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Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder

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Downloading a PPD File on Windows 2008 Server

If you try to download a file with .ppd extension on a web site hosted by Windows 2008 Server, an error message will be returned to the user. The same problem will occur for any file extension not recognized by the web server.

You can fix this problem by adding a MIME type for PPD files with the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. Locate your web site in the Sites folder.
  3. Open MIME Types in the IIS section.
  4. Right click the mouse button and select Add.
  5. Enter the following information in the fields below:
    File name extension: .ppd
    MIME type: application/ppd-adobe
  6. Press OK and the MIME type will be active.

The MIME type I created for PPD files probably isn’t accurate, but it doesn’t have to be. You can enter any value here. It will force the file to be downloaded because it can’t find the application to run it.

The same procedure can be used to setup any other file extension that your web site uses.

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Get the IP of Your Web Site

You may need the IP of your web site for various purposes, such as using it to connect to your web site with FTP or SSH. There are a few utilities which can display your IP, such as the ShowIP extension for Firefox. You can also create a very simple web site which will show the IP of your web site.

Copy and paste the code below into a file called ip.php and save it in the root folder of your web site. Change the $site variable to match the domain of your web site, and then open this page in your web browser, i.e. http://www.guardiansoftware.net/ip.php.

The IP of your web site will be revealed.

===[ ip.php ]==========================

<html>
<head>
<title>Display IP</title>
</head>

<body>
<?php

$site = ‘www.guardiansoftware.net‘;
$ip = gethostbyname ($site);

echo “<p>IP: $ip</p>”;

?>
</body>
</html>

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Preventing Deletions in Attached E-mail Files

An increasing number of e-mail clients have anti-virus software which deletes executable files from a zip archive attached to an e-mail. The file is typically saved as zero bytes and renamed with a .txt extension. This is a great way to prevent someone from accidentally running a virus, but its not good if your trying to e-mail an executable program.

One way around this is to include a password when you zip your files. The password will prevent an anti-virus scanner from snooping in your archive and deleting important files.

Before you open password protected zip files, only open files from sources that you know are safe. Even then, a good virus scanner with up to date virus definitions should be running in the background. It is possible that people you know can send virus infected files to you. It only costs $40 for the anti-virus software which will give you peace of mind.