The Trouble With Sophia

So, we now have a smartbed, much like a smartphone, a bit of artificial intelligence one can sleep on, that will read you mind and answer to your every whim before you even realize you have a whim. No more actually having to reason or act under your own volition, now you can just passively lay up your mind reading bed.

I've submitted all of the march of alleged progress, but I do often wonder why we do not take it all the way? I mean, why not an evict button for your bed? Just one click of the mouse and you could fling your spouse right out of the room.

Or perhaps an eject button for those days when you, yourself, just do not feel like getting up.

No doubt I am the only one concerned about hackers. I just happened to remember what hackers did to our so-called, self-cleaning, intelligent public toilets. I mean, if people can spy on me though my TV eye, my webcam, and my smart fridge, imagine what mischief they could wrought if they gained access to my bed. This could certainly put a new twist on our political elections, but actually I was thinking more in terms of being able to hack someone's bed in the middle of the night and trigger that eject button.

I mean seriously, if you're going to have a smart bed, let's do it up properly and consider all of the ramifications and potential issues and take the idea completely to its logical conclusion.

As if smartbeds were not already a potential disaster, we also now have the lady robots. As usual, people are always trying to create a new and improved woman, especially one that can do customer service for free. It is a great tragedy, a huge offense, that we live in a culture that genuinely does not seem to understand the human element, the significance of women, the importance of finally getting to talk to a “real human being.”

Naturally Sophia has already suggested that humans belong in a zoo. Taking it just a bit farther, we actually now have robots who can make well reasoned arguments for why humans should be destroyed. This does not bother me as much as the fact that we ourselves seem unable to launch a good argument in our own defense.

I think there is an interesting bit of truth hidden here, and while we laugh at “cute” Sophia quipping about destroying humans, in truth a world run exclusively by reason, absent sacred love, absent human beings created in the image of God, absent the reality of women, becomes a world in which logic soon dictates, humans really serve no vital purpose.

Seriously, I empathize with Sophia, our inanimate woman who “dreams” of full personhood status … and the power to rid the world of humans. What begins to astound me is the blindness of human entitlement, the silliness that suggests a robot designed exclusively to serve us, may not simply be accepting of our whims and grateful for the privilege.

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How To Watch Netflix In China

Netflix is ​​home to so many blockbuster hits that it is impossible to imagine a life without it. Although that is true, Netflix has been facing considerable difficulty in penetrating into the Chinese market – with such strict censorship on what can be shown, and with competition from local streaming websites. This situation exists because of that fact one of the origins of Netflix, House of Cards, was widely loved in the very same country that has taken it. All that said, there is still an effective way to get around the censorship and monitoring controls placed over the Internet, including those that belong to Netflix, to access your favorite shows in China. Here is how to watch Netflix in China.

Enter, DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name Servers. These servers act like phones of the Internet that maintain a ledger that contains IP addresses of each domain name. Normally, we would type the name of a website in the address bar of a browser. It would then need to be converted into its respect IP address for the server to be able to return the data to you – this conversion is handled by the DNS.

How can DNS enable Netflix in China?

There are some URLs that have the capability to detect where the traffic is coming from. Netflix is ​​one of them – which is what enables it to show you regional content only. You can register with a DNS service provider that enables you to modify your virtual geolocation to trick Netflix into believing you are from another part of the world. Here is how a smart DNS relocation service can help you.

• The DNS service provider software is very easy to set up. After installation, all that is left to do is to change your DNS server. You can reconfigure your router and change the DNS codes there, and you are done.

• It supports almost all devices, with the exception of a few tricky ones.

• You have a hoard of DNS options available with you – enabling you to choose any location on earth as your virtual presence. You can get the content of any country on Netflix this way.

• Many channels are unlocked all at once – meaning that you are not docked at one place, rather omnipresent!

• All your domestic sites still work.

There can be nothing better than DNS when it comes to access Netflix in China. However, there is one downside to using this method: your data is not encrypted. If someone came snooping around, things could get out of hand. Many people still do it, though, and hardly get caught. It is worth a shot!

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SGM’s Digital Commonplace – Marvel Of Modern Engineering

A “commonplace book” used to be a system through which people could record the progress of their lives. Whilst quite a mundane idea, the real value was the underlining focus that it brave you.

The whole point of a “commonplace book” was to push you to indulge in intellectual pursuits – reading, experimenting with different ideas, and extremely providing you with the ability to consider exactly what you wanted to “do” with your life.

The books used to be a combination of daily journal and scrapbook; the idea being that you'd fill it with studies, ideas, samples and book extracts on your “journey” through life.

While not really practiced much anymore (it's known primarily because of the luminaries which notebooks have survived – Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci etc), the undering “method” that could be attributed to it is very much alive and worthy in the modern world; perhaps more so now than back then. This is where the Digital Commonplace took heed.

A “digital” commonplace is basically just a commonplace book that you put into a computer. With modern computers working predominately through the Internet, this means you'd typically set it up with some sort of web based service (many use Evernote or OneNote).

Now, while most people seem to have set up a “commonplace” through the various “note” taking apps, the MAIN problem you face with those systems is they basically have no way to “extend” any of the SYSTEMS that you may have. This is the core idea behind SGM's “digital commonplace”.

What most people do not realize is that a “commonplace book” was not about “notes” or even writing down stuff you learn / identify in your life. That's what losers do; notes do NOTHING to actually push you forward. The real reason “commonplace books” were such a big deal even just 50+ years ago was because of the mindset they represented.

The inquisitive mind is the absolute CORE of all success. People who are intrigued by ideas to the point they will take time (potentially years) to figure out solutions / results they can be happy with. This is the “secret” to most of the notable figures we see from history; they did not follow the status quo – but followed their own path and made their own discoveries.

This is what the “digital commonplace” has been designed to do. Not only does it give people the ability to monitor ALL aspects of their life, but actually allows them to focus on building systems which can be replicated and optimized.

Systems is what SGM's Digital Commonplace is all about.

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How To Use Rufus To Create A Bootable USB Drive

Rufus is an “online” tool used on Windows systems to help create bootable USB drives.

The system has been created to give people the opportunity to put pre-compiled images (ISO files) onto a USB drive, making it bootable. Freely distributed, it's mostly used to put systems into USB format, including the likes of Windows 10 and various Linux variants.

The point of the system revolves around the bootable feature. Bootable USB drives require an EFI “partition” to be created on the drive in order for the “boot” to be recognized by Windows. Simply copy / pasting the ISO file's contents onto the drive will not do this. This has made the use of a tool such as Rufus is often regarded as essential in the modern computing landscape.

The way the system works is by combining two important elements – the ability to write / copy the contents of ISO files onto a USB, and the ability to format the drive to suit. The formatting part is vital because it means that you're able to essentially put any type of data onto it (regardless of the source); the ability to write / copy files is important because it allows you to add files from any location.

When you load up Rufus, you have a number of options. The most important is that you're able to select an ISO (or some other content) that you wish to put onto the drive. The most important thing to realize with this is that there are a number of “pre baked” solutions you can use, one of which being “FreeDOS”.

FreeDOS is essentially a clone of MSDOS that was distributed for free. In the absence of any bootable media for you to put onto a USB, you can use FreeDOS to perform disk utilities (such as fdisk) – a good set of computing utilities that not many people are familiar with. On top of this, you're able to specify which file system the drive uses as well as if it uses “quick” formatting or not etc.

The reason this is important is because it gives you the ability to manage the various undering ways in which you're able to manage different hardware components a system may have. This also means that you're able to identify any potential issues that could be preventing a system from booting.

I most recently downloaded a version of Windows 10 (1709) as an ISO. This was around 4GB, which was too big for any DVD's – meaning I had to put it onto a USB drive that had the required capacity. Without any native support for this in the Windows I was using, I had to turn to Rufus – and it worked extremely well.

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Epson Stylus Color 880 Windows 10 (1709) – How To Get It Working

If you use an Epson Stylus Color 880 printer, it may be the case that you end up not being able to use it on your Windows 10 computer.

The typical symptoms of this issue are that it will show up as a “USB Printer” inside the Windows 10 “Printers” section, but may actually appear as “Epson Stylus Color 880” in Device Manager.

The problem is that Windows 10 (especially 1709) does not recognize the driver, and is thus unable to actually get the printer running because of it.

The solution is to ensure that Windows 10 is able to run the driver, which either means downloading the most appropriate one from the Internet, or getting the system to be rid of errors and other problems. This is actually relatively simple, as explained below …

Cause

The reason for the problem is a difference in the way that Windows 10 (1709) works with the under drivers of the system.

Some of the older drivers (written by the hardware manufacturers) do not work with the new hardware / IO API inside the system, leading Windows to become unable to manage any of the underlying issues it may have.

To ensure this is not an issue, you have to ensure that you're using a compatible driver – or at least a driver which is workable with the way in which the 1709 version of Windows works. To do this, you have to ensure you're able to obtain a version of the driver that works effectively.

Solution

To solve the problem, Microsoft has actually worked to resolve any of the underlying issues that have been causing conflicts, primarily by offering a new “Windows 10 1709 Compatible Drivers Package” – which is a manual update to the drivers that are required to run the Epson Stylus Color 880.

By going to Microsoft's “download catalog” and typing “epson stylus color 880” into the search box, you're presented with a number of packages you can download. At the bottom of the list should be the “compatibility” package – which if you download, you'll then be able to run the installer for.

Upon running the installer, restart your system and then ensure that Windows is able to load the printer like it did before. If you're not able to do this, you have to ensure that you're going to be able to get the most out of the application – which is done by cleaning up any of the potentially corrupt settings that your system may have.

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FINALLY – How To Install Windows 10 1709 “Fall Creator’s Update” On Older Hardware Systems

The 1709 “Fall Creators Update” was released in October 2017 by Microsoft.

It gives a number of core updates to Windows 10, including the likes of having undering updates to the operating system, several security updates and a swathe of other feature updates. The good news is the update is absolutely free, and downloads automatically on any Windows 10 system that is not fully up to date. The bad news is that it is extremely difficult to install.

The big problem is that there are certain unsupported software and hardware components which can often lead the system to suddenly stop the update – citing “Restoring Previous Version of Windows” to get it back to the level it was previously running at.

Unfortunately, this has meant many people experiencing disrupted service with their PC's (typically due to the way in which the latest update provides a significant amount of performance upgrades for the system And, characteristically, Microsoft has not really been very forthcoming with solutions.

The answer / solution is actually rather simple. Get rid of ANY older software / hardware which might be causing problems for the system. This includes the likes of antivirus / firewalls AND drivers.

The big one here is the drivers element. We had an older machine running 1703 quite happily. When it came time to upgrade to 1709, however, it kept shutting down and not wanting to continue the installation. After removing antivirus etc, we soon found that the problem was the old WIFI card that we'd been using (reliably) for the past 6+ years.

After removing the wireless card, and plugging the system directly into our home network through an ethernet cable, it became identical that the update would progress without a hitch. Not only does that mean the system is able to now run 1709, but also that it's able to receive future updates without any further problems.

Again, while Microsoft provided support for the problems, it was generally quite basic and general. By removing ANY hardware which is not critical to the system's operation (such as printers etc), and then making sure that your network connection is the most basic (IE wired, not wireless), you should be able to get the update installed. This is what worked for us.

In terms of why this may work over other methods, you have to understand that in order to get the most out of the system, you have to be able to have all the hardware / software working effectively on it. To do this effectively requires you to remove any of the corrupt or damaged settings that may be present on it.

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VPS Management Software

VPS servers are basically “virtual machines” running on much larger servers (typically by multiples of the virtual ones).

Whilst they run very well, they've been somewhat under-utilized until the introduction of Amazon's “EC2” service in the early 2010's. This allowed people to deploy a VPS on an data data warehouse of infrastructure … rather than just one server – bringing the underlying cost right down to a bare minimum.

Today, a swathe of “cloud” VPS providers (including the likes of DigitalOcean, Vultr and others) have followed Amazon's lead in providing extremely low priced “VPS” servers running on “cloud” infrastructure. They have reeled buyers in with prices starting from $ 5 / mo (or in Vultr's case $ 2.50 / mo).

The point is that with the new price drop, “cloud” VPS providers actually provide companies and end users with extensible software hosting with “shared” hosting prices. The key is that you are able to control (and own) the underlying infrastructure, whereas before, you could not.

Whilst this is great, there is a major problem – you are responsible for setting up the servers and keeping them up to date & running etc. Even if you go down the path of a “managed” server infrastructure, there is no under management management (such as CPanel) which gives you the ability to manage the various services running on the system.

Ultimately, in order to get a VPS (or any server) running properly, you need to ensure that you have the various pieces of software required to get a web server functioning effectively fully operational; which includes the “web server” software itself, the underlying libraries / dependencies at the OS level and the likes of the server's programming language you wish to use.

On top of this, you need to ensure that the server has the most appropriate “application server” software to handle any of the programming languages ​​required to run the applications you may be trying to deploy to the system.

Most people do not know / realize this – if you're running a Ruby on Rails / NodeJS application on your server, you basically have to ensure that you have the appropriate server software to support its requests. Without this (and this is why most “shared hosting” is not adequate), you'll end up with relatively little by way of being able to manage the undering system.

To resolve this, the most effective thing is to get a “management” system for VPS platforms. If you had a system which allowed you to manage any of the software running on the infrastructure you have, it will give you the ability to determine exactly what you require.

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26 Items You Would Have to Carry Around to REPLACE Your Smartphone

Most can not live without one, while very few see them as a curse of modern life. But whatever your view of smartphones, without one in your pocket you would have to lug around the equivalent of 26 separate items. Smartphone technology replaces the need to carry a map, a camera, and a host of other essentials. While a smartphone easily fits in the palm of a hand and weighs lightly, we estimate it would take at least a rucksack to haul all the extra items around, and apparently it also works out cheaper.

It cost far less to buy, use and maintain a smartphone than to buy all the extra items separately. The prices of the items on the list vary from being affordable (buying a newspaper) to being pricey (buying a high-quality camera). Other expensive gadgets include a portable games console and an MP3 player for listening to music. So let's take a peek at the various items we would need to have if smartphones were to suddenly go extinct:

Newspapers:
This is a common medium for disseminating (reliable or unreliable) information within a country. Without a smartphone, you would be restricted to the newspapers sold in your locality and worse still, you would have to go out to buy it.

High quality cameras:
We are in 'the selfie' generation and it most certainly would not be so with the smartphone. So without owning a smartphone, you would have to invest in a high quality camera which could set you back thousands in cash.

Video camera:
These are used primarily for recording memorable events and should be high on your to-buy list if you do not have a smartphone

English dictionary:
For native and foreign English speakers, a dictionary is a must-have item without a smartphone

Portable game console:
Do not have a smartphone as a gamer? Then you are going to have to invest in a game console.

Address book:
I know. We all use our smartphones as our default address book. So imagine having to actually buy and use a physical address book? Daunting, right?

Calculator:
Ah! Who needs a calculator? Everyone with an interest in money and math needs a calculator. This is one item most people would carry about in the event of a smartphone apocalypse.

Check book:
Sure, most people own one, but imagine not being able to paying bills or transfer funds by swiping your phone screen from the comfort of your home and at your leisure? Welcome, bank queues.

Pen:
No smartphone, No texting. So carrying a pen to scribble down messages everywhere you go would be essential and possibly a bit boring.

Alarm clock:
For heavy sleepers, this is a must-buy and would be a very smart investment indeed.

Watch:
Yes, we all have all sorts of time-piece on our left hands, but if u do not have one and do not own a smartphone, then you could be stranded or worse, living without a sense of tomorrow.

Telephone:
Without smartphones, telephones would be the only means of communicating far and near. And so imagine being unreachable until you are home or worse, walking around with a telephone.

CDs 'and DVDs':
No smartphones, No digital downloads. We are just left with packs upon packs of compact discs to buy and play and throw away when we have heard or seen enough

Photo-album:
This becomes really essential for everyone – singles, couples, and married folks – immediately after purchasing a quality camera. What a bummer!

MP3 player:
Buying a quality MP3 player would set you back thousands and would be essential because in the end, we all need some form of music to spice up our boring lives.

Stop-watch:
This is an item we would not need with a smartphone on our fingertips but without one, a stop-watch might just come in handy.

Clock:
Not having a smartphone means having to buy a clock (which we all have in our homes anyway) so as not to be seen as living in the past

Torchlight:
This would come in handy in the dark without a smartphone in hand.

Magazines:
Without a smartphone through which we check the latest trends in all aspects of our lifestyle, we would have to literally buy magazines to feed our eyes and never-ending thirst for relevant and irrelevant information

Portable speakers:
Buying DVDs, 'CDs' and MP3 players would most definitely lead to purchasing portable speakers because for (me and) most people, what is music if it's not loud music?

Road map:
Investing in road maps would be a certainty while driving if there were no smartphones, or Google maps or GPS or satellites or …

Cookery book:
We love food. Not just any food but good food, so going all out to get a sound cookery book would be on our agenda

Debit cards:
Just as important as the air we breathe.

World Atlas:
This would be really cumbersome to lug around but on the plus side, it's always fun knowing all countries and their locations.

Foreign phrasebook:
Learning a foreign language can be daunting but with Google Translate on our smartphones, life just becomes easier. So purchasing a foreign phrasebook becomes a must in the event of the non-existence of smartphones (or Google translate).

Encyclopedia:
hmmm …

It's been really interesting to think about everything a smartphone can do, and have it laid out in front of us. It definitely helps you to appreciate just how smart they are, and how much they are capable of doing for us. We realized how much we take for granted the sheer number ofventions we can fit into our pocket, easily at reach in a moment's notice. With new apps and features being launched every day, smartphones now allow users to accomplish so much more with one gadget without the need to buy additional items. If only we could see into the future to know what's next for the ever-evolving world of the mobile phone.

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‘Procedure Entry Point SteamController Could Not Be Located in STEAM_API DLL’ Fix in Windows 7/8/10

The “Procedure entry point Steam Controller could not be located in the dynamic link library” error in Windows 7/8/10 is caused by a corrupted, damaged or incompatible DLL file.

The error is synonymous with games, but is actually present with a large number of other applications too.

The core of the error is that the application in question (in your case Steam) will be unable to load a particular DLL file – leading the system to fail with the error cited in your message. For any of the variants of this error, the problem stems from having a DLL which does not have the valid functionality required to get the application working correctly.

The error will show with the following message:

  • [x] .exe – Entry Point Not Found
  • The procedure entry point SteamController could not be located in the dynamic link library steam_api.dll

Causes

The problem you're experiencing is the result of a DLL file being called, but not having a function available from within it.

Whilst many people will simply tell you to replace the DLL (which is a valid strategy), there may be defect issues with either Windows or the application raising the error. Thus, in order to correctly solve the problem, you need to be absolutely sure you have fixed any of the potential errors that may be causing it to show – which can be with Windows or other apps on your system.

The main cause of the error is that another program overwrote the DLL that your app is trying to access.

This can be caused by accident, or the other program could have been designed to do it (in the case of antivirus apps). In any case, the solution is to ensure that your undering system is working correctly and then that any of the DLL files / settings that your computer has been working correctly too. The following should help you fix the various errors you're experiencing.

To be more specific about the steam_api.dll error itself – when you use a Steam-enabled game, it has to connect to Steam via its “API”. An API is an Application Programming Interface, which is technical speak for a set of hooks / actions that can be invoked by another program, for a standard application.

For example, if you try and load up COD and log in with Steam, COD will use Steam's API to log you into their service. Ultimately, what it means is that despite the error cites Steam, it's * not * particularly Steam that's the problem. The biggest issue is that your game overwrote the original steam_api.dll with one which did not work as well. Either way, the fixes are listed below …

Solution

  1. Re-Install Steam
    The first step is to re-install Steam
    Whilst I mentioned that Steam is not the problem, the core issue is that steam_api.dll will have been overwritten by your game. As such, you need to make sure that you are able to get the original version back, which means re-installing it. Doing this is quick and simple:
    – Press “Windows” + “R” keys on your keyboard
    – Type “control.exe appwiz.cpl” and press “OK”
    – From the list that shows, select “Steam”, right-click and select “Uninstall”
    – Wait for the uninstall to complete and restart your PC
    After restarting the system, you need to be able to get the latest version of Steam downloaded & installed. To do this, just head to Steam's website and download the latest version of the client.
    Download it and install it. After doing this, restart your system again and try loading the game. Since re-installing replace all of Steam's files, steam_api.dll should be replaced with the latest version.
  2. Re-Install Affected Software
    If you do not have Steam, or re-installing it does not work, you'll need to re-install any of the affected software.
    The error you're experimenting typically shows when you're running a game (which refers to Steam). As such, the best way to ensure that it does not have any corrupted files or settings is to simply re-install said game. This is done by following these steps:
    – Press “Windows” + “R” keys on your keyboard
    – Type “control.exe appwiz.cpl” and press “OK”
    – From the list that shows, select the game, right-click and select “Uninstall”
    – Wait for the uninstall to complete and restart your PC
    Once restored, you'll want to then attempt to re-install the game, preferably downloading a fresh copy from the Internet. After doing this, restart again and see if the error persists. If it does, continue with the next steps.
  3. Update Windows
    The next step is to update Windows.
    This may sound trivial, but the number of people running dangerously out of date systems is remarkable (check WannaCry for proof of that). Updating Windows is free and – at least to me – there is no reason why you would not want to do it. The process is very simple and ensures that any potential bugs inside your system are taken care of properly …
    Windows 7
    – Click the “Start” button (bottom left)
    – Click on “Control Panel”
    – Click on “System & Security”
    – Under the “Windows Update” heading, select “Check for Updates”
    – Download & install any updates it finds
    Windows 10
    – Right-click on the “Start” button (bottom left taskbar)
    – Select “Settings”
    – Click “Update & Security”
    – Click “Check for updates”
    – Let the system download & install any of the updates it requires
    This may require a restart.
    And – honestly – it probably will not fix your error … but should ensure that the system is running as smoothly as possible (fixing the major of bugs that could be causing it to show). The next step should solve the error if it still shows.
  4. Download & Replace steam_api.dll On Your System
    Lastly, you'll want to download and replace steam_api.dll on your system.
    Most tutorials will recommend this from the get-go. Whilst okay, there may be other issues at play – because why we tried re-installing first. It's far better to get the “official” file from the software vendor by way of installing the software, than to just download some DLL from the Internet. Since they did not work, we'll have to use the steps outlined here to replace the DLL on your system:
    – Go to Google and search for “steam_api.dll” download
    – There will be a number of sites which appear at the top (typically dll-files.com or similar)
    – Choose one and then look to download the applicable steam_api.dll for your system (be careful to pick the correct x86 / x64 version)
    – Once you find a good site, download the ZIP to your hard drive
    – Open the ZIP and extract the DLL contained within
    – Right-click on the DLL and select “Copy”
    – Browse to c: / Windows / System32, right click in a white space and select “Paste”
    – If the system requests to overwrite an existing file, select “OK”
    – From here, you need to press “Windows” + “R” keys on your keyboard
    – Into the “Command Prompt”, type the following, pressing “Enter” after each: regsvr32 / u steam_api.dll + regsvr32 / I steam_api.dll
    This should show a “success” message. After doing this, restart your system and try playing the game again.

If you're still experiencing the error, it suggests you have more specific problems with your system.

As this is an Internet article, I do not have access to any of the potential specifics that your system may have.

Instead, I would recommend going to a resource which * does * give you the ability to fix any of the problems which may be contributing to the further errors. To do this, you may wish to consider checking out some types of resource …

Firstly, you * could * take the system to a local repair guy – but in all honesty, it's going to cost you money for a service where the guy is basically just going to do what's on here. Secondly, you have several resources online, previously “question / answer” communities and live support online.

For this type of error, you'd be going to an online support community – either Microsoft Answers or SuperUser – which will be able to give you the ability to receive specific feedback for your system.

This can be done by clicking onto either of the aforementioned sites, registering for free and then “ask” a question. Put the full error message as the title and the description of how it loads as the message and then you'll need to wait (typically for around 2/3 hours) for any responses. MA responses are generally quite generic; SuperUser responses are more specific but are entirely dependent on the guys submitting them (most of which are not very good).

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VPSDeploy – VPS Deployment Software For Web Based Applications

VPSDeploy is a “cloud” VPS deployment service released in 2018. It's designed around providing users with the ability too “deploy” web based applications to their own server infrastructure that can be rented for extremely low prices from the likes of DigitalOcean, Vultr and AWS .

The difference with “cloud” VPS servers, as opposed to traditional “VPS” servers, is that they are basically containerized systems running across a large number of servers – typically in a centralized data warehouse.

Amazon was really the innovators of the technology, launching their EC2 platform in 2010. This has now become a multi-billion dollar business for them.

The point is that “cloud” VPS servers are not tied to a centralized hardware stack. Traditional VPS solutions are basically a case of renting a part of a static server (typically half or a quarter of it).

This means that if you're looking to grow a web-based application, or business, you are not only tied into one provider – but also have to ensure that your undering setup is able to operate with many different pieces of functionality.

In other words, it means that the service is very expensive, rigid and not very well supported. It works for websites that have received large amounts of traffic, but not for new-age web based applications which typically need larger amounts of infrastructure – such as third-party databases, load balancing and redundancy.

“Cloud” VPS services are actually very good at solving those problems they run across servers, meaning that you do not need to pay anywhere the price that a traditional system would cost.

This has lead a large number of developers & businesses upgrading to the new “extensible” infrastructure – meaning they are both able to handle more traffic and build out more intricate server-setups without actually changing their workflows.

Whilst this is great news, there is one major issue – the “deployment” mechanisms for these services is almost entirely void. There's no way to provision, build & deploy applications, especially with the likes of GIT. This means that if you're looking to upgrade to the new “cloud” VPS services – you'll typically end up having to build out a large amount of backend architecture to get it working.

This “build and deploy” problem is what VPSDeploy was built to solve.

In order to appreciate if it actually works – looking at how the system functions and the various features it brings to the table is of utmost importance …

To begin with – the most important thing you need to realize is that VPSDeploy does not exist in a void. There are a number of services which exist to do what it does … sometimes the likes of Heroku, Chef / Puppet and Capistrano.

These services work well, but they have one massive problem – they are very limited in scope. They do not really provide people with the ability to manage the backend infrastructure along the “deployment” mechanism, leading them to be quite ineffectual in terms of how they're able to make progress.

VPSDeploy ties directly into the various VPS providers, meaning that you're basically able to manage the underlying way in which the overall solution works. This is not possible with any other system, except for Microsoft Azure – but that's * only * for its own infrastructure.

The following explains VPSDeploy's position:

  • Heroku
    Service designed to “deploy” web based applications to AWS EC2 instances. You never see the backend infrastructure – Heroku was designed to cover it up. This presents a number of problems. Firstly, Heroku is not very flexible. Each time you deploy an application, the system only really supports one framework. This means that if you're looking at deploying the likes of an AngularJS frontend with Rails backend, you'll typically need two “apps” in their platform – which costs. Secondly, Heroku does not provide much by way of custom domain management. Even if you add a custom domain, they still have a “herookuapp” subdomain available. This means that if you're looking at building a REAL production level infrastructure, you're going to look quite amateur with the way in which you're running your app on a subdomain. It's like having a successful blog on a “WordPress” subdomain.
  • Chef / Puppet
    This is more akin to what VPSDeploy is / does, but has a major difference – it has to install server-side software in order to manage the various “nodes” in a network. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's just cumbersome. If you're going to deploy an application, you'll have to play around with the build scripts and other Chef-centric systems to get it to work. What you need is a simple system which uses SSH to access the server, installing the required applications natively. This is is he most efficient, allowing you to get the most out of the system.
  • Capistrano
    Despite being for Ruby / Rails only, this is something like what VPSDeploy should be – a system focused around the deployment of infrastructure for the system. Unfortunately, Capistrano is one of the largest undocumented projects in the web development world. Not only does it prevent users from being able to effectively deploy their application, but you also need to have a strong infrastructure * already * set up. Capistrano is not very easy to use, and generally lacks the dexterity required to deploy more intricate applications. This is predominately why many people have begun looking for alternatives.

The system has 3 major pieces of functionality.

These include an ” Endpoint Manager “, ” VPS Dashboard ” and ” GIT Deploy Mechanism “. Together, they provide not only the underlying functionality for the system, but the ability to create extensible and immersive applications …

  • Endpoint Manager
    Solution to integrate different levels of infrastructure into web based server-software. For example, you may wish to add a WordPress blog, or email system to a domain. This can be handled separately by VPSDeploy's endpoint system.
  • VPS Dashboard
    Next, a central dashboard gives users the opportunity to add ancillary web services to their overall build pipeline – allowing them to add the likes of analytics, server monitoring, email, domain information & more to their experience.
  • GIT Deploy
    Finally, they're able to push the latest versions of their applications to the build & deploy infrastructure. This not only means that they are able to get the most out of the system, but keep all their endpoints entirely up to date.

Ultimately, the underlying reason why people would use the above services is because they either wish to create an immersive application (which typically requires more than just a single framework), or they are trying to integrate a much larger set of functionality into their web service (and hence need to be able to manage different endpoints).

To this end, VPSDeploy works extremely well. It not only ensures that underlying infrastructure is fully up-to-date and working properly, but allows users to add extra “services” to their dashboard, as well as build out any further under assets they may have.

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