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Let the Adventures Begin

So, I did a semi-impulsive thing: I registered a domain name and set up some server space. Now, when I say “I” I actually mean the amazing people at LIShost. I haven’t actually lifted a finger yet because I’m a little intimidated by the whole thing. (By the way, Blake has already blown me away with his customer service and it’s only been a day since I asked him to put things in motion for me. He’s incredibly tolerant of stupid questions, too.) Also, when I say “semi-impulsive” I mean “been thinking about it for 2 years but was too scared until now.”

Imagine my excitement this morning when I opened the email that announced the birth of my very own web space. So cute! So full of potential (and nothing else). So…. and then I actually read the email. It started off just fine. I reproduce all but the sensitive parts here:

Welcome aboard LISHost!
Here are the details for your new domain, [my domain, which I’ll reveal when there’s anything to reveal]:

You are on the server named [server name], with an IP address of [IP address]

Me: Oh yay! … Hmmm… I wonder why it’s important that I know that IP address. WHAT HAVE I DONE??? Ok, calm down. Keep reading.

Answers to many of your questions can be found at:

Me: good, good, I’m sure I’ll have questions. I sure hope those answers aren’t written in Geek. Moving on…

When you are ready to go live with your domain on this server, make sure you have changed your DNS entry with your registrar to use our DNS servers:
[information about something called a Name Server…Hmmm]

Me: DNS? I’ll have to look that up later. “Name Server” too. So things aren’t live yet. Ok. That makes sense. I assume it’ll be apparent when I arrive at this “go live” point. I’ll worry about DNSs then. For now, just make it through this email…

Your domain will NOT go live until the DNS is updated. DNS takes time to update, so your domain may not be live for several hours Directions on how to test your domain before you go live can be found here: [URL]

Me: So much about this DNS thing. It must be important. [makes notes to look it up when I get home] And testing? Before going live? Makes sense. Also seems to indicate that things might not work. THINGS MIGHT NOT WORK? WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO??? Ok, breathe. You have friends to help you. Just keep reading for now.

**After you have made those changes to your DNS settings, BE SURE to let us know so we can add you to our DNS server.**

Me: ENOUGH WITH THE DNS THING ALREADY. SAYING IT MORE OFTEN WON’T HELP ME UNDERSTAND! Ok, Here’s some username and temporary password information. Now that language I’m familiar with. [sighs at the relief of seeing words strung together that make sense] Then…

To change your password for your username, connect using SSH to either [server name], or your domain, or the IP address: [IP address]

Me: All of this makes sense except for the “connect using SSH” part. I’ve heard of SSH, and I’m pretty sure it’s not animal, mineral, or vegetable, but that’s about all I’m sure of. [gives up on taking notes of vocabulary to learn … tears up previously taken notes, balls them up, and flings them despondently toward the recycling bin .. skims over the next few lines which list the directories I have … wonders what “log files” are, and figures that “cgi-bin” has little to do with trash bins … scrolls till the end]

Something to keep in mind, your domain name may not be live right now. The DNS system can make up to 48 hours to update. You can NOW login to the server, but your domain will most likely take a little while to be live.

Me: After all that, DNS has a surprisingly familiar ring to it. Comforting, even.

Again, welcome aboard, don’t be afraid to ask any questions
-The LISHost team

Me: Heheheheh… “don’t be afraid to ask questions” … they’ll rue the day…

So yeah, I procrastinated for a while by making all my lunches for the week, and chatting with a couple of friends, and writing most of this blog post. And then I sat down to the task of changing my password (the least I should do before publishing a blog post saying that I probably have a password sitting there, all hack-enticing, in my email). An hour later, I’ve finally conquered the password-changing task and have given myself the rest of the night off. I think this warm glow of victory will be nicely complemented by chocolate ice cream.

I sincerely hope there’s a more graphical way to navigate other basic tasks. I am not an SSH lover, and suddenly all those directory addresses that Blake told me about feel a lot less friendly than they did at first read. After all, what does a directory even LOOK like without windows and files and folders and things?? (On the other hand, maybe this is good for me. After all, I said I wanted to learn how this stuff works, right? RIGHT??)

Published inRandom Thoughts


  1. laura laura

    I always think cgi-bin has something to do with trash. Also, I always read phpMyAdmin as PimpMyAdmin.

  2. Mark Mark

    Welocme to the Big Kids Web. Or sumpin' like that. :D

    And as you're quickly finding out, Blake is the awesome!

  3. Brian Pence Brian Pence

    SSH is a way to connect to the server and access it from the command line (kindof like the DOS box on your Windows computer). From there, you can issue commands, change passwords, and even transfer files over an encrypted connection.

    Brian Pence
    Celestial Software
    AbsoluteTelnet / SSH Client

  4. Jonathan Jonathan

    If you're using Windows, I recommend a program called WinSCP.

    It accesses the SSH command line behind the scenes, and lets you work with files and folders graphically.

  5. Anonymous Anonymous

    Rob says he'd be happy to help.


  6. Iris Iris

    Thanks Heidi (and Rob). I'm doing pretty well so far and having fun figuring it all out. But I'll definitely let him know if I get stuck.

  7. I highly recommend using FileZilla for all your FTP/SSH needs. It’s a user-friendly GUI interface with windows, icons, and the familiar folders you’re used to seeing.

  8. Iris Iris

    Yes! I found that after trying a couple of things, and it’s definitely the best of what I’ve tried. Most of the time, I can even figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. :-)

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