Lecture 03: Architecture & The Web

DTFA Lecture 03: Architecture & The Web from Grant Adams on Vimeo.

Digital Tools For Architects, Fall 2010 Semester

Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, California


“Architecture & The Web”

Lecture discussing the virtues of creating and managing your online identity through a Personal Landing Page as well as the basic technology that runs the internet and the DNS system. The lecture also includes an introduction to Google Apps for your domain and Google Voice technologies.

To view the lecture slides or to download a .pdf of the lecture, click one of the links below.

Lecture Notes for Lecture 3:  Architecture & The Web

“Architecture & The Web”

Harness the web… develop an online presence

How the internet works.

The DNS System

  • A phonebook that translates hostnames into numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
  • For example: www.wikipedia.org becomes

Selecting a browser…

  • Internet Explorer (PC)
  • Safari (Mac, PC)
  • Firefox (All)
  • Google Chrome (Mac, PC)
  • Opera (Seriously?)

Security… Extensibility…

  • Avoid dangerous scripting languages (like ActiveX)
  • What types of add ons are available? [Del.icio.us, Ad Block Plus, Web Developer, etc.]
  • How fast is the browser?

Here? There? Everwhere? What you need to know!

What you need to know!

  • Public HotSpots are NOT SECURE! People can easily see what you are working on (your email, banking, passwords, etc.)
  • If your computer shares files with the network, other users can see them!
  • SSL Connections are still secure

Secure your own network!

  • Don’t leave the default ‘Netgear’ or ‘Linksys’ settings, customize your router.
  • Use WPA 128-bit encryption
  • Using WEP leaves you vulnerable as it has been cracked.

Creating and online identity…

  • If you don’t build your own identity, Google will determine it for you.
  • Search for “Grant Adams” and you find “Grant Adams – Dating Guru”
  • While you may think it is me, its not!

Establishing your identity

  • Buy a domain name or decide on a uniform “handle” to use across sites.
  • If you buy a domain name, you control it
  • Costs $10/year
  • You’re not subject to sites going out of business

Give it a name…

Choosing a Domain Name

  • Your domain name should reflect your website name
  • Your name can be 67 characters in length, but the longer the name, the harder it is to remember or type without errors
  • .com? .org? .net? .biz? .us? etc.
  • Try this: type the address you are thinking about into a web browser, if a website appears, it isn’t available & you should try a new name.
  • Make it memorable…

Domain Name Registrars

  • Go to registrar’s website
  • Search for desired website name
  • Purchase the name
  • (Optional) Select hosting package (or assign IP to your new name)
  • Wait 24 hours or less for the DNS servers to update You have a valid name, now you need a website!

Domain Registrars

  • Fat Cow (Registration & Hosting) http://www.fatcow.com/secret
    • use code “AUG295” for $2.95/month hosting (Valid through Aug 24, 2010) Referal: “www.grantadams.net”
  • Hover (Private Registration only) www.hover.com
  • Godaddy (Registration & Hosting) www.godaddy.com
  • Many Others…

Choose your handle

  • Make your domain/ handle correspond
  • Make it memorable
  • your name is a great place to start
  • stay away from fads be unique
  • Claim your handle

Use a service to identify if your desired handle is available across a range of sites.

Personal Landing Page

  • A page you control that contains links to other pages that encompass your online identity
  • With a PLP, you can:
    • Actively manage your online identity
    • Claim projects and sites belonging to you
    • Control how the internet (future employers, friends, enemies) “see” you

Easy Landing Pages

Get your name out there…

  • Update your site specific profiles to include a link to your PLP
  • Continue to post comments as you have done.


  • Think about what you are posting/promoting about yourself
  • If it is online, someone can find it
  • Note: Facebook security anyone?

What else can I do with a domain name?

Domain Specific Email

What is available? (Google Apps)

  • Email (uses gmail interface)
    • create multiple email addresses
  • Google Docs (Office Suite) Google Calendar Google Contacts Google Chat
  • all for free!

From user to content creator!

Building Your Own Website

  • You have a domain name, but what now?


  • A website lives on a server, most of the time, servers are clustered in Data Centers like the one to the right.
  • Usually, you pay someone to “rent” a server (called hosting). They provide all of the maintenance of the physical machine, you upload your data (website) to the machine remotely (usually by FTP)

But what if you don’t want to pay?

  • there are several free options which don’t even require a domain name! (they do require you place advertising on your site)

Starting a Your Website

  • Start a blog. They are easy to set up, look professional, & require very little coding.
  • Code your own website (By Hand or with a WYSIWYG Editor like Dreamweaver)
  • Modify and use a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal (from drupal.org)
  • Develop a php/mysql website (or Ruby on Rails) for a more custom website.
  • Start a Flash/Actionscript website (usually the hardest to do and the hardest to modify once it is built!)



  • HTML [Hypertext Markup Language] Javascript XML [Extensible Markup Language] php/MySQL
  • AJAX [Asynchronous Javascript and XML] (Ruby on Rails)
  • Flash/Actionscript

HTML Example:

PHP/MySQL Example:

Most likely you will select option 1…

  • Whether you pick a free version, or you set up a paid version, you will have an easy to maintain, professional looking online presence.

Building a website? (CMS)

Setting up your own blog

  • Download a blog software package (wordpress.org)
  • Set up MySQL database in hosting package
  • edit the wp-config.php file for your settings
  • Upload files to your website by FTP

Getting Content on the blog

  • Make posts just as you have done for this class
  • Make static pages with information about yourself, your projects, etc.
  • Change themes, customize headers, add images, etc.

Other online services worth a look…

Google Voice – Free Accounts for Students: http://www.google.com/googlevoice/students.html

  • Get a unique phone number that follows you wherever you go
  • Choose your number
  • Forward to any phone (including text messages)
  • Voicemail transcription to email inbox
  • Custom voice greetings for contact groups


Assemble it all (review)

  • Buy a unique domain name
  • Point that domain to something you control (PLP, blog, etc.)
  • Set up google services for your domain
  • Update your profiles, so you post with links

Exercise 1.3

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