Frequently Asked Questions about the HW server
- When I connect using Windows' Network Neighborhood, I can't always make things work. Windows does not fully implement the ftp protocol used by this server. We recommend that you use an FTP program like FTP Commander, or Dreamweaver. Or use Microsoft Internet Explorer and go to ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How can I handle multiple classes on this server? Create a directory (folder) for each of them as specified in your class syllabus. It will probably be something like "CPTE110" or "JOUR242". Your teacher can navigate into these. If this is a web class, create an index.htm file in each directory that is a guide to what you have available for grading.
- What is the URL of my website? http://hw.cs.southern.edu/yourusername
- I checked out my pages on my PC, and they worked fine. Now when I upload to the HW server some links don't work and/or some pictures don't show. Why is this?
- You did not capitalize the names properly.
- You did not upload all the pieces of your project.
- My project worked fine for me, but my teacher says I have missing pictures and/or broken links. How could this be? If you use FTP to access your site, you'll get results as if you were looking at it on your own computer. See the previous question for how this will give different results. Always check your projects on the server using http!
- How do I get a password for this server? You authenticate yourself by entering your email username and password, and enter the password you would like to use on this server. You are not allowed to use your email password on this server.
- Why no SSL? So far, we haven't found a formula that both encrypts data transfers and protects students from each other. We'd be delighted to see one. The problem is that SSL ftp servers don't honor the CHROOT configuration.
- Why did you abandon Windows as a server? Laziness (too much work), fear (too easy to do it wrong, and you never know when a vulnerability will kill the server), and hubris (I think I can control my life better than Microsoft can. At least, this part.)
- Does this mean you write in Perl? Good guess, but no - I write in PHP. I'm too lazy to read code I wrote in Perl yesterday. PHP is a great scripting language. I've heard that Python is better, and may overcome my laziness enough to learn it someday.
- May I have shell access to the server (please)? No, and thanks for asking nicely.
- I'm a teacher. May I use your server for my class? If it's what you need. We can talk. First, consider:
- This server is missing important organizational functions WebCT provides. If what you want is simply a way of students turning in homework, WebCT is probably better.
- If you are not teaching at our institution, you'll need your own server. If you like what this server seems to do, I'm happy to provide the code - but bear in mind that some assembly is required (your elbow grease or my consulting). The server needed is modest - 500 mHz with 5 gigs of disk plus twice as much as your students are likely to put on, are adequate. I use a castoff Dell desktop. it ought to run on an Apple G3, but I haven't tried that.
- What version of PHP do you run? Click here.
- I just don't seem to be able to get logged on using FTP Commander - it takes me back to the list of servers.
- Sometimes this is caused by inconsistent capitalization of your username. Always use lower-case letters for the entire username.
John Beckett - jbeckett at southern dot e d u .