Randy Smith wrote:
> Hello, fellow Extropians. I am in my final semester of a CS degree and need
> a programming project for my senior project course. My advisor says I need
> some sponsoring organization for my senior project. I would prefer to do
> some sort of dynamic web site with a database. I am not an expert in any
> language but would like to learn/work in ASP/MS Access; it seems easiest;
> plus most of the recent grads from my school seem to getting ASP jobs.
> There are free websites that run ASP/MS Access and allow 30 Megs of storage.
> I have to finish by early May or thereabouts.
> All I really need is a set of data that needs to be placed on a website.
> Or, alternatively, any programming project for some organization would
> Any ideas?
First, ASP/MS Access isn't your best choice. If you need something
simple, try MySQL for the database, Perl CGI scripts to display the
content, and DBI to connect them. MySQL itself is freely available
(www.mysql.com) as is Apache (www.apache.org) and Perl (www.perl.org -
if you're using a Windows machine, www.activestate.com has a good
Windows distribution). Benefits: easier to get working, wider current
demand (Apache has been the most widely used Web server since before
MS came out with its offering, and still remains #1), and higher
potential from learning this (see reason three).
Second, scout around your neighborhood for nonprofits and local
government. There's probably some small group that wants a Web site
but doesn't know how it could implement one. It's easiest if they
already have a 24/7 (that is, not a dialup or modem) Internet
connection, since you can load this onto one of their machines.
Third, take this chance to learn how the basics of the technology works
- *NOT* just how to use it. (This is a large part of why I reccomend
against developing with MS equivalents of free software: their
developer software tends to hide and distort explanations of how the
stuff actually works.) This way, dreaming up nifty new things to do
with the tech will be much easier. It's like the difference between
studying Pavlovian training and studing neurobiology, for a future
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