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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Setting Up Domain Name Service

The most important step in bringing an Internet server online is making sure it can be found from the outside world.

Mac OS X, in addition to being a fabulous desktop machine, also has a full-fledged Unix server humming away beneath the hood. You can serve up web pages [Hack #88], send mail through your own sendmail [Hack #82] server, retrieve mail using IMAP or POP [Hack #82], and so much more.

Of course, bringing a server (particularly a web server) online isn’t all that helpful unless you make sure it can be found and reached from the outside world.

Whether you are on a local intranet or on the Internet, an IP address is how people locate your computer. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here, but when you register a domain name, you are required to point that domain to a name server, and that name server has an IP address.

The problem is that most DSL/cable companies give you a fat connection, but they don’t include a static (nonchanging) IP address. They usually assign you a dynamic IP address that might change hourly, daily, or whatever. The problem is that you can’t point to a domain name or locate your computer on the Internet if the IP address is always changing. It’s like having your computer in the witness relocation program. Luckily, there is a solution.

Get a Static Address

Your first option is getting a static IP address from your DSL/cable provider. My DSL provider wants to charge me an additional $10 per month for that ...

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