired sysadmins sat scratching their heads wondering why they're apparently connected but can't get a folder listing from their EC2 instance. In this post I'll show you how to get things hooked up.

10 Jun 2011

Ubuntu Server - The simple four stage security lockdown

Server security can make or break a web business and todays hackers aren't getting any less intrusive, nor is the data we publish on line geting any less sensitive, in fact quite the opposite. There is no such thing as a totally secure computer system, no matter what anyone may tell you, however at base level there is a simple four-stage configuration you can implement which will substantially increase your chances of protection from the vast majority of attacks.

The following four point system is applicable to the Linux (Ubuntu) server platform.

9 Jun 2011

Mini Me - The Dell 9" Home Server

So, you fancy a home server for bits and bobs of development, but don't want to buy another bulky computer, and especially not something expensive and server class. Aside from a need to house it in the garage due to fan noise, server units aren't renowned for their energy efficiency and that RAID array, although fault tolerant, will suck up more power than you realise. Unlike work it's you who pays the bills 'at home'.

How about something you could fit in a shoe box, something which will run completely silently, at an energy efficient 5w, comes with its own built-in screen and keyboard plus SSD hard disk and combined UPS (Battery), and all for just over £100? Am I deluded? Not at all, I run a Dell Mini 9 Netbook. Totally useless as a computer but absolutely brillant as a home server.