Getting Ready for a New Year…

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve posted more this month in, like, for’ever… It’s like tubular, dude…

Yes, channeling my inner 80’… Did I ever talk about how 1984 seems to have the best albums ever:

  • Iron Maiden – Powerslave (not quite as good as Piece of Mind though) for Aces High and 2 Minutes to Midnight (Cold War teen)
  • Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith for Some Heads are Gonna Roll
  • Dio – The Last in Line for The Last in Line
  • Ratt – Out of the Cellar for Wanted Man and Round and Round
  • Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath; well, this is because I still remember one of my good buddies, Dwayne (“Spike”), trying his hand at poetry and ending up with “Me mother likes Mercyful Fate, After me quarter ounce she did ate”
  • Dokken – Tooth and Nail for Into the Fire
  • Scorpions- Love at First Sting for Rock you Like a Hurricane and Still Loving You
  • Helix – Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge for Rock You and Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ – And one of my buddies older brother’s off-the-air recording that included the Q104 (Halifix, Canada – I think) readout to the beat of “Give me a Q, Give me a 1…” like the actual beginning of the song “Give me a R…”
  • Van Halen – 1984 for Panama (I liked that cut the best), Panama and Hot for Teacher (although for a 16-year-old this video was better than Panama)
  • Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. for the entire album. Kinda cool how far that unknown girl went from the Dancing in the Dark video. Personally my melancoly-side liked Downbound Train and My Hometown.
  • U2 – The Unforgettable Fire – Pride (In the Name of Love) really hooked me
  • Prince – Purple Rain for When Doves Cry (my favorite), Let’s Go Crazy, Darling Nikki (funny as hell) – damn, pretty well all the cuts
  • Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast for The Boys of Summer (I could see the scene in my mind’s eye) and All She Wants to Do Is Dance (can you say Iran-Contra fellow Cold War teeens?)
  • The Cars – Heartbeat City for Hello Again, You Might Think (what the frack was it with that freaking fly?)
  • Alphaville – Forever Young (gotta put that one in – Hi skool grad song)
  • The Icicle Works – The Icicle Works for Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)
  • Nena – 99 Luftballoons (gotta be a Cold War teen to understand it…) (Years later thanks to this Internet thing I checked out the actual German words. Same sentiment but I think that the German is a better expression. Unfortunately I don’t think that you could get it to rhyme correctly in English.) (No, she is not dead… Damn, there should be some QA/QC for it. Don’t you think so Facebook?)

Anyway, I digress – again. I do say I wonder about this and that. Maybe it should be wander about this and that.

My old web server was getting a little long in the tooth. Not from a horsepower perspective but from supportability. My previous post on the Let’s Encrypt TLS web server encryption smacked me in the head with warning that with CentOS 6.8 (Final) Python was no longer supported. Likely (from Red Hat experience) CentOS would have kept Python 2.6 patched (at least I think it was 2.6, I blew away the VM) would have meant going outside the normal repositories. Also PHP was getting a little dated and, frankly, the Apache config files were a freakin’ mess after being migrated from different servers and versions of CentOS four-or-five times (think: PHP upgrades, Apache upgrades).

So, what to do…

Plan an migration to a new, mainstream supported server keeping in mind:

  1. Let’s Encrypt certificates needed to be moved
  2. Apache config files had to be rewritten to be current (and keep the Let’s Encrypt certificates)
  3. WordPress Blog (this thing) had not only to be moved but the MySQL database upgraded
  4. General crap such as securing the OS, PKI keys and the like
  5. Oh year, make sure that kept working (which has about 10 times the Twitter followers than yours truly does :-()

Anyway, it took about 10 days in calendar time. Effort time? About 10-12 hours. Biggest hangup: Moving WordPress and upgrading. Thing not to worry much about: Move the Let’s Encrypt certificates (which will be much easier of you have clean Apache config files).

Why WordPress being a pain in the arse? Part if it seems to be from WordPress 4.7 and the security lockdown.


  • Plugins want to be ftp uploaded. Who the frack uses ftp? Need to change the config files to allow upload.
    • Need to add to
      • wp-config.conf
      • "define('FS_METHOD','direct');"
    • See
  • Directory permissions did not want to allow uploads (grumble, grumble, pain-in-the-arse)

Good thinminiOrange Logog: Added two factor authentication miniOrange two-factor to WordPress with Google Authenticator.

Colo-Serve Communications

Colo-Serve Communications

I have to give my VPS hoster, Colo-Serv Communications in Montreal a two tumbs up for helping my migration. Not only are these folks very cost effective but the support is number one. For example: in this exercise I decided to ask if I could have two VPSes running (the current and the new one) as I migrated. I was thinking two-or-three days before I got a yes-or-no and then another couple of days as the new VPS was stood up.

Nope, about 30 minutes after my request I got my answer: no problem.

About 5 minutes after that: your VPS is provisioned, here is your access information. Fill your boots.

That, folks, is what I call good customer service. Credit where credit is due!

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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