June 13, 2006

New web server indeed!

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

Grumble! Grumble! Grumble!OK – so here’s the deal. I need to simplify my life. I’ve got too much going on and I need to stop doing so much fiddling around with manual updates of my computers, servers and network.

So first I wanted to move the old SUN box out of the way and replace it with an INTEL box. But the Intel box I had was a little iffy. Sigh! No it was dead. All I could get it to do was flash the little LED on the inside telling me it didn’t know whether it had a processor in it or not. Poor little Intel box. Ok – one day wasted.

So I figured I’d just take the 250Gb disk I was gonna put in it and put it in my Windows Desktop machine running an AMD dual core processor. Then I could use RoboCopy or SychronizeIT! to sync my data directories from my laptop (the new cool Dell wide screen – BAH! but that’s another BLOG) to the Desktop AND have a place to store my video, music and pictures. That’ll save me some time!

But I wanted to use w.bloggar to update my blog on the system – not the PERL scripts (Bosedit with Blosxom) I had been using. So I found a cool Java implementation called Blojsom which (you’ll love this mom!) ships with Apple’s OS/X. It supports w.Bloggar as well as other systems, so I figure I’m well on my way to simplifying my life. Well, thereby hangs the tale (or do I hang by my tail) of the last several days.

OK – Blojsom requires a Java web application server. There are three: Tomcat, Resin and Jetty. Nifty. Tomcat looks like it’s part Apache, so I don’t like it right away – too complicated – too much resources and too much headache to install and configure on my nice clean hard drive.

Resin has a poorly constructed web page … doesn’t say much for them. So I look at Jetty. It comes in two flavors, version 5 and beta version 6 (which supports AJAX – something else I’ve been wanting to play with). Hmmmm… six is better than five, right? So I download and install beta version 6. I’ve got a web server running in minutes. I drop Blojsom’s .WAR file into the WEBAPPS container and voila! Instant Blog. Wow! I only spent two days doing this. I can see the finish line from here!

Right! Now I need it to start when I reboot, not when I logon. S-C-R-E-E-E-E-E-E-C-H!

To do that you need another piece of software.

Turn any program into an NT Service! OK, I tried Microsoft’s really bad SRVANY and the equally bad AutoExNT. Nothing. There goes another day of downloading, editing the registry and tinkering with the startup files and rebooting over and over and over.

OK, maybe Jetty isn’t the answer anyway. Maybe I should try my favorite Windows based web server. So I looked at the Abyss webserver by Aprelium – did it support Java? Not really, but there is a potential if you download and look at IISRelayJ. Hmmm… it hasn’t been updated since last year. The last two hits on the Abyss website were asking how a guy who swore that IISRelayJ “”save my life”” did it. Quite an accomplishment for a piece of software which claims to have been written in 471 lines of code including comments! But why not, I’m really getting desparate. So I try it. It does… nothing. But it does it really fast. So I only spend about an hour trying something else that doesn’t work.

Turning back to Jetty, I noticed that google managed to dig up an obscure reference to piece of software called JavaService. Could this be Shangrila? After a couple of dead links, I finally find their home pages. I get it installed (newest version of course!). I configure the .BAT file so I can create a “”service”” called Jetty. It purports to go out there and start up the Jetty webserver automatically when you boot or when you type in the command “”Net start Jetty.””

So in breathless anticipation, I type in “”Net Start Jetty.””

It fails.

A quick look at the event log says it can’t find the package. HUH?

So for three days, I have struggled to get this to work – as a service – so I don’t have to leave my windows box running with me logged in all the time… and it still doesn’t work.

OK – now, why was I doing this in the first place?

Oh yeah, I wanted to simplify my computer installations at home and save some time for other things. Right. Simplify. I feel the need to bang my head on a wall somewhere – preferably brick or stone.

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