I was just reading an article in the New York Times entitled "Drumming Up More Addresses on the Internet". It concerns the upcoming transition period and switch from the current IPv4 standard to the IPv6 standard in order to increase the number of available IP addresses on the Internet. As the article explains, IPv6 -- or Internet Protocol, version 6 -- will be a whole new ballgame, and there will be no trying to mix it with the current IPv4 standard, being as they are based on two very different IP address numbering systems.
While many regular Internet users probably won't be directly affected by the changeover from IPv4 to IPv6 -- because the changes will be under-the-hood -- and will go on surfing as if nothing has changed, personally, I suspect that the upcoming conversion may prove to be a major headache for me personally.
This is because I run our own web server here, and unless I am mistaken, the server software that I use only supports IPv4. The main problem is that my web server software hasn't been developed or supported in almost six years now. In fact, it was sold -- and then abandoned -- by the company which purchased it from the original owner, because their whole intention in purchasing the web server suite was to eliminate their competition by phasing out the product once it had been purchased.
I just sent an email to the original owner and developer of the server suite in order to get an answer straight from the horse's mouth regarding the implementation of IPv6 in their software. I suspect that I already know how they are going to respond.
On the bright side, even though it is now eleven years old, the machine on which I run our web server does appear to be IPv6 compliant, thanks to a forward-looking company. Can you guess which one it is?
But again, once IPv6 is fully activated following the upcoming transition period, I suspect that I am going to be forced to switch to different web server software; and if I am forced to move to Apache -- since I've been a dedicated Macintosh user since 1990, and Mac OS X is Unix-based -- it is going to be a major headache and learning curve which I do not look forward to. I am quite happy with the easy GUI interface of my current web server software, and I really don't look forward to this change and the upcoming challenge of having to wade through and understand Unix config files. There is, of course, products such as iTools which supposedly make managing an Apache server a lot easier, but I have read mixed reviews about that software.
As I said, if you are just a regular web surfer, and don't run your own server, then you won't have much to worry about, being as the software and hardware companies will take care of everything for you behind-the-scenes. However, depending on the age of your current cable modem or DSL modem, you may possibly have to purchase a new one in order to be IPv6 compliant.