John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton
john_holton

So, I was presented with this .zip file full of the components of a website, with instructions to unload it and make it work. Thing was, it'll apparently only work under IIS (Microsoft's web server) because it needs the FrontPage extensions, and I'm only familiar with Tomcat (Apache's web environment for Java server pages), and I have three servers that all require the use of Apache's web server (another piece of software that links all of the web environments together). So, I install IIS on one of the servers, and figure out (1) how to change the port number so it doesn't interfere with Apache Web Server and (2) how to get it to run with the other applications using Jakarta-Tomcat. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Either that, or I'm a computer genius. I guess I can eventually add web administrator to the ever-growing list of things that I can do (I've already figured out how to be a DBA with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle). I think I've learned more about this stuff in the two years I've been with this client than I did in the 20 years I was with my old company.

There's a lot to be said for self-employment. I have no health insurance and no benefits package to speak of, but I've discovered just how dispensable those kinds of things are. And, starting next year I'll be filing two tax returns (one for my company, one for me) in order to keep from having to make a hefty contribution to the 2008 Democratic Party war chest save money on my taxes. (I guess the difference will be paid to my accountant.) But the real benefit is that it's forced me to think outside the box and do things that I had never done before. I remember some advice that another self-employed consultant gave me when I first started doing this: if they ask you, tell them you can do it. Then figure it out on your own. And I've done just that. I only wish that I had started doing this twenty years ago, when I was younger, thinner and better looking and all of this Internet stuff was still a gleam in someone's eye. (No, I'm sorry, Algore invented it in the '60's, didn't he? It did so well, he invented Global Warming.)

You know, I'm getting to the stage where I see myself in the mirror and ask myself "Who the hell is that old man?"

We received the DVD "Bob Newhart's Button-Down Concert" today, and watched it during lunch. His material is 40 years old, and it's still really funny. My favorites of his are Raleigh introducing tobacco to civilization and Abe Lincoln talking to his PR man. If you've never heard him, find his albums and listen to them.

Anyway, it's 10 minutes to "CSI:" and I'm not going to get any quiet unless I'm present in front of the TV while it's on, so I'm going to shut down and head downstairs. See you tomorrow.
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