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Setting up your Web site

The Basics
Modifying Your Web site
Using Frontpage
Setting up the Counter
Creating an Email Form
Using CGI
Password Protecting Files
Streaming Audio and Video
Web Authoring Reference
HTML Validators

The Basics

The Zipcon web servers are UNIX based machines. This choice has been made for security, flexibility, and performance. The web server software is Apache.

Your web site can be seen in a web broswer by using http://www.zipcon.com/ and appending a tilde character "~", followed by your account name. If your account name is "account_name" then your web site is http://www.zipcon.com/~account_name

The main page of your web site is a file named index.htm or index.html. The HTML in this file is displayed if someone goes to http://www.zipcon.net/~your_login   Without a file with this name, you will receive the message:
  You don't have permission to access /~your_login/ on this server.
Until you upload a file named index.htm or index.html to the server, you will receive this error message.

You may replace zipcon.net with zipcon.com at any time. www.zipcon.net is the same as www.zipcon.com

Modifying Your Web site

You can create, modify and add to your web site anytime. Use ftp (explained below) or telnet/dial in with telnet or terminal software and choose the 'z' option in the menu followed by the webpage option. Another option available for modifying your web site is Frontpage.

To change your site via FTP, you will need to ftp non-anonymously to ftp.zipcon.net.
You can do this by typing the following into your web browser location bar


Replace yourlogin with your login name. Then enter your password when requested.

After you enter the password, you'll see a list of folders on the server. Click on the folder named public_html, this is where you will copy your web site files.

You are now in your web site directory (public_html) and can drag and drop files into the browser window to copy them to the server. The main file used for your web site is called index.htm. This file will be shown when you go to http://www.zipcon.net/~yourlogin

If you upload other files, such as an image named test.jpg, you can view it at http://www.zipcon.net/~yourlogin/test.jpg . If you create sub-folders, and put files in them, you can view those files by adding the subfolder name before the filename, as in http://www.zipcon.net/~yourlogin/subfolder/test.jpg .

Using CGI

To use CGI with your web site you will have to create a directory named cgi-bin within your public_html directory. Put all of your CGI scripts in the directory.

To call your CGI scripts, please use the following syntax:


For instance

Your scripts actually run under your own accounts identity. You can open and write to files without having to use insecure file permissions.

Scripts must have the execute mode turned on to work. To do this you must have a utility that can change the UNIX file mode. This FTP program for Mac, Windows 3.1x and Windows 95 has this ability through the Commands menu and the Change file attributes menu item.
If you telnet into zipcon.net or dial directly with a terminal program, you can also use the file manager in the menu or issue chmod +x filename directly from the UNIX shell.

Scripts must also be saved in text format to work, not in MS-DOS text format. MS-DOS and some other editors put a carriage return and a line feed at the end of every line. The carriage return is what fouls up the system. If you are using an editor to modify your scripts, be sure not to save them in a MS-DOS format. For instance, in Windows 95, the Notepad program defaults to MS-DOS format, while Wordpad has a save option to save as Text and not MS-DOS text.
You can also fix this by using the fromdos command like this:

    fromdos textfile
In this example, the file 'textfile' is converted to the correct format. After running 'fromdos' please be sure to turn on execute mode. fromdos does not save permissions on files. A typical session might look like this:
zipcon:~$ cd public_html/cgi-bin
zipcon:~/public_html/cgi-bin$ fromdos script.pl
zipcon:~/public_html/cgi-bin$ chmod 755 script.pl
zipcon:~/public_html/cgi-bin$ exit

You will have to telnet or dial directly with a terminal program, to access the 'fromdos' command.

Many, or even most scripts will require edits to make them work correctly. The most common thing you may run across is the location of the script or a data file. Your home directory is in /home/FIRST_LETTER/username. This means that username 'peter' has home directory /home/p/peter. Login name 'john' has home directory /home/j/john. Your web site is in the public_html directory, so the full path to a file will be something like /home/j/john/public_html/somefile.htm

Password Protecting Files

The web server software has built in support for password protection of files and directories. Here is the Apache web server documentation.

For the simplest protection all you have to do is put a file named .htaccess in the directory (also called folder) you wish to protect. Then the contents of that file would be something like:

AuthUserFile /home/FIRST_LETTER/your_login/public_html/protected/password.txt
AuthName anything
AuthType Basic
require user protect

Now you create a file named 'password.txt' in the 'protected' directory on the web server. That file has the username used on the "require user" line above and encrypted password. You can create this file by telneting into zipcon.net, then dropping to the UNIX shell and typing:

cd public_html/protected
htpasswd -c password.txt protect

This will create a 'password.txt' file with the login/password combo. If you wish to have more than one login and password, change the line above in the .htaccess file from:

require user protect     to:
require user protect protect2 protect3 protect4

Then use the htpasswd utility to create additional login/password combinations. You must not use the '-c' option though, as it creates a new file. So it would be:

cd public_html/protected
htpasswd -c password.txt protect
    (to create the initial file)
htpasswd password.txt protect2
htpasswd password.txt protect3
htpasswd password.txt protect4

Streaming Audio and Video

You can easily set up streaming audio and video on your web site by doing the following.

  • Upload your audio or video file, generally RealAudio sound and video files have a .ra or .ram extension. So for instance you might name the sound file soundfile.ra.

  • Create a text file with a .ram extension. In that file, put the location of your audio file as a URL. For instance you could create a file name sound.ram and its contents would be:

  • To offer sound or video, place a link to the .ram file in an HTML document. For instance:
    <A HREF="http://www.zipcon.net/~username/sound.ram"> Play Sound </a>

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