Technology blog moves to WordPress

Technology blog moves to WordPress

Welcome to WordPress! After 3 years of developing and operating my own content management system (CMS), I have finally switched over to WordPress for my Pat Howe Technology Blog. Part of the reason for this was to make it easier to maintain but the main reason was to take advantage of all the great plug-ins available. I’m still in the process of converting three years’ worth of posts but I’m over 90% of the way through and couldn’t wait any longer to launch it. I didn’t go with a front page like my old blog but thought I would show

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

This article goes through the steps required to create a MySQL database, a database user and give database permissions to that user. It also covered importing structure and data from a script together with a bit of information about creating tables and adding data. It is part of my other articles on setting up a “Ubuntu Linux” server hosted using Amazon Web Services, but the same principals can be applied to any Linux server as this article is just about using MySQL commands. If you do not already have MySQL installed then check out my previous article on “Setting up

Setting up delegation between servers for Windows authenticated sites

Setting up delegation between servers for Windows authenticated sites

Recently, I heard that someone was having trouble setting up Windows Server delegation and I remembered that I wrote about it a few times several years ago in 2010. That blog and article does not exist anymore and there is little documentation on the process (most IT professionals will give up and use a different solution), so in the spirit of sharing at this time of year, here it is again. What is server delegation? When building a web application you can build your own user administration or use a security mechanism from another system (single-sign-on) or you can use

Setting up scheduled tasks known as Cron Jobs on a Ubuntu server

Setting up scheduled tasks known as Cron Jobs on a Ubuntu server

In this short article, I will set up scheduled tasks known as Cron Jobs on a Ubuntu server. This will allow me to automatically run PHP scripts on the server at various points in time without any interaction. Any user account on the Ubuntu server can set up their own Cron Jobs which will run under their own account. If you want to make sure the scheduled task has full access to everything then it will need to run under a privileged account such as the “root” user and you can do that from a user account that has sudo

Teeth Whitening your photographs with Adobe Photoshop

Teeth Whitening your photographs with Adobe Photoshop

I have previously written about improving your photographs digitally by “removing red eye and blemishes with Adobe Photoshop“. There is another action that can make a smiling photograph look better and that is teeth whitening. Yellowish teeth are healthy teeth my dentist always said to me from a young age when I wondered why brushing them several times a day did not give me a dazzling bright white smile. Of course in reality most people will not have that toothpaste-ad sparkle but what I can’t do in real life I can make better with Photoshop. So, in this short article

Hosting multiple websites on a single Apache server

Hosting multiple websites on a single Apache server

In this article I will run through the setup of multiple websites on Apache on a single Ubuntu LAMP server. LAMP is a common acronym for a typical setup and stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. I will go through step by step using FileZilla (for transferring files) and PuTTY (command line interface for configuring the server). There are example screens walking through each step showing both enabling or disabling the default Apache website and adding/enabling other websites. The process is the same for each additional domain so after the section on the default website, it is repeatable for

Steps to securing your Apache web server on Ubuntu

Steps to securing your Apache web server on Ubuntu

This article goes through some of the things you can do to protect your web server from certain types of attacks and to keep the disclosure of information down to a minimum. It will show you how to help prevent clickjacking, SSL cipher or mime-based attacks. It will show you how to avoid error messages and other methods giving away more information than is needed. These can mostly be prevented at a server level so that they apply to all websites that you publish on the server. A brief description of what is being prevented and the resolution is included

News on general availability of new top level domains

News on general availability of new top level domains

There have been more top-level domain names released to general availability (GA) in 2016. In this short article I have listed those that are available now and those that are being considered for release. I’ve split the listing into those that are available to purchase now under GA and those that are at an earlier stage where you cannot purchase but may register an interest in them (and possibly buy in the future). Some sites call this pre-ordering or pre-registering but there is no guarantee that you will get the domain name even if you register an interest. What is

Fixing GD by replacing the version in the bundled PHP package

Fixing GD by replacing the version in the bundled PHP package

The GD Library in PHP allows developers to output images from code in various formats rather than output HTML mark-up for displaying web pages or snippets. It is a very popular method of creating images used on web forms where the validity of a human user needs to be attained (this method is commonly known as Captcha). However, a bundled PHP distribution might not come with GD enabled and fully functioning such as those used by the “apt-get install php5” command on Ubuntu. Even after “apt-get install php5-gd” is run to fetch and installed the GD Library, PHP might not

Setting up Apache, MYSQL and PHP on Ubuntu Linux (LAMP)

Setting up Apache, MYSQL and PHP on Ubuntu Linux (LAMP)

This article shows you the commands required to set up an Apache web server on a fresh Ubuntu Linux installation from a Command Line Interface. It goes through the steps to setup PHP and MySQL and link both to the Apache web server. It doesn’t just finish there though. I also cover installing OpenSSL for managing secure certificates, VSFTP for file transfer protocol accounts and the GD PHP image library. These are popular things to do for say running WordPress but not essential to a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) setup. The examples use Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Long Term