Six accounts? How will I ever survive with that few? I need at least twice that! That's why I just take all those addresses tregoweth has up there, and add the port number, 80. So, the new list looks like this:
  • http://www.everything2.com
  • http://www.everything2.net
  • http://www.everything2.org
  • http://www.everything2.com:80
  • http://www.everything2.net:80
  • http://www.everything2.org:80
  • http://everything2.com
  • http://everything2.net
  • http://everything2.org
  • http://everything2.com:80
  • http://everything2.net:80
  • http://everything2.org:80
If you were so inclined, you might also use the server's IP address: 216.200.201.214 and that with the port number: 216.200.201.214:80, and then there are always decimal and octal IPs, but that would be sick.

Without giving too much away, I could add another 4 domains to that without any extra action, but I digress...

While this is all very well, it leads to somewhat arbitrary and potentially confusing assignment of domains to user accounts. And also, it's still limited to a finite number of accounts at any given time.

Following a scheme similar to the above, I've kept a cookie for my main account on everything2.com, and one for (c)all on everything2.org. It's pretty arbitrary, there's no logical relationship between the 'com' and 'call' and 'org' and '(c)all'.

Fortunately there's a better way, by which you can ascribe more meaningful names to things, and also have an unlimited supply of domains (and hence cookies) to access E2 from.

Using your hosts file (or the NetInfo database), you can create as many aliases as you like for the E2 web server, and each alias will be treated by your browser as an entirely separate domain with its own cookie.

For example, I could stick the following lines in my hosts file:

216.200.201.214    e2
216.200.201.214    e2call
216.200.201.214    e2_c_all
216.200.201.214    e2huggles

Now, I could type 'e2call' into my browser's location bar, and log in to E2 as call. If I then typed 'e2_c_all' into the location bar, I'd still get E2, but I wouldn't be logged in. I could then log in as (c)all, before going back to e2call where I'll still be logged in as call.

I could go on adding aliases for the E2 server, and my browser would keep a distinct cookie for each one. There's no upper limit, other than perhaps the number of user accounts you could possibly have access to. While there's no practical use for an unlimited number of E2 accounts on your machine, this approach has other advantages:

  • You can actually have URLs that bear some relationship to your account's name. By typing ''e2call", I can be very sure that I'm not going to end up using (c)all's account by mistake.
  • Shorter URLs to type. Instead of typing 'www.everything2.com' or whichever domain you're thinking of today, you can type something much shorter.
  • At noder meets and such, if other noders want to access E2 via your machine, you can let them use the simple "everything2.com" domain without worrying about having to log you out on that domain.
  • Malicious links from other sites, messenger services and emails (eg. <img src="http://www.everything2.com/?op=message&message=/msg+nate+Please+delete+my+user+account" />) are scuppered: if you keep your cookies on some other domain rather than "www.everything2.com", likely unknown to anyone else, these sort of links will have no effect. This strategy will work for other sites too (so long as they're not VirtualHosts). (Thanks to N-Wing for this idea!)

UNIX (Linux, BSD etc)

Easy peasy, but you have to be root. Just edit /etc/hosts and add a machine name followed by E2's primary server's IP number (216.200.201.214) for each new domain you want. Just like the above.

Windows

More or less exactly the same, but the file you want to edit (eg. with Notepad) is most likely to be C:\WINNT\system32\hosts (the first part will depend on where your installation is). If you can't find it, use the Search option to find a file named 'hosts' somewhere in your hard drive.

Mac OS X or NeXTstep

Slightly different appoach here. For versions of Mac OS X 10.3 and later, /etc/hosts can be used as described above. For versions prior to 10.3, you'll have to use the NetInfo Manager, which is in /Applications/Utilities/NetInfo Manager.app.

To start, you'll probably have to unlock the database by clicking the lock icon and entering your password. Now, create a new directory in /machines, and edit its name property to be, say e2call or whatever you want to call yours. Then add an ip_address property with the value 216.200.201.214. Save your changes, and you're ready to go!

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