Serve up active server pages from a Unix platform

Serve up active server pages from a Unix platform

Is there a package available to serve Active Server Pages (ASPs) from a Unix server? I also need to serve these ASPs from an Access database. Is there a solution? The fact that all the FrontPage extensions work great leaves me wondering why I should need to sit a Windows NT box next to my Unix server. - Jason TaylorYou're ahead of the curve with this request. There are new products and solutions available to serve ASPs from a Unix server. Providing access to your Access database is the more challenging problem to solve, and you'll have to settle for a less elegant solution.

In order to serve ASPs from Unix, check out Chili!ASP at www. Chili!ASP will allow you to execute ASPs on a Unix server, though the software is still in beta testing.

Chili!ASP is a Web application server that enables cross-platform ASPs. It is similar to Microsoft's ASP Web development platform, which provides ASP support only for Microsoft's Internet Information Server. Chili!ASP provides similar functions to Microsoft's ASP but runs on most Windows NT Web servers. Chili!ASP for Unix is in beta testing on Sun Solaris. The public beta test is scheduled for this month. If you're interested in participating in the beta program, send a message to

As far as running Access on Unix, forget it. Even if you move your .MDB file (the Access database) to a Unix server, you are still out of luck. Microsoft is not porting its Jet engine to Unix and is not sharing the specification for Access.

ODBC bridging will be your best alternative. Depending on your requirements and expected database loads, this may be a good time to consider moving up and running a database, such as Oracle, as a server process on a Unix server. This will provide the more elegant and better-performing solution.

Caring and sharing

I support a network of several hundred clients. For the most part, all shared resources are located on the server, though a limited number of clients share resources on a peer -to-peer basis. All my clients are Windows 95. I hear that passwords on Windows 95 shared resources are not very secure. Can you explain, and is there a fix available?

- V Weston

When you share a resource on your machine, you can password-protect that resource. The password is stored in an encrypted file called the Password List File (.PWL) on the local machine. So really, your first security concern relates to who has physical access to your machines.

The first version of Windows 95 used 32-bit encryption to encrypt the .PWL file. After Windows 95 shipped, an algorithm was posted to the Internet to decrypt the password file. Essentially, anyone who could gain access to your machine could decrypt the password and access your password-protected resource. Microsoft has posted a Windows 95 Password List Update, available for download at htm. The update includes a much stronger encryption algorithm than the one that originally shipped with Windows 95.

In addition to strengthening encryption, the fix addresses other issues. The update fixes two bugs in Windows 95 Service Pack 1 Password List Update.

One is related to cached passwords becoming corrupt. The other causes a user's password list to become invalid if a second user tries to use the same first eight characters in his or her log-on name.

Check out Microsoft's Knowledgebase article at articles/Q132/8/07.asp?PR=CHS&FR=0&M=S&.

Eliminate likely causes

When my PC boots I see a message on the screen that says: "Invalid drive specification", and then it takes approximately 15 seconds before this clears and Windows 95 loads. What is causing this message? - Ron Houtsfirst boot to a floppy disk. If the error continues, then you know it's not related to any system or configuration files. If the error disappears, carefully scrutinise each individual system and configuration file. This error can also happen when you compress a drive using Drive Space and the host drive is not mounted. Try to access the host drive. If the first drive is C, then your host drive is probably H. If you can't access the drive, then the drive is not mounted. Run Scandisk, fix any errors, and try to remount the drive.

Test Centre Technical Director Laura Wonnacott has been working with computers for 15 years. Send us your questions at

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