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Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space
Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site.
The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down.
That's important for two reasons.
All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur.
Here's one way to picture them...
Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random.
Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper.
You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly.
Why should you care?
Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster.
But there's a second effect.
As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces.
So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them.
So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly.
When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance.
Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.
The Road to Riches ? Or at Least Success - In writing (how to become a published author) Getting published is the first step on the road to becoming a writer. It?s an exciting day when you receive your first paycheck for something you wrote. It?s a stamp of approval on your ability to write the meaning of the everyday for the general public. If you want to know how to become a published author, read on. It can be a difficult and frustrating road, but the destination is well worth the journey. Starting Small The first thing to remember when wondering how to become a published author is that beginning should look like a beginning. Don?t expect instant recognition or huge payment for your first efforts in the writing world. You will learn as you continue to write and get feedback. Don?t always expect feedback either. You will have to become your own critic to some extent. The following list includes great opportunities for publication as you improve your writing skills. Newsletters As you learn how to become a published author, your first lesson may be that you won?t always get paid. When you are first starting out, your best opportunities may be with free publications that only accept donated work. Many newsletters are created by non-profit organizations. They need donated time from several sources in order to keep the public informed about their work. You could start your practice there. You can also start the process towards name recognition. Newspapers Newspapers are also a good place to begin your publications. Reporting jobs are difficult to land and may not be worth the time and effort that they require, but you can start with letters to the editor for great practice. You?ll see your name in print if you can write a clear letter addressing relevant topics. That could lead you to a relationship with the editor so that you can move into a few freelance jobs. Magazines As you query magazines for possible publication opportunities, you will do well to include some of your already published work. Whether you?ve been compensated or not, your name in print along with some representative writing will help you get an interview with a magazine editor. Now we can talk about how to become a published author for money. Magazines start writers at low wages with the opportunity to increase. Online Publications Online publications work in much the same way. You will probably find job postings on job boards. If you can demonstrate that you have been published somewhere before your chances of landing a paid job will increase. Anthologies As your skills improve, you will be able to step into jobs with books. Anthologies are filled with skillfully written pieces along some subject line. You will need to use all of your capabilities you have learned so far as in writing for an audience and creating a tone acceptable to the publication. If you can do that, you will start to enter into the world of books. You may want to stop there, or you may want to take your work further. Books Writing your own book will take time and work. As you think about how to become a published author, remember that you do not necessarily have to become a book author. Writers work in all fields, and some are limited to one or two. If you have enough motivation and capability, book writing can be a lucrative field to enter into. If you?d rather stick to short term projects though, stick with the magazines and other similar publications. If you need more information about how to become a published author, check out specific information about any of the above genres. The internet is a great source, but you can also support other writers monetarily by visiting your local book store.
To-Do Lists an Important Part of Being a Better Employee What makes a good employee? Take a look at how the star employee in your office operates. Chances are that they don?t run around in a constant fog of stress and pressure. Good employees are usually calm and conscientious; they seem to always get the job done with a minimum of hair pulling and frantic rushing around. Is it just genes that these people have that allow them to work like this, or are some people just better at managing stress than others? The answer is probably not. If you take a closer look at the star employee in your office, you will are likely to see that they are so stress free and productive because they are good at managing their time. And chances are they manage that time with the help of a to-do list. The to-do list is an often-overlooked part of working life. While they are the kind of thing people expect housewives to carry around with them in their purse while they run errands, many people think they can do without them in the work place. This is a big mistake. Being productive at work is all about being able to carry out your tasks in a timely manner, and being productive at work is also about managing your stress. If you are too stressed out, your work will suffer for it. You will fall behind because you won?t be able to concentrate, and you will make mistakes you might not have made if you were able to take your time with your work. So, how can a to-do list help? To-do lists can do many things for you in your busy working life. For starters, to-do lists remove the problem of having that all important phone call or meetings slip your mind. When you have a to-do list, everything that needs to be accomplished is set out there for you, so there is no more explaining to your boss why you stood up your company?s most important client. With a to-do list, you can also see the bigger picture of everything that needs to be done, so you can plan your time wisely. Working on tasks one after another as they come up is not a smart way to accomplish things at the office. Some jobs are on a tight deadline, while other jobs can stand to wait a little while. When you set everything out for yourself in a to-do list, you will be able to prioritize your tasks in order of importance, so you get the crucial work out of the way first thing, and only move on to less important jobs when you have the time to devote to them. All of this organization will make your working life less stressful. Imagine a typical day without a to-do list. You come in to the office in the morning, you work through all of the email sitting in your inbox, you make a few phone calls, chat with some co-workers in the break room, answer a few more emails, and then bam! All of the sudden, you remember that the presentation your boss needs for the big meeting is due at 2 p.m., and you haven?t even started it. Now you resort to hair pulling and frantic working. Then, you give your boss the presentation over an hour late, and it is filled with mistakes and sloppy work. Now imagine the same day with a to-do list. You get the presentation out of the way first thing, and you have time to check it. Then you can move on to less important tasks without the dark cloud of stress hanging over you. To-do list writing is time well spent if you want to succeed at work.