Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Module 7, Server ProjectOverview The goal of this project was to set up my home computer to be a server andcreate a webpage to be hosted by that server. The assignment required that I downloadand install an Apache server and use no-IP to set up dynamic DNS, to allow the serverto be found when my ISP changes the IP address of the computer the server is on. Mycomputer is a MacBook Pro running Windows XP on Parallels and, when at home, Iconnect to the Internet via Comcast wireless Netgear router. I also have an AT&T USBmodem that is used for Internet access when away from home or work. My initial planwas to set up the server on the Parallels side of my Mac using my home wirelessnetwork. I encountered some difficulty along the way, as you will see in the procedureslisted below, and finally ended up using my husband’s Windows laptop as the server.The website template I selected was Pedestrian from www.freecsstemplates.org.Network Layout The Internet Service Provider (ISP) for my home network is Comcast cable. ANetgear router is connected to a Ubee cable modem which provides a wireless network.The Sony Vaio laptop, acting as server, is currently connected to the Netgear routerwith an Ethernet cable. The diagram below shows wireless connection to the Comcastnetwork named Ferdon Home Network. The laptops also connect wirelessly to the TimeCapsule - it backs up the Macs and provides wireless access to the printer. In makingthe diagram, it was not possible to show the USB connection from the printer to theTime Capsule so that line (brown) was drawn in outside of Packet Tracer. Another thingthat was not possible using Packet Tracer is an accurate representation of the coaxialcable. One coaxial cable enters the house and is connected to splitters so the one cablesplits into three. One cable goes to the TV, another goes to the phone, and the thirdgoes to the Ubee RF Cable modem. Only the TV allowed coaxial cable (blue jaggedline) to be shown in Packet Tracer. A more accurate representation would show thephone and Ubee cable modem connecting to the ISP with blue jagged lines as well.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Process/ProceduresStep 1: Downloadand install ApacheServerI downloaded appserv-win32-2.5.10 fromsourceforge and savedit to Local Disc (C:) onthe Windows side ofmy Mac.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Step 2: ConfirmInstallationUpon installation, theInstallation Wizardasked if I wanted tounblock the application(firewall) and I did.When URLhttp://127.0.0.1 wasentered into a browser(again, in Parallels) thecontent that appearedconfirmed thatinstallation wassuccessful.Step 3: PHPI entered URLhttp://127.0.0.1/phpinfoand PHP informationappeared.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Step 4: DownloadTemplateWith the serversoftware installed, Iturned my attention tocreating the webpage. Ichose the template“Pedestrian” fromwww.freecsstemplates.org.Step 5: Add ContentI made somemodifications to the cssthen added content tomy four linked pages:Home, Bio,Coursework, andProjects.Step 6: Move FolderWith web pagesformatted and contentadded, I openedParallels and movedthe Pedestrian folderfrom the Mac side tothe Windows side“www” folder, andrenamed the folder“web”.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Step 7: No-IPNext, I set up anaccount athttp://www.no-ip.com/then downloaded andinstalled the Windowssoftware. I added thehostname: ferdonsno-ip.info.Step 8: PortForwardingWhen I entered theURL in my browser,the page was not foundso my next step was toset up port forwarding.My Comcast serviceuses a Netgear router,so I entered“192.168.0.1” in mybrowser window -that’s the IP that onlinereferences said thatNetgear routers use.The router did notrespond.Thinking that the router’s IP address may be listed in my computer’s System Profiler, Ilooked up that information. I discovered that the Mac side of my laptop has one IP addressand the Parallels side has another. That would mean that the no-IP host I just set up wasset to the wrong IP address (Mac) and for the server to be accessed it would likely have tobe operating in Parallels mode, which my computer rarely is. With the router notresponding, I decided to set up the host again, this time using my USB modem and abrowser window that I opened in Parallels.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 I later learned that the reason the router did not respond was that it uses 192.168.1.1, not192.168.0.1. Either way, I wanted to go through my USB modem at this point in hopes thatit would be easier to set up and would also keep my home network more secure.Step 9: No-IPI removed my existinghost and, while inParallels using my USBmodem, added a newhost:sferdon.serveftp.comStep 10: Browse tositeI wanted to see if theUSB modem would letrequests through so Iused canyouseeme.orgto see if port 80 wasblocked. It was –connection refused.That meant I needed todo port forwarding.I was not able to find away to configure myAT&T USB modem forport forwarding, so Iwent back to my originalplan of using my homewireless network.New PlanI was now committed to using my home network and was concerned that having theserver on the Parallels side of my Mac would be problematic, so I moved my files to myhusband’s laptop (Windows), installed the server, set up a new host on no-IP then
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 configured the router.New host name: www.sferdon.loginto.meStep 12: ConfigureRouterThe default gateway formy router is192.168.1.1.Portforwarding -192.168.1.101 set forHTTP.The service nowappears in the list.Step 15: LAN SettingsLocal Connection TCP/IP Properties were set to 192.168.1.101, with subnet mask255.255.255.0 and default gateway 192.168.1.1.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Step 16: Check thatport is openPort is open.When the IP addresswas entered in browser,AppServ opened. When“/web” was added toURL, the webpageopened.Step 17: Open fromURLUsing a differentcomputer, I enteredhttp://sferdon.loginto.me/web/ in the browserand the page opened.Conclusion This project provided very practical application of the type of tasks that schooltechnology coordinators are called upon to perform. Facilitating teacher and studentaccess to online content is key to effective technology use and integration and there area number of advantages to having schools provide server space for teachers andstudents. One advantage is cost savings. While some organizations, like Wordpress,provide hosting of basic sites free of charge, oversight by school districts is not possibleboth in regard to content and access. Further, products like Moodle are open source,
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 therefore free of charge, but hosting services charge based on the number of users.Hosting websites and Learning Management Systems on school equipment means thataccess can be controlled and there is in-house support at no additional cost, aside fromhardware requirements. PHP and MySQL environments, like Moodle, Joomla andWordpress provide a means for teachers communicate and provide content to studentsin a customizable format that is easy to access. Setting up a server was both a rewarding and frustrating process. I see greatbenefits in being able to provide server space for educational applications but it seemsthat most of my classmates and I ran into trouble related to our ISPs. Dealing withdownloads, file management, and creation of online content appeared to go well for all,but port forwarding and DMZ proved to be problematic due to the great variety ofdevices/routers and ISP configurations we were dealing with. It would be interesting tofind out if setting up a server is easier in an educational setting than in a home setting,due to the differences in ISPs.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Module 7, Server Project – Extra CreditOverview One of the extra credit options was to set up a Wordpress blog on the homeserver. I followed the steps from Dr. Hung’s tutorial for downloading and installation.The Wordpress installation comes with one theme and I chose to download and applyanother, Paper3. The one difficulty I encountered was in the formatting of the pagewhen it is access remotely. While the formatting appears as expected in localhost, thepage is improperly formatted when accessed from the URL:http://sferdon.loginto.me/wordpress. The page format differs, depending upon whichtheme I have applied, but neither includes images, colors, fonts, etc. from the theme.Process/ProceduresStep 1: DownloadWordpressI downloadedWordpress saved it toLocal Disc(C:)/AppServ/web.I accessed Wordpressindex.php via mySQL,localhost.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Step 2: Set UpDatabase andConnection DetailsI created a newdatabase, wpdb, andcompleted the formfields for theconnection.Connection wassuccessful.Step 3: InstallWordpress
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Installation wassuccessful.Step 5: View BlogFrom within localhost,the blog appearance isas expected for thetheme I downloadedand applied: Paper 3.When accessedthrough the URL,http://sferdon.loginto.me/wordpress, theformatting does notappear.
Susan Ferdon, EDTECH 552 SP11 Closing Thoughts Having locally hosted blogs will make it easy for school technology coordinatorsto help teachers get blogs up and running. However, I noticed a tremendous differencein loading time between my simple four-page website and the database-driven blog.The Wordpress blog has many more files to begin with and I added very little to it.Loading time was such that, if I were a casual visitor, I would have given up before thepage loaded. School network administrators must be very aware of processing needs orstudents and teachers will have a very difficult time accessing the content.