When I first started in the website development business more than 11 years ago, programming options essentially revolved around Microsoft Windows. I worked on a Windows ’98 machine and performed my testing on a Personal Web Server (PSW). My first database was built in Microsoft Access. For a spare-bedroom operation, all was well with the world…until my business began to grow.
By February of 2002, Einstein’s Eyes had evolved into full-fledged web hosting company, and I was now purchasing hardware on which to grow my modest Windows empire. However, as I continued to set up more sites and add more users, I noticed a lot more Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) Open Source clients, and my eyes were opened.
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File Formats When streaming videos over the Internet you must decide to encode your videos in either MP4 or FLV formats. Most servers and players support both file formats. I personally recommend using MP4 because you get DVD quality videos at a much smaller file size. It also uses less CPU on client machines and it works on mobile phones. The downside to MP4 is that the videos will take longer to load than an FLV video. FFMPEG is a great free and very powerful encoder, but can be somewhat difficult to learn. It supports many popular video formats and has many options to configure. Bitrate is probably the most important factor in determining the quality and file size of your video. If your video contains lots of action and motion it will need to have a higher bitrate. Youtube encodes their normal videos at a bitrate of 200kbps and their high quality videos at 900kbps. Be wise in picking a bitrate because the higher it is the more likely users will experience streaming problems.
Many of you SEO fanatics may have realized that CodeIgniter is not very SEO-friendly out of the box. It auto generates URLs based on routes which are made up of a controller name and method name. For URLs to be considered SEO-friendly and be universally recognized by search engines, keywords must be separated by a dash. Many of you are thinking you will just go rename your controllers and methods with dashes. That would be nice and easy, but this is not a legal syntax and PHP will throw errors. There is the option to manually enter each route in your routes.php file, but this could be a serious beat down and come back to haunt you later on down the road.
If you happen to follow the Einstein's Eyes twitter (www.twitter.com/einsteinseyes) or are a fan of our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/einsteinseyes), then you may have seen a few recent articles posted that discuss cloud computing. This is an area that fascinates me - I am personally convinced that cloud computing is the current “next big thing” in our industry. Before my time, companies used a mainframe and terminal setup – employees had access to terminals that they could log into and use the mainframe's resources to run their programs or look up their information. More recently, scientists have been uploading their programs to supercomputers and reserving time slots for them to actually run their programs. For both of these situations, the involved tasks are hugely complex (for the time period) and thus running them on a personal computer would either be too expensive or take far too long. The ability to utilize one extremely powerful machine for these problems was a great solution – and cloud computing is the new development in this area.