Diving Into VPS

I thought a Virtual Private Server (VPS) was just like a shared plan except it comes with nothing but I can put in anything I want. As it turns out, it’s not so simple.

My first foray last Friday night was so overwhelming and frustrating, I canceled my plan just a couple hours after getting it. Totally discouraged. Bummed.

Part of it was my own ignorance. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, as they say. But it was also a significant chunk of their fault. This host — we’ll discuss that later — has an unbeatable reputation and my previous experience with them was impressive to the max. Friday night — my first time getting support as a paid customer — sucked hardcore.

Refusing to be deterred, I kept researching over the weekend and found tons of resources for the newbie True Administrator. True Back End. No cPanel, not software, just … building a software fire with only a rock and some twigs. Here are the resources I’ve found that I’m about to start absorbing like a sponge. I’ll document everything I do so that anyone finding this isn’t as deer-in-the-headlights as I was.

In subsequent posts, I’ll explain what all these are and such. At present, this is just my list o’ links all in one place.

Free DNS Service
https://dns.he.net/

DNS Management: Record Types and When To Use Them
https://pressable.com/blog/2014/12/23/dns-record-types-explained/

DNS Management: Zones, Record Types, and Record Composition
https://pressable.com/blog/2014/12/11/understanding-dns-record-types/

A2hosting How to configure a domain for a semi-managed product
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/getting-started-guide/configuring-domain-settings/semi-managed-vps-domain-management

A2hosting How to configure custom name servers
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/getting-started-guide/configuring-domain-settings/configuring-custom-name-servers

A2hosting Configuring domain settings
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/getting-started-guide/configuring-domain-settings

A2hosting VPS Quick Start Guide
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/getting-started-guide/vps-quick-start-guide

3 Free Control Panels for VPS Administration
https://lowendbox.com/blog/3-free-control-panels-for-vps-administration/

A2hosting How to access and use Webuzo on a semi-managed server
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/a2-hosting-products/accessing-and-using-webuzo-on-a-semi-managed-server

A2hosting Getting Started Guide: Accessing Your Account
https://www.a2hosting.com/kb/getting-started-guide/accessing-your-account

How To Log In To Your VPS
https://www.ovh.com/us/g1260.how_to_log_in_to_your_vps

A2 Hosting Ubuntu Virtual Private Server Guide
http://jblevins.org/log/ubuntu-vps

A2hosting: Ubuntu Virtual Private Server (VPS) Setup
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/a2hosting-ubuntu-virtual-private-server-vps-setup-2.html

Basic Virtual Private Server Administration
https://www.teamits.com/internet/support/vps2/basic/index.html

VPS Administration for the Absolute Beginner
https://serverfault.com/questions/166391/vps-administration-for-the-absolute-beginner

Ubuntu VPS Step-By-Step Configuration Notes
http://learnaholic.me/2014/01/09/ubuntu-vps-step-by-step-config-notes/

VPS – Technical FAQ, Additional Services and Definitions
https://www.ovh.ie/vps/faq-help.xml

VPS Tutorial
https://www.mckerracher.net/vps

Posted in Back End, LAMP, Learning, myLearning, Site Admin, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Previously, on Jotascript …

Wow. So much has happened. And yet, in some ways, so little.

This morning, while my wife was being a cheerleader as I walked out the door to my stupid day job, she said, among other things,

This time next year, your income will be double!

So, stay tuned … that gives me kind of a deadline and benchmark. I like it.

Posted in Career, myProgress, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost My iShizzle

The iMac has been freezing lots again. So I updated El Capitan — not to Sierra, just updated the Capitan. Googling Sierra tells me there’s lots of freezing for that, too. Perhaps I should have stayed with Mavericks. Man … I used to be such an early adopter. All through the first several “cat” years of OSX.

Updating from .11 to .12 didn’t seem to work. Perhaps because the machine is so glitchy.

So I referred back to my Adobe CC and El Capitan post hoping those steps would help as much as they did almost a year ago. If memory serves, this nonsense also happened last time I was about to start some contract work.

Not only did it not work, but now the iMac dies during every attempt at rebooting. The progress bar hangs at about 50% for a bit, then the machine completely dies.

Trying First Aid in Recovery Mode

There are two “things” on the left (the second thing is an “image”) and each has a sub-thing. Three of them pass First Aid just fine but the first “sub-thing” (Macintosh HD) fails.

I tried using the Terminal in Recovery Mode to Repair Permissions but Ye Olde Terminal tells me there’s no such command as “sudo.” This worked like a charm last time. Is it because I updated? Or is the machine broken? As an experiment, I tried another command (I can’t remember now) which it also didn’t recognize. It did recognize “ls.”

One post I read said one could Reinstall OSX in recovery mode and it wouldn’t delete your files and such (I should really start using the external HD I have that sits next to the iMac) but when I tried that, it told me the disk was locked.

I found a couple great, in-depth posts somewhere and tried many of the suggestions with no luck.

No Genius Bar Love

Setting an appointment online is impossible. Remember when apple.com was considered one of the best-designed sites on the web? The most (but definitely not the only) infuriating thing about trying to set an appointment using their website is, upon clicking the desired time, I receive an error alert stating, “You haven’t entered a valid email address.” There is NO form or field for entering an email address.

Setting an appointment via phone is impossible. I call the store. Of course the voice recognition system doesn’t recognize anything I say. Eventually, it transfers me to Apple Care and starts asking me more questions about unrelated crap and doesn’t understand my answers.

Setting an appointment in person is stupid. You can’t drop off your computer and have them diagnose and/or repair it. You have to make an appointment to drop it off. You have to drive to the mall, make the appointment and then, later, go back to your car or back home, and get your computer.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

All these people who are unemployed. But businesses like Apple can’t afford to hire any humans to answer the phone in their stores? Walmart can’t find anyone qualified to operate more than three cash registers at a time?

Buy Local

Which brings me to the new computer repair shop on the corner … which brings me to my next post …

Gratitude

Fortunately, my “stupid day job” that I constantly complain about provides me with a laptop loaded with Adobe CC, etc. so I can still do my side job … every day I find another reason I should really be grateful for my “stupid day job” but I just can’t. Something’s wrong with me.

Posted in Customer Service, Frustration, UI, UX | Leave a comment

Or Maybe Back to Python?

Geez … with a new pile of PHP library books and my brain soaking up new PHP and MySQL knowledge like it’s a roll of Bounty paper towels, I’m now so excited that one of my all-time favorite products, SeaMonkey, needs tons of help including Python. But, they also need JavaScript, CSS, graphics (including fun stuff like SVG) and other stuff I’m more experienced with so … either way, I can get involved — deeply — and that makes me happy.

Also, the app gets more amazing every day.

Posted in myProjects | 3 Comments

They Come in Threes

It’s been quite the week.

Chelsea Manning was released yesterday. Today, Sweden dropped stopped the rape charges investigation against Julian Assange.

I wonder what Edward Snowden is thinking right now.

Posted in Security | Leave a comment

GeoLocation Testing

My little app uses geolocation to record the user’s location when submitting data. When reviewing the data, the user sees a marker on a Google map.

I’ve noticed that, depending on the browser and operating system, that location is different even when the user (me) is sitting in the very same cubicle each time.

Using Chrome on my Android mobile phone:

TGH_Android.png

Using Safari on an old iPhone (iOS):

TGH_iPhone.png

Using Firefox Developer Edition on my Ubuntu laptop:

TGH_Laptop_FirefoxDE.png

Each of those are spot on.

Using Internet Explorer on my Windows desktop:

TGH_Desktop_IE.png

That’s Northeast of where I’m sitting. A little bit north (am I capitalizing these correctly?) of the upper-right corner of both previous maps.

Using Chrome on my Windows desktop:

TGH_Desktop_Chrome.png

That’s South of my location. About the same distance away as the IE coordinates just almost exactly the opposite direction.

If I do multiple tests for each device/browser, the results are consistent.

First time trying Chrome on my Ubuntu laptop:

TGH_Laptop_Chrome.png

Don’t hate on Windows quite yet — I’ve noticed varying coordinates when using my equipment (including my Mac) at home as well so I’ll test the two mobile phones, the Mac, and my Kindle there later. I don’t think the Ubuntu laptop fared as well at home as it did here just now.

Posted in myProjects, Web Development | Tagged , | Leave a comment

WannaCry Customer Support?

The two things I know about the victims:

  • They use Windows XP
  • They must pay using Bitcoin

The first thought I have:

Do the hostage-takers provide documentation?

Even if the victims weren’t using Windows XP — which is, of course, pretty telling — most people, let alone someone using Windows XP, have only even merely heard the term “bitcoin.”

Even those desperate enough to pay might quickly and increasingly reconsider as they attempt to learn about, acquire, and use bitcoin. “Diminishing returns,” I would think, will ascend (or, perhaps, “descend” is more accurate) to a whole new level.

Posted in Security | Tagged , | Leave a comment