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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))

A Splash page is the ultimate home page. When I'm away (as I am this week) and I connect in via a hotel network, the first page that I'm offered is the hotel supplier's - no matter what URL I've asked for. Only when I complete a login form (which will involve giving an account and password number, or signing up via a credit card) am I allowed beyond the splash page / splash server.

On a company's intranet, there's often a splash page to give employees the company news when they first connect.

At the current training centre, we don't have a splash page but at Well House Manor, we WILL, even though we're going to offer inclusive internet access to all our guests.

1. It will allow us to broadcast to all users (via the splash page) a message of the day, and to give them easy links to our "FAQ" or "RTFM".

2. It will allow us to give users a password / login code so that they can connect in via an unsecured network, but anyone who's out in the street just passing by, and our neighbours, can't steal our bandwidth

3. It will give us a mechanism through which we can control access in case we need to; most people are trustworthy, but if we're alerted to network abuse the technology associated with the splash page will let up selectively switch a rogue user's access off.

I started searching for splash page software online and was surprised I didn't come up with very much ... something called nocat looks promising, but the dates on the software are all a couple of years old and it looks perhaps fading or dormant. Not something to start using for a medium to long term life. Then it stuck me that Linux's iptables and a router box will probably do the job admirably. No doubt there will be some technical articles and blog entries following, but I think that we'll end up running a Linux router / firewall with default masquerading of port 80 to the local web page, and rules that block all other outgoing ports. A user signs in and the tables will be updated to give them direct net access and will unblock other ports ... and a monitor daemon will clean up old rules from time to time.
(written 2006-06-20, updated 2009-01-04)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
A192 - Web Application Deployment - Firewalls
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [3679] Setting up your Linux system as a firewall using iptables - (2012-04-02)
  [3680] How can I run multiple web servers behind a single IP address? - (2012-04-02)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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