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

Replacing the hostname on an Ubuntu web server

Switching Hostname

I have been running a server with a host domain name that had a top level domain of .TV. I didn’t realise but when sending emails from that domain name, even though it was legitimate the word TV is one of those SPAM key words that mail servers look out for. It’s OK if your email content scores lowly on the spammy word count but having one of those bad keywords in the domain name wasn’t helping. So, we dropped the name but I was using it as the host name on a server and needed to replace that. So

Using a simple organisational chart in Microsoft Visio

visio simple org chart

I have been using Visio for many years, going right back to the time before it was part of the Microsoft Office suite. Each year, I upgraded and features have come and gone. Sometimes I can see an improvement but usually I long for the features that have been dropped. My favourite version I think was the one that came with top level of Visual Studio 2003, I think it was called Visio 2003 for enterprise architects. That had a neat database feature where you could generate your database SQL script directly from Visio. Anyway, in those cases where I

Setting up and testing free secure certificates

Free Certbot Secure Certificate

Do you want to apply secure certificates to multiple websites on the same web server? You want them to renew automatically? And want them to be free! Then read on. A few years back, one of my colleagues put me onto this process and I’ve been using it ever since and now I’ve documented it here. I look after a few Linux web servers on AWS and GCP. The administration overhead around purchasing new certificates, setting them up, renewing is time-consuming. It also costs money, although we always went for the budget secure certificates. That’s because all of the websites

Arduino sound sensor noise level detector example

Arduino Uno

This article follows on from my previous articles about the Arduino microcontroller; Sketch 1: Light Switch and Sketch 2: Light Sensor. In this article I cover an analogue sound sensor with LEDs displaying for the loudness (noise level) of the sound detected. I purchased a multi-pack of sensors a while back and there was a small sound and big sound sensor in that pack. I can’t remember the seller but there are plenty on Amazon and eBay. If you want the one I’m using in this example, you can find it here, Sound Detection Module For Arduino. You will note that

Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL

Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL

This is a walk through of installing Jira 8.1 on on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS minimised server. The Atlassian website has instructions for installing Jira on Linux or other operating systems but there are so many references to other pages or other sites that I wanted to have everything in one place for one type of set-up. As I have previously set up a Ubuntu server on the Google Cloud Platform that I’m not using, I will use that. So, if you are starting from scratch and want to follow along see my previous article “Get a free Linux server

Get a free Linux server with Google Cloud Platform


After writing about the free (for one year) server available from AWS (see here), I thought I would write about a similar free server from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There is one main difference between the two; Amazon provide a micro-server for 12 months for free as long as you stay within the allowable package where as Google provide you with a $300 credit that can last up to a maximum of 12 months. Amazon limits the free server instance for your account; 750 hours up-time per month (i.e. one continuously on instance), 1 CPU, 1Gb RAM and a maximum