the more technical aspects of computer ops.
materials, OS, CPU, port types and more, all
subject to change periodically as the Mac
a short list of recommended reference books,
including eBooks, from a select few authors,
along with some trusted online sources for Mac
titles of all sorts.
Robin Williams - She may have
the misfortune of sharing her name with a famous
actor, but _this_ Robin Williams has no peer
when it comes to writing computer-related
manuals. Her "Non-Designer's Design Book" series
is excellent for mastering web design and
graphics, as is her "Little Mac Book" series for
getting around the MacOS. Beautifully
illustrated, clearly written, some of her early
books might be getting on in computer years, but
they are still relavent to the design process.
Adam Engst and Tonya Engst - Possibly the most
complete, up-to-date and useful resource for
getting a grip on specific Macintosh topics is
the "Take Control" series of ebooks. Browse
their complete list of subjects, and for a few
bucks you can download more than you'll need to
know about most any specific Mac-related topic.
Adam, Glenn Fleishman and a talented staff of
techno-writers are also responsible for
publishing the TidBits newsletter that has been
a source of current, reliable information about
the Macintosh for over 20
For the more nerdly among us, check out these
publishers and their lists of outstanding MacOS,
iOS, networking, training and program manuals.
Stay put or upgrade OS to latest greatest?
a distinct difference between upgrades and
upgrading means a whole new OS, but updates are
improvements to the OS you're currently using.
Both are available via the App Store (in Apple
Was a time when there was
no question about it, any updates or upgrades
that came along were always desirable and
applied without hesitation - but things have
changed. Now a little caution and research is
called for regarding software and System
compatibility. Most updates are a good thing and
should be installed as they become available,
but an OS upgrade
can result in needing newer versions of
application programs, especially if jumping over
two or more OS versions. Upgrades may require
new device drivers, too (printer, scanner,
etc.). In any case, we highly recommend a
complete backup prior to making any
significant change - including an OS
upgrade - in case something goes wrong or you
don't like the results.
A couple of general rules:
- Stay within three System
versions of the latest release.
- If you're within two OS
versions of the latest - and it works -
don't fix it.
a compelling reason to upgrade, keep using the
OS version you're currently running as long as
it isn't a problem. Staying one version behind
the latest/greatest OS is a good idea these
This chart shows versions of OSX up to 10.13;
each of these was an upgrade from the previous
OS, and each had a group of updates added. For
example, the end of OS 10.10 was 10.10.5 (third
number denotes updates).
Processors (CPUs) are listed across the top. The
PowerPC (PPC) and old G3s, G4s, and G5s are
ancient history, obsolete and stuck in the
CD = CoreDuo; OS 10.6.8 is the end of the road
for that CPU.
C2D = Core2Duo; most of these machines can run later System
versions up to 10.11 if equipped with
appropriate graphics card
and sufficient RAM.
MacOS 10.6.8 is required prior to upgrading to
10.7 thru 10.11.
Minimum OS 10.7.5 is required for upgrade to
10.12 and beyond.
Direct links to MacOS purchase and/or downloads
are posted on our Apple Links page (left).
Mac Operating Systems are
download-only, available thru the AppStore
(under Apple menu) and about 5-8GB in size which
requires true broadband.
10.8 Mountain Lion may still be available for
$20 as a download from the AppStore, but latest
MacOS version is free. Regrettably, intermediate
OS versions are no longer available from Apple,
although they are still supported with periodic
updates for those running 10.10, 10.11, 10.12.
Click here to find out what
OS version shipped on your Mac and which build
is recommended. (Build info may be found under
Apple menu > About this Mac, then click on
"version 10.x.x" to toggle between version,
build and machine's serial number.) Read on
for a complete Operating System history
starting with first Mac and going thru OS
versions to present day.
The first-ever Mac (1984 128K) used a
fat-diameter AA-length battery in an external
battery box with a door; a modern, full-size AA
3.6v lithium battery works quite well in 128K
Macs with room to spare.
Apple ][s and other early Macs used the familiar
3.6v 1/2AA lithium battery - except that they
soldered to the logic board. Best solution for
these is to install a battery box inside these
machines where battery was located. A common
3.6v lithium battery can also be used to replace
those weird, square 4.5v batteries found in old
Performas, and - by the way - a full-size 3.6v
AA lithium battery is half the cost and twice
the size of 1/2AA - go figure.
First 128K and the 512K "FatMac" (that
came with "more memory than you'll ever need")
used an RJ-11 plug to connect keyboard, commonly
known as a phone jack. Coiled cable to keyboard
was identical to those on telephone handsets of
the day. Mouse, however, used a strictly
proprietary connector. When hard drives came
along, Macs used SCSI drives, including external
drive port, with serial ports for printer and
Drive mechanisms may need cleaning and a little
grease as they tend to get sticky over time
(critical for first Macs lacking hard drives).
Assuming hardware is intact and new PRAM battery
is in place, your next challenge is to obtain
and install/upgrade the best OS appropriate to
Early Operating Systems (on 400K, 800K
in the day of the first 128K Mac, the 512K "Fat
Mac," FX and others, we had no need of System
version numbers and names; the Mac's OS was
simply known as, well, the MacOS. Back then,
both the Operating System and application
program fit nicely on a single 400K "floppy"
(actually the first 3.5" hard-shell Sony
diskette that would become industry standard),
with enough space left over for a document or
System 6.0.5 and 6.0.8 (MultiFinder):
MacPlus to SE
ancient MacPlus and early SEs with 800K drives
can't go past System 6.0.8 without extensive
modification to drives and logic board to meet
minimum System 7 specs. An SE equipped with
1.4MB diskette drive(s) and other modifications
could be made to run System 7.
System 7.5.5: Good choice for 68030 and
68040 Macs, including the SE/30
a 1.4MB diskette drive and 8 to 16MB RAM.
(System 7.5.5 can gobble up 4-5 times as much
RAM as System 7.0 did on 68K machines.)
Communications via bulletin boards (BBS) was the
norm at that time.
System 7.6.1: Minimum Internet, from SE/30
to Performas and PowerPCs
MB of RAM and System 7.6.1 _might_ get you
online today, but you won't get very far without
using Cyberdog or hacking Netscape for use on
certain machines like the SE/30. This
configuration, System 7.6.1, represents the
bare-bones minimum required to allow email and
internet on early Macs and PowerBooks. System
7.6.1 also supported the multiple SCSI bus of
603e/604e PowerPC Macs.
OS 8.0: Skip it
used license of this System release to terminate
Mac clones. (There were at least six at the
time, including Motorola, UMAX and Power
Computing.) OS 8 was actually the last of System
7 (unofficially 7.7). The other big change was
this: OS 8 was the first MacOS to have a price
OS 8.1: HFS Plus, runs on all PowerPC 601,
603 and 604 Macs
8.1 Introduced HFS+ extended format, along with
more than a few other significant changes
including enhanced software capabilities and
communications. 8.1 was the _real_ beginning of
the MacOS version 8. Runs on almost all PowerPC
Macs up to the G3 Risc series processors (also
known as the 750 chip).
OS 8.5 and OS 8.6: All PowerPC Macs
and control over view functions with global
preference settings. 8.5 introduced Sherlock;
8.6 expands on search capability, indexing. Top
end for 603e CPUs. If you can't use OS9 (which
will not install on ancient PPCs), 8.5 or 8.6 is
your best bet.
OS 9.1: Top end OS for 604ev Macs
9.1 will run on 604s, G3s, and a few G4 Macs.
Newer G4s and G5s will not startup with OS9, but
can run OS9.2.2 and apps using OSX Classic Mode
(provided OS9 drivers were included with hard
drive format under OSX).
OS 9.2.1 and Update 9.2.2: G3 and G4 Macs
improved security, data encryption, and many
communications enhancements, OS 9.2.1 was the
last commercial release of System 9, followed by
one final update to OS 9.2.2. Update 9.2.2
contains improved OSX "Classic Mode"
compatibility and additional hardware drivers
for G4 CD and DVD burners. Last, best browser
under OS 9 was Netscape 7.02. OS 9.2.2 is
absolutely necessary if you're still dragging
"Classic" OS9 apps. Tiger 10.4 was the last
version of Mac OSX to recognize OS9 "Classic
mode" and legacy software (see below); Leopard
10.5 will not recognize legacy software, nor can
Intel machines run legacy software.
OSX versions 10.0 Cheetah, 10.1 Puma and
10.2 Jaguar: G3s, G4s, G5s
not a pleasant experience. OS 10.0 thru 10.2.x
are best avoided; any machine capable of running
10.0-10.2 Jaguar should be running Tiger (10.4)
or later, if possible.
OS X 10.3.0 thru 10.3.9 Panther: G3s, G4s,
G3s - except the very first (beige) models and
the first G3 PowerBook - will run OS X versions
thru 10.3.9; in reality, RAM requirements and
hard drive space are determining factors. All
G4s will run Panther nicely; a few later G4s and
all G5 models startup in OS X only, but all
machines up to Intel Macs (and Leopard 10.5,
below) will run OS9 apps in Classic Mode on HDDs
with OS9 drivers installed. Unofficially, almost
any Mac with PCI architecture allowing addition
of a USB card can run OSX with a little
OSX 10.4.0 thru 10.4.11 Tiger: G4s, G5s,
some early Intel Macs
to accommodate the 64-bit G5 processor and newer
Intel Macs, Tiger is virtually identical to
Panther with a few added bells and whistles,
many of which require a broadband connection to
the internet (as does the Software Update
function built into both Panther and Tiger). All
G5 Macs should be running Tiger 10.4.11 or
Leopard 10.5.8 (with sufficient RAM).
Early Intel Macs may have shipped with Tiger
10.4 onboard, but upgrading to Leopard 10.5 or
Snow Leopard 10.6 will allow the CPUs in these
machines to operate at full potential. Later
Intel-powered Macs will not run 10.4.
OSX 10.5 Leopard: Runs on G4s, G5s, and
first Intel Macs
was on Friday, October 26th, 2007. Apple finally
dropped legacy support for OS9 and Classic Mode
with Leopard 10.5, regardless of machine's
processor (G5 or Intel). Apple claimed "300 new
features" when 10.5 was released, but 10.5's
real claim to fame is that it is the last OS
that will run on G5s and some G4s.
OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard: Intel Macs only,
10.6.3 was DVD from Apple
highly polished version of Leopard, Snow Leopard
(OS 10.6) was released a month ahead of
schedule. Snow Leopard may have originally been
intended to be an upgrade for licensed Leopard
10.5 users, but the 10.6.3 DVD will happily do a
full install to an empty drive. 10.6.3 DVD is
still supported and available from Apple for
only $20 here: < 10.6.3
Leopard > It will need to be updated
(free, online) to current version 10.6.8. Slick,
smooth and stable, Snow Leopard had the longest
useful life of any OS since OS9.
NOTE: Some later machines will not boot from the
10.6.3 DVD as they require 10.6.5 and later.
OSX 10.7 Lion: First
OS available as download, now extinct
OS 10.6.6+, 2GB RAM, Core 2 Duo or later
processor. Support for legacy apps and "Classic
Mode" was dropped here, so many 10.4/10.5 apps
will need upgrades or replacement. More than a
few changes, including infestation of social
networks wherever possible and the advent of
NOTE: Lion 10.7 was also briefly available from
Apple on an 8GB flash drive for $60-70, tho
these are long gone (Apple# A1384). Device was
also marked 607-9072.
OSX 10.8 Mountain
Lion: Last o'the Big Cats
is $20, download only
Requires: Broadband connection, OS 10.6.8 or
later installed, 2GB RAM, 8GB drive space, and
a current Mac CPU.
OSX 10.9 Mavericks:
Most Core2Duo machines
In areas lacking true "broadband" speeds of
3Mbps or higher, downloading a 8 gigabyte OS
will take 6 hours or more. Also be sure to
download and install all available updates
after upgrading to OS. 10.8. Mountain Lion was
still available from Apple when last we
the last MacOS to support dialup. Shortly
after its release, Apple popped-out Yosemite
to replace Mavericks, which was the last OS
build from the Snow Leopard 10.6.8 family.
Apple recently dropped support for Mavericks,
too, so Mavericks updates are ending and
Maverick is no longer available from Apple.
OSX 10.10 Yosemite:
Core2Duo and later CPUs
Yosemite was removed
from Apple's App Store on release of El
Capitan, but requirements were about the same:
Broadband only internet, min. 2GB RAM, and
replacement of older apps that are no longer
Upgrades/updates to most other 3rd-party
programs is necessary, and many have migrated
to the online monthly-subscription model.
OSX 10.11 El
Capitan: Some Core2Duo, i3
and later CPUs
iMac, late-2008 MacBook/Pro, early-2009
MacMini or later models; minimum 2GB RAM (recommend 4GB),
other details and specifics available here:
Capitan >. 10.11 El Capitan is last
OS that many Core2Duo machines will run; these
machines will go obsolete when Apple stops
OSX 10.12 Sierra: i3, i5 and i7 CPUs
specs here: < Sierra
> Requires late
2009 Mac or later, 2GB
RAM (recommend 4GB or more), and minimum OS
10.7.5 to upgrade. This OS occupies nearly 9GB
of drive space and is a large file to download
- true broadband/fiber recommended.
OSX 10.13 High
Specs here: < High
Sierra > 10.13
appears to have about the same System
requirements as 10.12 Sierra did (with a lot
of polish and improvements) and should run on
any machine capable of running 10.12.
OSX 10.14 Mojave:
Last OS to support 32-bit apps
requirements and 'how-to' tips from Apple may
be found here. Apple has decided to extend 32-bit
support one last time; 32-bit apps produce a
warning and will be dropped altogether soon.
Port type progression over the years
Macs all used SCSI ports (pronounced "scuzzy,"
it stands for Small Computer Serial Interface)
to connect internal and external hard drives
as well as certain external devices (notably
scanners). As time went on, SCSI-1 evolved to
SCSI-2 then SCSI-3. Apple eventually dropped
SCSI in favor of the cheaper Parallel ATA
(PATA or IDE) interface. SCSI is the fastest
and most expensive type of data bus, rarely
seen in personal computers these days, and
PATA (IDE) drives have been replaced by faster
Serial ATA (SATA) drives. These are now giving
way to solid-state drives (SSD). With no moving parts and speed
approaching the speed of light, SSDs are still
very expensive, but prices are steadily coming
down as they become more common - now standard
equipment in most Mac models.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is used for the
vast majority of external devices, including
cameras, external drives, scanners and
other gizmos. USB speed has improved thru
multiple generations (USB-1, USB-2, USB-3), and
has now given way to the USB-C port also known
as Thunderbolt-3. USB-C interfaces with most
other port types and also acts as the
AC-adapter input for new Mac notebooks,
replacing the MagSafe connector.
Analog and Digital video output ports
include the two-row DB-15 video port used on
ancient desktop Macs up to G3 models, the far
more common 15-pin VGA analog port still in use
in the PC world, and Apple's abandoned ADC
connector which carried analog, dual-link
digital, audio and AC power all-in-one.
DVI became standard video output port on all
computers, recently replaced by HDMI from the
television world. Mini dual-link DVI ports are
found on old laptops and Macs, tho some
full-size, industry standard DVI ports appeared
on some MacBooks and all MacPro towers. Most are
DVI-I dual-link output ports as the single-link
version only lasted a year or so.
DVI-I also carries analog,
DVI-D and DVI-A connections are digital-only.
Digital video cables over 10-feet in length must
be top-quality to minimize loss/noise, but
analog video (typically VGA) is not as sensitive
and long cable runs should not present a
Newer machines sport
Thunderbolt (mini video out), or the newest
USB-C/Thunderbolt3 video out ports. Fortunately,
there is no shortage of adapters available to
connect most any device you might encounter,
even Thunderbolt3 out to VGA.
What is it,
and why do I need more?
Adding RAM (Random Access
Memory) can be a cost effective and significant
upgrade for most computers, especially older
ones. Many people confuse RAM with storage space
on a drive, but they're two very different
things. RAM is where work takes place; when you
startup your Mac, its Operating System loads
into RAM. When you launch a program, it also
loads into RAM. RAM is where creation, editing
and work takes place, written back to your drive
on save/quit, where it is stored.
While working, RAM is shared between OS and
apps; on shutdown, RAM is emptied. If power is
interrupted, whatever was in RAM will be lost
(unless saved), but data stored on your drive
will probably not be affected.
More RAM means faster
processing and allows more applications to be
open and running simultaneously. If you use your
computer for more than simple word processing
and email, you will likely benefit from adding
NOTE: Some new Macs cannot be upgraded after
purchase. See the "Upgrade or Replace" page,
left, for details.
RAM modules, sometimes
referred to as DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory
Modules), come in a variety of sizes, types and
brands, with various technical specifications
and physical configurations. RAM is extremely
machine-specific; sometimes a RAM module can be
moved from Mac to Mac within a machine "family"
(i.e. same processor and bus specs), but this is
rare. Modules are also keyed to fit matching RAM
Research your machine's
requirements, found in your User Manual, by
checking your System Profile, or by researching
machine's serial number (usually found under
iMac stand, on label in notebook battery bay or
printed on back of machine). Match these specs
to memory from reputable vendors.
RAM issues can bring down the entire system,
lockup machine, and cause all sorts of nonsense
(usually cured by removal). Inadequate,
mismatched or out-of-spec RAM will prevent
startup and cause the machine to issue a series
of beeps only.
What if I run out of
If an application was
thoughtfully written, there might be a
subroutine that periodically checks memory
management and will utilize a block of drive
space temporarily to compensate. Otherwise,
programs may freeze, hang or quit without
warning, or machine might stop responding to
input. If you experience spinning beach balls
for extended periods or
apps unexpectedly quit, you might need to add
System requires a fair amount of memory all by
itself, increasing with each new OS release.
Modern System versions typically use 2GB RAM
or more, possibly necessitating a memory
upgrade when upgrading OS versions. RAM is
probably the single most cost-effective
improvement available for hard working Macs.
Consider a web site (if you don't have one)
in the "Information Age" means the phone book of
yore has been replaced by web search; people
expect to find info about you and/or your
business on the internet. Web sites are like an
online business card, only better. They can
include examples of your work, answers to common
questions, inventory, photos, videos, hours, a
map and all sorts of info beyond just a phone
number and address.
Registering a domain name, designing a web site
and posting it with a web host can take a bit of
doing, but once established a web site can be an
essential advertising and marketing tool - or
just a fun place to share things with friends
and family. You can have your own blog or discussion group,
post photos and slide shows, video, music, link
it to a YouTube page if you like and take it as
far as you wish.
Editing and updating your site is pretty easy,
too, once you get the
hang of it, but initial setup might best be left
to a web designer who knows all the tricks -
unless you're willing to wade into it and do it
all yourself. We don't do web design here, but
we might be able to help with details and
discuss the process and options with you,
possibly recommend a designer or host to get
You can create a mock up site in TextEdit or
Photoshop or Keynote, to get an idea of how it
should look and work - or launch into the real
thing with a web design app. Once you have a
basic layout, translating it into a web-friendly
site can be fairly easy. Cruise around the Web
for ideas, look at different layouts and site
designs, and work on a layout that suits you.
Meanwhile, the first thing you'll need to do is
find a unique domain name that isn't in use.
Best way to do this is by simply typing it into
a browser and see if you land on a site. If your
browser comes up empty and can't find the name
you used, it's probably available. Soon as you
figure out your site name, register it (two
years should be in the $20-30 range). That will
give you time to design and complete your site.
Domain names are registered according to the
suffix attached, with ".com" being the most
prevalent. Many ISPs will snag a domain name for
you, automatically, the instant it becomes
available - for a small fee. Domain names become
quite valuable when you consider printed
materials, investment in site resources, email
addresses, and advertising. Read on for more
about Domain Name Services.....
A capsule history of the Internet
In its short, tumultuous life thus
far, the "web" has morph'd from Dr. Jon
Postel's DARPA model under the U.S.
Department of Defense - a redundant network
of nodes - to a thriving, international,
global network of networks. To its credit,
the Federal Government took a hands-off
approach thru the late '90s, avoiding any
"internet governance" and only addressing
Domain Name Services (DNS)
as necessary to facilitate internet
operation on a global scale with respect to
borders, languages and technology. The model
for control of the internet's entire
addressing scheme has changed periodically,
as agreements between governments and
multinational corporations expire and are
renegotiated, and new categories are
created, such as .info and .biz domains.
In 1997, the U.S. Department of
Commerce was directed to privatize
DNS, " ...in a manner that increases
competition and facilitates international
participation in its management." Through a
cooperative agreement between the National
Science Foundation (NSF) and Network
Solutions Incorporated (NSI), a fee
structure was established for DNS
registration and management via NSI's
Network Information Center (aka, the interNIC)
which was later purchased by VeriSign.
DNS is all about the registration of names
we use to identify and locate web sites
(whatsit.com) with their actual numeric
designations (8220.127.116.118). IPv4
protocol uses 32-bit addresses in the
familiar "dot-quad" format, while IPv6 uses
128-bit addresses in hexadecimal code.
Here in the U.S., our root DNS
registry is currently under license from the
U.S. Department of Commerce National
Telecommunications and Information
Administration, the NTIA
and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority,
the IANA. The
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
certifies specific registrars to sell and
manage domain names. These registrars are
private-sector corporations (including
VeriSign and those listed below).
Top Level Domains (TLDs) are now
known as Root Zones
Country Codes (ccTLD).
Country code domains were
originally two-letter suffixes assigned to
about 250 countries, but the list is now
mixed in with other "Root Zones" which
include all manner of corporations,
businesses, and individual companies,
Generic (gTLD) Domains
were also rolled into Root Zones.
The largest of these, by far, is
still the .com domain owned by VeriSign.
The original (short) list of domains below
still exist within the hundreds of other
Root Zones, tho some may have little
resemblance to their original purpose.
= air transport industry, domain is owned
Infrastructure Domains (.int
and .arpa) are used exclusively for
internet infrastructure and management These
are operated by IANA.
all owned by VeriSign (since January 2002)
by Public Interest Registry (since January
2003) originally a domain for non-profit
organizations but is no longer
still owned by NeuStar Incorporated
owned by DotCoorporation LLC
owned by Afilias Limited
= Museum Domain Management Association
operated by RegistryPro, Ltd.
General Services Administration (U.S.
operated by Educause
operated by the U.S. Department of Defense
now owned by Dog Beach LLC
This short list of original domains dates
back to about Y2K when things were just
getting underway. Like the original
Country Codes, these Generic Domains are
also scattered within the hundreds of
modern Root Zones.
Current agreements and amendments (most in
pdf format) can be found on the NTIA web
and Registrar information is available
from VeriSign or the American Registry for
Internet Numbers (ARIN): <http://www.arin.net/>
Alternative networks included: name.space,
AlterNIC, eDNS, WWW2, and others.
Current Trends and Transitions
Having started with bulletin
boards (BBS) over
terminal programs (like the venerable
Zterm), internet access is now achieved
using any of a number of web browsers like
Safari or Firefox. (Firefox is a distant
relative of the very first web browser,
Netscape.) Standards and protocols are
constantly changing and updating, as is
everything else these days, with security
being a major concern.
The internet had a "gold rush" of
sorts in the late '90s - the notorious
"dot-com bubble" - when get-rich-quick
schemes of all sorts flooded the new
internet market. Those ideas which had merit
have survived and flourished (eBay, Amazon,
Google, to name a few), but the vast
majority of early "dot-coms" were so
ill-conceived or poorly executed that the
period became known for spectacular and
costly failures. Many were flat-out cons.
The 'net has also survived a kind
of "wild west" period with little or no
official regulation or control, thanks in
large part to the U.S. government's
hands-off approach to internet regulation.
One of the most refreshing and powerful
aspects of today's internet is its
wide-open, unregulated, global access to
information of all sorts (at least here in
the States), but those days may be numbered
as corporations and governments begin to
apply control and attempt taxation,
censoring and regulation.
Domain name registration
VeriSign has done well to stay out
of the spotlight as the internet continues
to sort itself out. Registration of domain
names is strictly controlled in some ways -
country codes for example - but wide open in
others. Registrars range from giant VeriSign
(still in control of .com and .net) to
neighborhood ISPs acting as local agents.
Registration schemes abound. Services
offered by site designers, ISPs, and
VeriSign itself range from the rock-bottom
biannual fee, to substantial (and
unjustified) monthly rates charged to the
unwary. Registration of a domain name
expires at two or five year intervals, to
the exact second. If it goes neglected,
someone else can buy it. Best to use a
reliable registrar and web host.
Your relationship with your web
host (and ISP) is important for a variety of
reasons beyond just its monthly charge for
hosting; it might best be viewed as a
partnership. When shopping for a web host,
be sure to factor-in your site's use of
requirements and other qualifications.
Review service contracts from potential web
hosts, along with host's past history,
equipment, and additional services offered
before making a long-term commitment. Having
a reliable host capable of managing a
variety of domain issues can be a big plus.
Avoid those hosts who limit your ability to
post changes or insist on doing it for you
(for a fee), and those that charge
exorbitant monthly fees or have additional
charges for traffic, storage, editing and
access. Most web designers will have a list
of host providers they recommend.
Hosting your own web site requires
a static IP (Internet Protocol) address,
high-speed broadband (minimum 3Mbps), and a
fast server - all of which is a possibility
for those willing to tackle the
technicalities. (The bottleneck around here
is true broadband availability.) Does it
make sense to host your own web site?
Probably not, unless you have bigger plans
involving dedicated lines and might provide
hosting space for others. It takes time,
expensive servers, continual maintenance and
updates, a backup server, and a fair amount
of technical knowhow. Not an easy task.