An audio cassette tape feeding a web server? Really?

I’ve seen people feeding html pages from a Commodore 64. Heck, I’ve seen people mining bitcoins with a Commodore 64. I’ve seen Internet Explorer run on UNIX. I haven’t seen yet a web server fed by an audio tape recorder. So I am going to do it.

I am the Acting Chairman of the Cassette Tape Storage Council. I use cassette tapes to store small computer files. My next goal is to feed a web server using an audio cassette tape, with a pre-recorded index.html file.

To do this, I contemplated two possibilities. As this is still a project, I have time to reconsider. I listen for your comments, suggestions, pros and cons.

I have an Apache web server running on one of my computers at home. I can open just any port on my router and broadcast audio, for instance, which I have done. So, one of the possibilities is to broadcast the index.html as audio, so at the other end, the particular users receive the raw audio, which then they’ll have to decode in order to have a copy of that file on their hard disk, and then open it with a web browser.

The other option is for the end user to use their regular web browser, pointing at the URL that I will provide in due time, and for me to transfer the html file in audio format to the directory where my Apache softare picks the files to serve to the web.

Pros and cons of the two methods. The first method, which involves broadcasting audio, is more spectacular. But it demands more work from the end user. And that is not a real web browsing experience, but … just broadcasting audio over the Internet.

The second method would provide an actual web browser experience, but the end user may not even notice that the server is actually using an audio tape to serve that file. But … is not that what I want to do? The user who browses that particular web page has to experience the same as when brosing just any other web site in the world. The fact that the html is being fed from an audio tape concerns the server, i.e. my end. So I’m inclined to go with this one.

Then again, if it is indistinguishable from any other web browsing experience, the visitors of my web site may just feel deceived. After all, I can just be saying I am feeding from an audio cassette tape. To counter this, I will also video tape myself while serving that particular html file, and later make the video footage publicly available.

But wait, the experience of the visitors of my web site will not really be indistinguishable from an ordinary web browsing experience. It is expected for it to be annoyingly slow. Thus, the visitors of the site should be active themselves: they’ll have to press <F5> or otherwise refresh the page every 2 or 3 seconds.

So at some point, probably in September 2021, I will be announcing the date and time of the broadcast. You’re invited to point your favorite web browser to the URL I will provide, at that specific date and time, and then submit your feedback.

The html file will probably be an entry for my blog. I will leave a permanent copy of the file on my html folder at SDF.

Today is August 4, 2021, and this blog entry is original contents I am posting here at SDF.

Gascon Heart

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