inessential by Brent Simmons


Ken Dow is teaching Manila courses in Toronto in June. In May, for the first time, the Introduction to Manila course will be offered on-line.

More about shutting down Ranchero Software

I was asked by a Frontier user if my shutting down Ranchero Software would have any effect on my role at UserLand. Good question.

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is -- well, to the extent that I don't have to spend time on Ranchero stuff, that gives me extra time for UserLand stuff. But of course I don't spend hardly any time on Ranchero stuff.

Probably the most important effect is on my brain. It's less to keep track off and be concerned with. Ranchero is always in the back of my mind, a space I'd rather reserve for something else.

I'll be able to retire two computers, which is always a good thing. You have no idea how much pure joy I get from turning computers off. (If you live in Seattle and might be interested in good deals on a 7200/120 and an 8500/132 that have proven their worth as servers, let me know.)

ScriptWeb is in the process of moving now, over to FastPipe Media, Inc., courtesy Dennis Whiteman. We've hosted ScriptWeb for a few years now. (Excuse me, I've got something in my eye.)

I've been running servers for going on 6 years now, continuously, without cessation. I wish I could describe what this is like to the many of you who don't run servers, or who don't run servers that host other people's websites.

Even when everything is running smoothly, you're the guy who's responsible. And that's always there, it's always in your mind, it doesn't go away at 3 AM. The servers need to be up as people in Germany and Japan are hitting them. The World Wide Web could be called the Round-the-Clock Web.

Imagine it's a Saturday night, and you went to dinner with some friends. Though normally you don't drink, you had three glasses of wine, and you ate way too much fettucine. You get home at midnight all logy and weird and hoarse from talking. What do you do?

You check the servers, and hope to god they're all up, because you're not in the best position to deal with them. All you did was what half of America did this Saturday night -- but most of America didn't have to check the servers when they got home. Most of America didn't have to worry about servers going down during the chocolate mousse.

That's what never goes away, it's there every minute of every day, and it's a big part of why Ranchero is shutting down.

Turning off servers is wonderful.