Advice on a server app

This may seem odd but it is what I want to do.

I have an account on a web server with the usual stuff available, perl, PHP, MYSQL and maybe FP extensions (don't use them so haven't noticed).

What I want to have is a web page where I can input a URL for a file on another web server. My web server will then download this file and then convert it from Binary to ASCII (text) (don't ask) and then make it available for download.

What I would like advice on is the best way to go about achieving this using the tools available to me, to complicate matters I would not call myself overly competent in perl or PHP although I have adjusted many perl scripts over the years as the need arose. Imbedded VBS could be an option as the site will only be accesses with IE but ASP is not an option here due to server config.

I am happy to become competent in perl or PHP if that is the way to go so I'm not afraid learning a new skill, my current areas of expertise are in TSQL and VB at the moment.

Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.

Who is Participating?
ch0cConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try making a copy of php.ini.recommend and renaming it php.ini.

Also, try checking both files for the 'extension=php_sockets.dll' line.

You can do this easily with PHP. Just open a socket connection to the website and read the file. You can then do a byte by byte conversion to ASCII. It's probably a good idea to learn PHP before doing this, so you can at least fix any problems you might have.

You can find information on PHP sockets at

Good luck.
xSinbadAuthor Commented:
Cheers ch0c I will check that out as it sounds pretty good to me, I didnt know PHP was that flexible.
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xSinbadAuthor Commented:
Ok ch0c can you provide a little more guidence on this please.

I have tried this example ;


echo "<h2>TCP/IP Connection</h2>\n";

/* Get the port for the WWW service. */
$service_port = getservbyname('www', 'tcp');

/* Get the IP address for the target host. */
$address = gethostbyname('');

/* Create a TCP/IP socket. */
$socket = socket_create(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, SOL_TCP);
if ($socket < 0) {
   echo "socket_create() failed: reason: " . socket_strerror($socket) . "\n";
} else {
   echo "OK.\n";

echo "Attempting to connect to '$address' on port '$service_port'...";
$result = socket_connect($socket, $address, $service_port);
if ($result < 0) {
   echo "socket_connect() failed.\nReason: ($result) " . socket_strerror($result) . "\n";
} else {
   echo "OK.\n";

$in = "HEAD / HTTP/1.1\r\n";
$in .= "Host:\r\n";
$in .= "Connection: Close\r\n\r\n";
$out = '';

echo "Sending HTTP HEAD request...";
socket_write($socket, $in, strlen($in));
echo "OK.\n";

echo "Reading response:\n\n";
while ($out = socket_read($socket, 2048)) {
   echo $out;

echo "Closing socket...";
echo "OK.\n\n";

but get an error ;

Fatal error: Call to undefined function socket_create() in D:\Dev\index.php on line 21
Line 21 is this one :- $socket = socket_create(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, SOL_TCP);
Do you have PHP 5.0.0 or later installed? Sockets support was only added in 5.0.0.
xSinbadAuthor Commented:
I downloaded and installed the latest version yesterday.
Make sure 'php_sockets.dll' is in your PHP directory somewhere. Also, make sure that in your php.ini file you can find the following line:


If there's a semicolon in front of it, remove the semicolon.

Hope this helps.
xSinbadAuthor Commented:
Ok there was no ini file active but there was a php.ini.recommend which I renamed to php.ini and now php doesnt work at all....!!!

xSinbadAuthor Commented:
Thats what I did and now PHP doesnt work at all, but it mostly worked fine without any php.ini file.
xSinbadAuthor Commented:
ch0c this sockets methods seems a bit complicated to implement considering I dont have access to the PHP ini on my web server, I have open another question in the PHP section and I seem to making greater progress using the methods recommended in there maybe you could help with that
xSinbadAuthor Commented:
Dude how about a little help with the converting of bin into ascii?
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