Today’s Thoughts on the Incredible Power of Modern Computing Devices That We All Take For Granted.

Originally posted 2016-06-19 12:52:44.

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This is what a “server” used to look like

I have been associated with computers since about 1988 and IT in general , even when it was called IS (information systems), and I remember the “old days” which were actually only a few years ago.

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For the younger folks out there, who do not remember the year 1995, because you were not cognizant of the world about you yet, I distinctly remember Bill Gates telling us we would never need more than a 350mb hard drive! Yes children, in 1994/95 we were in heaven if we had storage in the megabyte range!

Now lets fast forward to the  current year, 2016. We can actually run a web server on a freaking tablet! Look at the image at the top of the article  and then think about this: That device had about 1/10th the storage space and at best, 1/4 the processing power of a modern high end tablet! It weighed in at roughly 35 lbs and had numerous screaming fans to keep it cool.

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On the other hand the server that I am writing this on has no fans, weighs in at under a pound, including it’s protective case and only makes sounds when it is telling me I have email. The server I am running this site on has more storage capability than the entire rack shown in the image below!

All those big boxes, contained less storage than your phone does!
All those big boxes, contained less storage than your phone does!

What a server used to sound like…(perhaps a very slight exaggeration)

Now certainly there is a lot to be said for huge servers with redundancy and fallbacks, but if you just want to run a simple web site and cough up information and images to the masses, you have that capability with a tablet/notebook/PC these days. This site is currently running on an Asus Z580CA with 4 gb ram and a quad-core 2.3 gHz processor and as I sit here typing it is playing music and syncing my Gmail/Facebook/Yahoo/Outlook accounts. All while being connected wirelessly and allowing me to run a web site.

As for redundancy, well a few clicks and I can back the site up to Dropbox or Google drive, which I do on a regular basis, and I can restore to my Dragon Touch X10 or to my Windows 10 Asus X553SA running a Virtual Machine in Linux.

What this all means is that in today’s world everyone can run a web site as long as they have a relatively fast connection such as cable or fiber if you are super lucky. I use KSweb on the Android tablets to run the server and VMware on the Windows 10 notebook to run a Linux Debian VM.

We truly live in amazing times technology wise folks! Sure, there are downsides to all this. It means that hackers and terrorists can easily setup a web site as easily as you or I, but that is a matter of YOU taking responsibility for your actions and being situationally aware of what you are doing. Never depend on your anti-virus program to protect you 100%, but be aware of information that you share. Always check the address bar on your browser and make sure the site you “thought” you went to is the site you are actually at. Simple little steps can keep you safe on the web. But it is YOU who needs to protect yourself. Your mommy ain’t here to protect and clean up your messes and software, while great only goes so far.

So in closing, lets just take a peek at what the server I am wring this on looks like….

Yeah, less than 7mm thick and no fans!
Yeah, less than 7mm thick and no fans!

Yes folks, than little slab of plastic and glass is the web server (currently), and we should all be thinking, damn! Ain’t life cool in the new millennium +16!

Tim

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