Protecting yourself against scammers


It might be April Fools Day but this short article on protecting yourself from scammers is not a prank and for the thousands of people who get scammed every day it is no laughing matter. If there is one group of people who relish a crisis, it’s the scammers. These criminals are looking to exploit the most vulnerable when they need help the most. They don’t see it as a crime. They see vulnerability as weakness that they can and should exploit. It is human nature to trust others until that trust is betrayed. Sometimes, victims are not quick to

Using Excel to calculate league position


Last year, I started writing an article on using Excel for a football league to work out the positions in the league table based on the results. I never finished it but then during the current pandemic and the uncertainty over completing the current football seasons I started playing with Excel again. So, this is not really a technology article, although in the Excel examples, I have used some useful Excel functions. This is also not an important article considering the global crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Those of us who are football (soccer) supporters, or supporters of any sport,

Copying a WordPress site to another location


I had a few articles in mind for this month but looks like I run out of time. This article is actually something that was rather complex but has been made very simple thanks to a WordPress plug-in. I want to back up and restore my WordPress site to another host with a different URL. For example, if I wanted to build a site on one server and then transfer it to another. It would normally require a lot of database update queries if the URL changed. The Duplicator WP plug-in makes the transfer a simple process. I’ve been using

Reverse engineering and generating databases in Visio


This article shows you how to connect to a database and populate a diagram with its tables, relationships and properties. For this I will use an Access database but it could be any data source where you have its driver installed. I want to represent a relational database structure on a diagram but I want it to show primary and foreign keys, unique indexes and the relationship structure between tables. I also want it to contain any parameters, constraints or other logic associated with the tables. I also want to show how to generate a SQL Server database from a

Add Confluence to a Server with a Jira installation


This article is really a continuation of my previous article about installing Jira Software on an Ubuntu server yourself, Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL. However, this focuses on Jira’s sister product, Confluence. The Confluence product is great for team collaboration and can be used for many different purposes. You can set up a Wiki for your company or applications. For me, however, I mostly use it for requirements documentation and Jira reporting. To be able to do the latter, you need to link to a Jira instance and that is easy to do on the same server. So,

Add Jira Service Desk Server to previous Jira installation


This article is really a continuation of my previous article about installing Jira Software on an Ubuntu server yourself, Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL. Unlike, Jira Software where every user counts towards the license limitation, Jira Service Desk differentiates between Agent Users and Customer Users. You only license Agent Users in the Service Desk. On the server that I am using in this example, I installed Jira Software and thought I would add Jira Service Desk too. If you don’t already have a version of Jira installed on your server then this article doesn’t cover the steps that

Running multiple versions of PHP on Ubuntu

PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.3 on Ubuntu 16.04

I have a situation with the PHP websites on my Ububtu server. I would like to upgrade the server to PHP 7.3 but some of them may fail to run under that. Therefore, I am going to install PHP 7.3 whilst keeping PHP 5.6 as my default in Apache until I am satisfied I can safely switch and remove PHP 5.6. I actually upgraded the server from 14.04 to 16.04 earlier this year but kept PHP 5.6 and have not installed any 7.x versions. Getting Prepared for PHP 7.3 To start with I can confirm that I am running PHP

My Web Minder email changes


This is a message for My Web Minder hosting customers that are using the mailbox feature of their accounts. A security update is taking place right now on all mail servers to help prevent non-legitimate accounts (spammers) from using these servers. It started yesterday and will continue all of the week until next weekend. The default port for SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), i.e. outgoing mail traffic is being switched off. Some mail clients already try a different port first but then settle for 25. A mail client is the software you use to send or receive email. If you

Upgrading Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04

ubuntu upgrade

I previously upgraded an Ubuntu server from 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS (LTS = long term support) but didn’t document the steps. So this time I thought I would. This article has been a long time coming. I was lucky enough (depending on your view) to still have a server running 14.04 LTS as it is out of support now. I have Let’s Encrypt’s Certbot on this server so I will show what to do when that fails. Other non-Ubuntu-bundled installs will need attention after the upgrade too. Before starting make sure all packages are up to date. I have

Hidden advanced options in Microsoft Outlook

Outlook File

Since Microsoft released the 2016 edition of its Outlook product, setting up a new email address has become very easy. Unless of course, you need to access the advanced options for a custom set-up. All is not lost, however, as you can still get to the advanced options just not through Microsoft Outlook. I don’t know who decided to drop it, but I find this sort of feature removal a reason for not upgrading. I suppose, Microsoft Office had become so good by 2003, that they had to start tinkering. They couldn’t just give it a new look every two