Friday, 17 November 2000

Newsletter Issue 15, November 2000

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 15, November 2000

Hi guys,

Something new this time - looking at setting up a website. This is pretty de rigeur for most businesses these days - even if you don't want to sell online, it may pay to have a presence on the net. This is part one of a two part article: in this one we are dealing with Domain name registration and Web Hosting. Check it out... Weaving Your Web and News Bytes  below.

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Weaving Your Web

Not yet online but thinking about it? Unfortunately, having a web presence is pretty much expected these days. The other day I was looking at "the Great Kiwi Loo Calendar" from a couple of years ago. There was only one email address on the whole thing, and no web addresses. I bet the new one will have about a 50% hit rate on internet addresses of one kind or the other.

Websites are great places to "park" things for people to pick up. A designer I deal with posts proofs on the net for viewing and approval. I can pay my insurance, check up on a claim, do my banking, order books, stationery or software, pay my Visa and send cellphone messages over the net.

And the net is going to become MORE pervasive. 

So why should I go on the net? Well, I have forms that clients need to fill out, and common information to send them. I have some services that can be wholly transacted via the internet (such as CVs, Career movement advice, application letters, application forms, job descriptions and newsletters). For those of you who don't know, most of my business is systems and procedures. About 1/5th is "personal services" which translates well to working on the net. I currently have clients in the UK, US and Australia as well as throughout NZ (but still mostly in Nelson).

I do not expect to get a lot of browsing traffic on my site, really. I think that most of my traffic will be from people that I have sent there.

The main reason for setup is that I will be like the only person in the village still without a phone who has to run down to the Post Office to make a call. You run the risk of not only looking a tad unprofessional, but worse - out of touch. And with the kind of work that I do, I can't afford to look out of touch!!

I am finally taking the plunge and working through setting up a site. I should be well on the way by early next year. so.....

The first thing to do then is to register your domain name. It needs to be simple and obvious for users to punch in.... if your name is Sam Young, perhaps you should register "samyoung"! Sealord Group Ltd is "sealord", Carter Holt Harvey is "cch" etc. Make it easy and logical.

To register? Couldn't be easier. Go to Click the link to the Domain Name Search, and plug in the name that you would like. If it has already been registered to someone, it should supply the registration details. You can then check with that person to see if they are using the name and if they will allow you to take over the name registration... or you can choose another name until you get one that fits.

Don't forget to try other extensions like ""  if you can't get what you want with "". Registration of a Domain name in New Zealand costs about $80 per annum.

There are a lot of companies in the States offering incredibly cheap name registration. The trick is that often they require that you use their company as your Web Host. It can cost you a bit more than you would think, that way. You can check your desired name in the US at 

The next thing that you have to do is decide who will host your website. You must do this BEFORE you start building. Xtra for example will only post sites constructed using FrontPage; other ISPs will use their own developing tools to build the sites then take in your changes (usually once a month).

Xtra charges $25 set up and $25 per month for "LiteWeb" Web Hosting. You can apparently make as many changes to your site as you like (but I will find out and get back to you on this in fairly short order as I will be taking the plunge with Xtra early in the New Year). Your site has to fit certain criteria - size & complexity, volume of traffic etc. Most SMEs will be just fine on a LiteWeb. 

At Xtra you will pay annual costs of $300 with a $25 setup fee. I think that Clear is pretty similar. I was going to go with Xtra for convenience of having all my billing (and b*tching!) at one source. 

However. I have just heard that I can get hosting for $12.95 per month with a local firm, (payable in advance for 1 year) with the site mirrored in the US. So I am thinking ...why pay twice as much? Total cost is $160-ish per annum. I will let you know if there is a catch!

These providers are all New Zealand firms who build and host sites. The first four are Nelson-based for those of you who like to talk face to face with a flesh-person;

The hosting company you choose does not have to be in New Zealand. You can try some of the US searches at these links:

Whoever you choose as your Web Hosting company, make sure they have a fast backbone and that they are not crowding too many sites on the same server. If they are, your site will load like a bus with flat tires in a ploughed paddock.

Next time we will be moving on to the actual design process of your site, giving you some of the goss on deciding if you're going to DIY or hire someone to do it for you. 

News Bytes

Addressing the issues

Some news on website addresses - top level domain names (TLDs) are under pressure. There is too much demand and not enough TLDs.  

In New Zealand, current general TLDs are,,, with specialized TLDs as, and 

In the US, general TLDs are .com, .org and .net, with specialized TLDs .edu, .gov and .us (.us has been adopted by local governments - for example, Los Angeles County's web site is The US Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (aka ICANN), a private, non-profit organization set up by the US government to manage domain names, has announced its seven finalists for new TLDs in the States. 

The expected new TLDs are .aero (for airlines, airports, etc), .biz (covering the same area as .com), .coop  (for, er, cooperative businesses), .info (another catch all),  .museum (guess what!), .name (for consumers and other individuals) and .pro (for doctors, lawyers, etc.).  Even more interesting than those that made TLD status are some of those that were expected to make it but didn't including .kids, .xxx, .web, .health and .travel. This is likely to impact on us here in New Zealand, as we are likely to follow suit. So if you haven't got your web address yet, don't despair.

And perhaps the Ozzies might get .xxxx through....

Pentium IV? No, Pentium 4

Intel has just released the Pentium 4 chip (which I guess an old timer could call a 886).  In addition to upping the speed - the initial chips have claimed speeds of 1.4 GHz and 1.5 GHz with 2 GHz expected some time in 2001 - this chip has 144 new instruction intended to boost video, audio and 3-D imagining.  High-end systems using this chip are available immediately from the usual suspects (including Dell, IBM and HP).  

Intel says that it intends a relatively rapid shift to the Pentium 4 so that by the end of next year, there will be more new machines shipped with Pentium 4's than with Pentium III.  

It is interesting that Intel seems to think that peoples' knowledge of  Roman numerals stops at III. Perhaps their marketing people didn't like the "plumbed in" connotations of IV?!

Bluetooth Update

I have mentioned Bluetooth before in connection with MIT's Project Oxygen. Bluetooth is going to become the  wireless standard for short distance radio frequency networking.  

It is intended as a low bandwidth, inexpensive way for communication of relatively low amounts of data between different devices relatively close to each other.  There are Bluetooth network devices that will be available but they will be limited to 1 Mb rather than the 10 Mbs of Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is ideal though for portables talking to printers, cell phones connecting to handhelds and a plethora of other areas where Infrared was supposed to be the solution (but has not delivered the goods).  

At Comdex 1999 (HUGE Computer Expo in the US), Bluetooth was only theoretical.  At Comdex 2000 there were a lot of prototype devices and IBM is even shipping a $200 Bluetooth PCMIA card.  

It will be a year, or slightly more, before lots of devices are using the technology and all computers are "Bluetooth-enabled" (at an expected cost of less than $10 - rate that!).  But be sure, bluetooth will replace Infrared and be standard in all digital cameras, cell phones, PDAs and computers within two or three years.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;

  • TLD, Top Level Domains. This is the "org", "co", "net" etc extension of your web address
  • Wi-Fi, Wireless Fidelity. This is english for (beleive it or not!) IEEE 802.11, the internet protocol for long-range wireless transmission for wireless networking. Wi-Fi uses 2.4 GHz radio band as high end wireless phones. This will be the future of computing... 
  • WECA, Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance. This is the company that is pushing Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), to make it the industry standard

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.
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