Do I Need a Web Hosting Control Panel?

If you are looking into running your own web server, you probably have heard about web hosting control panels before.

Web hosting control panels are software that runs on a web server that allow you and others to manage web domains, e-mails accounts, FTP accounts, MySQL databases, etc.

Here are four questions to ask yourself, if you are wondering if you need a web-based control panel:

1) Are you experienced using the Linux command line? If you plan to use Windows, have you ever administrated a Windows server before?

2) Do you have intermediate knowledge of how to setup and run a web-server?

3) Are you good at problem-solving?

4) Do you have many websites to manage?

If you answered “no” to questions #1, #2, or #3  and/or  you answered “yes” to question #4, then you will be more comfortable using a web hosting control panel. Also, if you are planning to sell web-hosting or have a lot of websites to host, then using a web-hosting panel may be easier than doing everything manually. Otherwise just forgo a web hosting control panel and do it yourself.

Please keep in mind, using a web hosting control panel, you are potentially making it easier for a targeted attack, since one little web panel script with a vulnerability in it can potentially compromise your server (not joking).

If someone does hack the web-based control panel and gets into your accounts, they can do some serious damage and you better hope you have a current backup that restores successfully.

Here is an example of a web hosting control panel giving you a security problem (I know the linked article is old, but it still proves my point):

Web-hosing panels are there to make your job easier, usually at the expense of being flexible with your server. When using a web-hosting control panel, you are “locked-in” with whatever the web hosing panel allows you to do. It’s basically convenience or flexibility with your server.

It is not advised to “do your own thing” (doing something that the web-hosting panel does not support; going around the control panel to do something), since this can cause problems down the road. It’s best to just stick with whatever the web hosing control panel provides you, so you better pick the right one the first time.

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Software

Why the KJV is Not an Inspired Translation

A lot of well-meaning people think that the KJV (King James Version) translation is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This idea is not Biblically sound.

Please note this blog post is *not* attacking KJV Only people, nor am I saying that using the KJV is bad. I am just pointing out problems with this idea that make it unBibilical.

Now let’s go though some problems with this idea.

  1. God’s Word itself is inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), not just a specific translation of God’s Word. Nowhere in the Bible can you point to a verse saying that the “KJV is the only inspired translation”. That is a 100% man-made opinion.
  2. What happens if you translate the KJV into another language? Since not every language is exactly the same, would the KJV translations – in other languages other than English – not be inspired since translating will be slightly different from the English version? Would everyone on Earth have to read in English to read the Bible?
  3. The KJV-Only advocates supposedly believe that the Holy Spirit directed the translators in translating the KJV. How do they know this to be true? No one yet has explained to me how they know God “inspired” the KJV translation over the rest. They have not given me any technical arguments (proof with detailed facts). Instead, everything I have read have been unsubstantiated claims.
  4. I read that in several different places, in the original 1611 KJV translation, the KJV translators gave alternative manuscript readings. Why give alternate readings if the Holy Spirit was guiding you? The translators would have known exactly what to write down, and not have to resort to alternate meanings if they were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  5. The King James Only movement is technically adding to the Bible’s revelation by saying that the KJV is inspired. Quite frankly they might as well add a verse in the Bible that says God inspired the KJV translation, since that is what they are verbally telling people anyway.
  6. King James Only-ism can be considered a form of idol worship, since these people seem to (in my experience) revere the KJV translation as much – if not more – than Jesus Christ Himself.
  7. Another thing that is interesting about this whole KJV Only idea is that there are several people who say that the NASB (New American Standard Bible) translation is the closest (or at least very close) to the original manuscripts. If this is in fact true, then the KJV Only movement is flawed from the beginning, since the NASB is supposed to be closer to the manuscripts than even the KJV.
  8. The KJV adds the word “easter” to refer to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ironic thing is that the word easter is *not* in the Biblical manuscripts at all. It was just a word the KJV translators added. Not to mention that the word “easter” is from pagan origins. From Google’s dictionary: “Old English ēastre ; of Germanic origin and related to German Ostern and east. According to Bede the word is derived from Ēastre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.”  The early church did not observe “easter” in any way. Technically the KJV translators replaced a part of the Bible with a word that is used for a demonic false “goddess”. How can someone say that the KJV is “inspired and perfect”?

Why believe the KJV-Only idea? The idea is to make translations that people can understand better. Yes, I know there are bad translations out there, but not all of the Bible translations are bad.

The Lord has preserved His Word for thousands of years, and He will continue to do so (Isaiah 40:8). However, we must be careful in assuming that the Lord has “inspired” a specific Bible translation. God’s Word is inspired regardless of what (good) translation we happen to prefer.

Posted in Christian

Similarities of Windows and Linux

Windows and Linux both have the potential to accomplish the same things (like web hosting). There are differences, but in the long run, it is really a matter of what you need and if possible, want to use. Note: This list does not contain every single similarity between Windows and Linux. Somethings in this list have to do with the operating systems them-self. Other things in this list have to do with the way people make use of them.

Last Updated: 12-04-2015

1) Windows and Linux both can have limited “non-root” (Linux) and “non-administrator” (Windows) system users.

2) Both Windows and Linux can host PHP websites via FastCGI.

3) Both Windows and Linux have anti-virus software (many more anti-virus programs
for Windows, almost nothing for Linux).

Note: Linux can get viruses too, but without running a real-time anti-virus program on your Linux box, how can you have the potential to know that you do not have a virus on your Linux desktop/server?

4) Both Windows and Linux can run several different types of web services (e.g., web server, e-mail, DNS, MySQL, etc.)

5) Both Windows and Linux can run several pieces of hardware out of the

6) Both Windows and Linux can blue-screen (in UNIX and Linux it’s called:  Kernel Panic)

7) Both Windows and Linux make good use of your system resources.

8) Both Windows and Linux can run many days without a reboot.

9) Both Windows and Linux have file-systems that can become corrupted.

10) Both Windows and Linux are used in Professional companies for doing work.

11) Both Windows and Linux have open-source software that runs on them
(e.g., Apache Webserver,  BIND DNS,  SpamAssassin,  Mozilla Firefox,  Mozilla Thunderbird,  Blender,  etc.)

12) Both Windows and Linux can take a while to setup correctly.

For example, downloading and installing updates, making sure that SSH (or if you are using Windows, Remote Desktop) is setup correctly, drivers are installed and working properly, host-name for the computer is set, (if you are running a web-server) making sure that you have a separate user account for each web service you host (for increased security), etc.

(in my opinion, Windows takes less time setting up than Linux, but that may not apply in your situation).

13) Both Windows and Linux have support (Red Hat and SUSE are two for
Linux, and of course Microsoft supports Windows).  Both also have free online support via web forums.

14) Both Windows and Linux can boot quickly.

15) Both Windows and Linux have pretty good security. Windows has Access Control Lists on its NTFS file-system, but Linux uses Read/Write/Execute bits by default instead.

Linux does have the ability to use ACLs, but I have never heard of Linux using ACLs by default.

Access Control Lists basically allow you to fine-grain your file-system security. The Read/Write/Execute bits are very limiting compared to ACLs.

16) Both Windows and Linux can get viruses (Windows is the larger target for malware, but this does not mean that Windows is easier to infect, nor does it mean that you are guaranteed to get malware when using Windows).

17) Both Windows and Linux are stable operating systems.

In my opinion, 99% of crashes on Windows are due to faulty hardware and/or drivers. However both Windows (NT family) and Linux are stable operating systems, when using good stable hardware and good stable drivers.

18) Both Windows and Linux can be secure, if you know what you are doing.

19) Both Windows file-systems and Linux file-systems suffer from hard drive fragmentation.

When you delete files (on any file-system, NTFS, ext4, ext3, etc.), you leave gaps in the file-system. These gaps will be filled with other files, but you will also have files before and after the new file. So when the computer goes to access the data, it has to sift though all of the data to find the bits and pieces it needs to complete the task.

20) Both Windows and Linux can read several file-systems (For Example: there are drivers for Windows that allow you to read EXT3/EXT4 Linux file-systems).

21) Both Windows and Linux run mission-critical applications.

22) Both Windows and Linux can be hacked by malicious Internet users.

23) Both Windows and Linux can be used to host online game matches on the Internet.

24) Both Windows and Linux have plenty of development tools to write software.

25) Both Windows and Linux work on embedded devices. (Windows CE is Microsoft’s OS for embedded devices)

26) Both Windows and Linux can run as a server on low-memory systems. (On Windows, you can use “Server Core” to not only save RAM, but to lower the attack surface of your server)

27) Both Windows and Linux can be used to program micro-chips.

28) Both Windows and Linux are used in industrial manufacturing of products.

29) Both Windows and Linux are used by governments to run and manage utilities.

30) Both Windows and Linux have 32 and 64 bit editions.

31) Both Windows and Linux have the ability to use virtual memory (SWAP).

32) Both Windows and Linux have the ability to run automated tasks set by the user. In Linux, this is called “Cron”.  In Windows, this is called “Task Scheduler”.

33) Both Windows and Linux support Type-1 and Type-2 hypervisors for running virtual machines.  A couple of examples of Type-1 hypervisors would be Hyper-V for Windows and KVM for Linux.

34) Both Windows and Linux have the ability to quickly communicate information between running programs on the computer.  In Linux there is something called “Unix Domain Socket”.  In Windows there is something similar (not exactly 1:1 though) called a “Named Pipe”.

35) Linux has integrated firewalls in its kernel (e.g., ipchains, Netfilter, nftables).  Windows’ own integrated firewall is simply called Windows Firewall.

36) Both Windows and Linux support symmetric multiprocessing.

37) Both Windows and Linux are multitasking operating systems.

38) Both Windows and Linux have Disable Memory Execution support.

39) Windows and Linux both support Address Space Layout Randomization.

40) Linux has Mandatory Access Control kernel security modules such as SELinux, SMACKTOMOYO Linux, and AppArmor.  Windows supports Mandatory Access Control and already has it built into its kernel.

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems