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Shared Hosting Services

Posted on: October 17, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve talked to a number of people recently about hosting their website at home or on their own server in a data center. I personally think that doing so is a pretty big mistake. I think that getting a shared host is the best option for 90% of consumers. In fact, most businesses wouldn’t need more than a shared hosting service like Hosting Zoom either.

Here are a couple reasons you might think about when deciding to use a shared hosting service or not:

High Availability
A shared host often uses clustered failover to handle the failure of the server. If you have your own server your more than likely don’t have this level of reliability. If you do have clustered failover then you should stop reading this blog post altogether. It’s not designed for you.

Improved Performance
In a shared host environment they have designed these servers to handle high volumes of traffic. Their netowrk pipe is designed to handle large amounts of traffic.

Patching the Server
Patching and securing a server is not a trivial thing. Let them take care of that while you just take care of driving more traffic to your website.

Much more could be said, but that’s a start.

Hosting Zoom is an example of a company that’s using this clustered failover hosting technology. Pricing starts at $7.95/mo. It still amazes me how low such a robust technology costs these days. For that price all website data including email, web, and databases are mirrored in real time and in the event of a server failure our system will route all traffic to the available server within the cluster keeping your website online until the problem is resolved.

Why then did you want to host your own server?

Another Great Tech Toy – Capturing a VGA Signal Using VGA2USB

Posted on: October 4, 2006 I Written By

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There have been a number of times that I’ve wanted to capture what was going through my VGA connection to my computer. I’ve never had a good tool to do it until today. It’s called VGA2USB and you can guess what it does. It takes a VGA input and outputs it through a USB connection.

Take a look at the VGA2USB Technical Specifications and you’ll see a little bit of why I think this is a pretty neat tech toy.

This would be a great tool for creating documentation on various processes that you have to do all the time. It’s also a perfect solution for connecting to a server that doesn’t have a monitor attached to it. You know we’ve all experienced that in the tech field. If I’m not wrong, you could also use this to capture the video that an ultrasound creates. Yes, I’m interested in that because my wife’s pregnant and we’ve had a number of ultrasounds.

Here’s a screenshot of the interface:

It’s pretty simple looking, but seems to have enough features that you can configure it for your needs. I also found the list of items that came with the VGA2USB quite interesting:
1. VGA2USB box
2. USB “A” Plug to USB Mini “B” Plug 5 pins cable
3. Male to male VGA adapter (gender changer)
4. VGA splitter
5. VGA cable

The VGA splitter is the best part because you could hook up this connector to one end of the splitter so you could have a normal monitor connected and then easily attach the VGA2USB on the second VGA connector. Perfect for recording something.

Securing Individual Documents for HIPAA

Posted on: September 20, 2006 I Written By

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This last week I had been working with the insurance company to figure out how to send them a list of eligible students. Well, because the list contains social security numbers and things like that I couldn’t just send it in an email as is. I ended up creating a whole server and teaching them how to use SFTP to get the file. What a pain that was. Over email it took them 5 days to finally figure out how to get the file. I guess they don’t have a tech person on their staff.

Today I came across a much better solution for my problem. It uses document security with built-in protections to maintain the integrity of your data and to make it virtually tamper-proof. It looks like this type of document security was originally designed for CAD files, but I could see some major markets in the healthcare industry. This type of security is essential whenever you have to send something with PHI inside of it. Time to give it a try.

Computer Security Using Facial Recognition Software

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Today, someone stopped by my office from another doctor’s office. He asked about our operation and how we handled security in our place. There was so much to tell him, but the thing that he found most impressive was my biometric facial recognition software.

I can understand completely why he loves it. It is an incredibly amazing technology. It still amazes me each time I sit down at my computer and it logs me in. It was a great demo too because it logged me in so quickly he couldn’t even really see it working. He was in awe.

Despite the cool technology it has some major security roles in healthcare. With facial recognition software it is constantly watching to see if you are there. If it doesn’t see your face then it will automatically lock your computer. That means I don’t care if I leave my email open on my computer. It will lock automatically. It doesn’t matter if health information is open on my computer. It will lock automatically too.

Sure, you could secure your machine with an automatic logoff that is built into Windows, but anyone that has set that to 1 minute or 2 knows how annoying that is. I can set facial recognition software to lock after 5 seconds and work without any annoyances at my computer. Even if it does lock then when it sees my face it logs me right back in to where I left it.

That’s all I’m going to say here. Bottom line. Facial recognition software is not only cool, but also Much more secure.