Ubuntu-step Across Texas

I’d set up a Virtualbox VM as a portable “surfing machine” with which I can connect to my OpenVPN server. However, once I’d initiated a connection with the server, I wasn’t able to browse anywhere. A bit of Google-fu showed that apparently Ubuntu 16.04 loses DNS after connecting with OpenVPN, and by adding nameserver (or pick your favorite DNS server) to /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head solves this issue.

Link for future reference: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2352821

You’re Living in Your Own (Virtual) Private Network

Using a VPN used to be the sort of badge of honor indicating that you did something important enough for your corporate overlords to grant you access to the company network through the magick Cisco tunnel (yeah, so you’re having to sling pivot tables off the office file server over the weekend, but hey, you dontcha feel special?!). Now, especially with the net neutrality repeal, everyone’s getting a VPN, and it’s not just to stream BBC’s iPlayer from the States. Continue reading “You’re Living in Your Own (Virtual) Private Network”

Let’s Encrypt? Sure, Why Not?

The question “Would you put your credit card info on a website that doesn’t have the love green padlock?” should elicit the same vehemently negative response as “Would you wade through a pool of piranhas without wearing chainmail?” Admittedly an SSL certificate isn’t the be all end all of safe browsing, but it’s a rather visible baseline indicator of how seriously the site owner takes security. It’s like what a friend told me about OSHA inspectors: they look for bad housekeeping and a sloppy work area, as they’re indicative of much bigger problems.

Continue reading “Let’s Encrypt? Sure, Why Not?”

Marketing Automation and a Cluster of Cloud Services

Getting Over the Hump: the Mautic dashboard.

I’d first heard of Mautic on the first day of my internship with InboundRx (and truth be told that’s the first time I’d heard of marketing automation – I’ve worked with web analytics and email marketing campaigns, but the idea of setting stages and points for your participants and having software facilitate the process flow was something that lay outside my loop until then). The idea was to use this as an alternative to Hubspot which is regarded as the proverbial Cadillac of such services (with features and price tag to go with that), and we were tasked with customizing this open source tool with modified branding and launching an instance of it on the cloud.
Continue reading “Marketing Automation and a Cluster of Cloud Services”

Eight Days and Thirty-Seven Commits Later

And I have myself a custom WordPress theme, created almost from scratch. Well, almost a complete custom WP theme. I’m still working on it. Yeah, yeah, WordPress, blah, blah, it’s everywhere, it’s stupid simple, it’s not what the cool kids do… or so they say! I’d spent the closing months of 2016 learning how to customize Drupal, which by consensus is the more sophisticated sibling of WordPress in the CMS family, yet I kept thinking to myself, “I gotta spend time with WordPress!” Continue reading “Eight Days and Thirty-Seven Commits Later”

Setting Mautic Afloat in the Cloud

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working with Mautic, the open-source inbound marketing automation tool. Thus far I’ve set up Mautic on:

  1. Cloud 9 development environment
  2. Heroku (unsuccessfully – see below)
  3. Digital Ocean Droplet
  4. GoDaddy Virtual Private Server

With the current version, Mautic dropped support for Postgres, which seems to be the database of choice for Heroku (I set up one of our Epicodus group projects there and had to migrate the database from MySQL to Postgres), and trying to get the app to work with CloudDB and Google SQL weren’t terribly successful. So, no Heroku for you. Or for me. Continue reading “Setting Mautic Afloat in the Cloud”

Hanging a Shingle with WordPress!

I finally did it. After how many false and less-than-true starts, I’m publishing content related to me! A number of these previous iterations had been either standalone HTML/CSS/JS creations or a handful of Drupal 7/8 installs that stalled out. Turns out that good old WordPress seemed to be the fastest way to get posting. Customizations, Material Design revamps, groovy plugins are somewhere down the road, but first things first, content.

These are little notes to myself, filed under “TILT” (Things I Learned Today). I intend to keep ’em coming.

The following links were invaluable in prepping the deployment environment and getting this site up and running in very short order:

  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-linux-apache-mysql-php-lamp-stack-on-ubuntu-16-04
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-set-up-apache-virtual-hosts-on-ubuntu-16-04
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-and-use-composer-on-ubuntu-16-04
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-wordpress-on-ubuntu-14-04
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-and-secure-phpmyadmin-on-ubuntu-12-04

The Composer and phpMyAdmin links aren’t as germane to this particular deployment, but they’re great references for other applications, namely Mautic.

Addendum: in order for pretty paths to work, not only does the .htaccess file have the proper permissions to be written by the server, the Apache .config has to specify AllowOverride All (n00b error of not having the correct path resulted in /headdesk for a goodly while).