Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


This is not for computer people only, although it might look like that in the beginning.

You try to install a program on a Windows PC. This application depends on functioning IIS - Microsoft HTTP server software.

When you try to start IIS, you get an error - "Unexpected error 0x8ffe2740". This is not very helpful (talk about Microsoft's user-friendliness...), so you search the web with this weird error message and you find that it means that some other application is occupying port 80. Port 80 is the standard HTTP port. But what is it?

Of course you can use cool command-line network monitoring tools and find the offending process. But for me a quick look on the PC screen was just enough: In the tray there was the familiar icon for Apache. I am saying "familiar", because Apache is the main competitor of Microsoft's IIS - it is the famous open-source HTTP server, on which most of the World Wide Web runs. So of course Apache was occupying port 80. The icon, appropriately for Apache is a feather:

Apache software foundation logo

Now why do i say "appropriately"? Because Apache is one of the Native American nations and Native Americans are known for putting feathers in their head. It makes sense to me and it makes it easy for me to remember that Apache's icon is a feather.

Apparently, despite the fact that Apache is a very popular web server software and despite the fact that it's quite easy to remember its icon, many people with whom i work didn't see it immediately. I swear that i am not bragging - but i am quite surprised.

That's how my mind works. I am not a genius, but i do try not to strain my head remembering things that make sense - if something makes sense, it just pops up by itself.

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