Q's WebJournal

Abdul Qoyyuum's Weblog of his Web Adventures.

Awesome Things You Can Do With a VPS (Virtual Private Server)

Earlier, I posted about what a VPS is. Now let me show you what it can do for you other than web development. There is a wide variety of web applications, softwares, bots, and much more. Here are some of the things that you can do with having a VPS and having fun with it! Note: I am talking about Windows VPS, not Linux.

Web Development

Like I said before, a lot of us geeks would use servers for actual web development. As a hobby or for work. We store our files there, we host it, we share files and get more coding work done. We could employ the use of Git but that requires us having our repository uploaded to GitHub. So instead we went with Mercurial, a free open-source alternative to git, and whatever source code we commit, it goes into the VPS as our new web server and host. It’s got versioning, code management and everything!


Be a Hipster and Run Your Own Dropbox

Or any other cloud drives, for that matter. Why have a Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/etc that has limited amount of space and functionality, when you can own a server with even more spaces and features! For this, the better alternative is to use ownCloud. It’s free, it’s easy to set up, no mess, no fuss!


Host a Multiplayer Gaming Server

Ever wanted to play with friends on a game like Minecraft? That’s what a VPS is for! Have it running 24/7 and let everyone join in a game or two, whenever they like. Setting this up varies in different games, so look up at each of their respective community forums for some technical help. I am sure that someone there is willing to help you set up a gaming server for Minecraft and such, just to get a game on from time to time.

Another alternative is to actually have a real MMO game, provided that you already have a game and geared for MMO connections. And this can get way too technical, attempt at your own risk or be prepared to be flamed!


Automated Robots

There are those types of scripts and bots that requires an ongoing connection and always running 24/7, in order to see its true effectiveness. Like a data scalping script or expert advisor in Forex, or one of those types of bots that automatically click ads on Paid To Click sites (and hopefully still make a lot of money before getting banned). A VPS service allows this, so that we don’t have to keep our home machines running and overheating instead. Also, think about the data quota on the home bandwidth for running this!


Where to get a VPS?

There are plenty online if you do a quick search but my recommendation is with HostWinds. Tip: If you happen to use HostWinds, go ahead and use this coupon “QUICKVPS” to get 25% OFF on any VPS plans.


Got more ideas?

I would love to hear from you on what you do with a VPS. Let me know in the comments!

What Is A Virtual Private Server (VPS)

VPS - Virtual Private Server. Get 25% OFF by using Coupon Code "QUICKVPS"

As a web developer, we play with servers a lot. I mean, really a lot. From transferring files, synchronizing them, sharing them with our teammates, maintaining a database in a server, creating services, securing the backend of the server through ports, etc. But that doesn’t mean that we need a physical server. We could use a Virtual Private Server (or “VPS” for short).

Why have a VPS?

VPS is nice to have as opposed to owning a physical server. Sure, with a physical server, you get to touch the hardware part. Make your own upgrades, customize the server rack, network ports, and so forth. But if you don’t want to deal with the hardware part of the server and just want to get started to develop whatever software/application/file sharing utilities you want, go virtual instead.

Owning a Server VS Paying a Subscription for a Server

That’s right. Owning a server is like owning another machine at your disposal. It’s another added asset. However, just like any devices, it needs maintenance. Like a house or a car. You have to maintain the space that the physical server is in, the power that its running maintained and not getting cut off from some freak lightning storm, the overheating problem, etc. But you don’t have to deal with all of that if you went for a server for rent. And these types of servers are available as a VPS.  There’s a huge cost difference in getting a server from owning and subscription. With a subscription, the cost for starting a server is very cheap and affordable. I would prefer having a VPS instead, as it also saves me the bandwidth and data quota of the Internet usage and the hard work in maintaining the server is kept alive at all times by server experts.

There are several VPS services online that does this as a service. And out of most of them, I went and chose to use HostWinds.

My Experience with a dedicated VPS

May not be the cheapest but it is the most affordable and worth while having. Their tech support is very top-notch. HostWinds has both Linux and Windows VPS options available. I got one with a Windows Server 2012 Edition at Tier 1  (that’s $13.50/month) and that in itself is cool to have. There are also plenty of add-ons that make this feel more like an on-a-budget server such as upgrading RAM, adding more disk space, CPU cores and much more. I bought a VPS as a way for me to play around with SQL Server Databases like what I normally do at work.

If interested in having a VPS of your own, you can use HostWinds and then use this coupon “QUICKVPS” to get 25% discount on any VPS subscription off of their payment plan.

A while ago, I came across a page about computer science. Google has already mentioned that they normally take in candidates that does have Computer Science degrees. So what hope would there be if a person has no Computer Science degree, let alone afford to enroll into one. Enter the Guide for Technical Development.

Computer Science for Everyone

Computer Science is awesome. You get to learn what a lot of programmers have to understand on how a computer computes what instructed to do. Can you even get a job in the ICT industry without one? Sure you can, but with difficulty. In fact, Computer Science has actually becoming more and more essential to the job requirements than before.

Apparently, Computer Science courses are now available for free over the Internet. Visit https://www.coursera.org/course/cs101 to start learning


Of course, the next step after Computer Science is to take up and learn about a programming language or two. Then, apparently, you would also need to learn about Software Quality Assurance and Testing over at Udacity. Later on, the recommendations also mentioned on a strong understanding on Logic, Maths, Algorithms, Data Structures and plenty more.

The recommendation list on having a solid foundation in Computer Science may seem moderate, but the links and resources it provides are actually pretty huge. In my opinion, for a self-study student, this may take up to a year with moderate pacing to learn up.

Personally, I also find the interesting part about the Computer Science is the Google’s Code Jam module where participants crack the code and may win a prize.

Learn UI and UX from DesignLab

DesignLab -  learn UI and UX design

Learn UI and UX part-time and online

Just recently found an exceptional course on web design and that’s from DesignLab.com. Several months ago, DesignLab was on the betalist for webapps for me to try out. Their beta course was very interesting, teaching online, using a web design editor to design logos, banners, webpages and a few more. However, I stopped visiting because there wasn’t much after that.

Surfing around, I stumbled upon DesignLab again and this time it was talking about learning UI and UX designs. Got my attention with its ads, I looked at the courses and I was amazed at what it can offer.

Foundation Courses at DesignLab's UI and UX Courses

User Experience Design Courses at DesignLab

Interested in getting a job in Web Design or App design?

I totally recommend learning from DesignLab and its intuitive web editor functionality (as opposed to downloading a crack Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and using it illegally? You betcha!). But you better hurry though, as at the current time of writing, the next course starts on May 22nd (that’s next next Friday). Go sign up!

Google’s Inbox Keyboard Shortcuts

Press Shift+? to see the Google’s Inbox Keyboard Shortcuts. I always love shortcut keys in every program and I try my best to remember each of them when I need to really get things done.

Google's Inbox Keyboard Shortcuts

But what really interests me is, the keyboard shortcuts show using “Ctrl” and this applies to most PCs running on Windows and Linux. But what about those in Macs? How does it decide to show the “Command” key?

My guess is that it uses some sort of metadata to check the, not only the browser but also for the Operating System that the user is using when visiting or using a website or SaaS or webpage.

Using Inline CSS vs Block CSS Displays

I don’t know why but the WordPress Share function at Quora.com doesn’t seem to work. So I’m copying and pasting it here.

Question : How do I add navigation on one side and content on the other?

Details of the Question:

This is my HTML: [HTML] Default – Pastebin.com
This is my CSS: [CSS] DefaultCSS – Pastebin.com

I want my webpage to look similar to this, in which way would I have to change my CSS in order to make it like that? Also, how do I remove the bullet points?

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