A bit about me:

James Gravatar

Howdy! I'm James, a website developer who loves all things web. When I'm not in web developer mode I enjoy writing on my blog and gaming. When I'm not doing that I'm probably on Netflix going on the latest TV series binge.

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Upgrading to custombuild 2.0 on DirectAdmin

0
DirectAdmin Web Interface Admin Level

DirectAdmin is a control panel designed to make managing a web server easier. With control panels like DirectAdmin, installing and updating packages isn’t as simple as running apt-get install or yum install, most come with their own build system where packages are compiled with specific settings. DirectAdmin, is no different. It uses its own system called custombuild. At the time of writing this the latest stable version of custombuild is 1.2, though custombuild 2.0 is nearing stable release (currently RC5), but on a production server after running custombuild 1.2 for a while you’d be a little nervous as to how the jump from Apache 2.2 to 2.4 will be, or how your PHP apps are going to handle the jump from 5.3/5.4 to 5.5? Well luckily for you and myself I have a test server lined up to be able to perform the update (or migration I guess). Find out how I got on.

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Locale fix for Dell Backup & Recovery and AlienRespawn

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6082.alienrespawn-wtf

One problem that I noticed since upgrading to Windows 8 was the new versions of Dell Backup & Recovery and AlienRespawn have a strange issue where by the text in the application simply consists of tokens like IDS_DS_000 all over the place rather than the correct English text being displayed. What could cause this issue? Was my recovery partition buggered? Did the software somehow get corrupted in the Windows 8 upgrade? Its actually none of those, find out what the problem was and the solution by reading more.

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Making your WordPress Dashboard and Logins go through SSL

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SSL should be something everyone should be aware of on the internet. Even if you don’t know what it stands for (Secure Socket Layer by the way), everyone should at least recognise the basic icons like the green padlock or general padlock icon. You’ll often find it on online banking/e-commerce websites, your browser will be letting you know the website is genuine and your OK to punch your lovely personal details into it. Well WordPress has a dashboard and login system, which can go over SSL. Here’s a quick way of making that happen.

This guide assumes you have a valid SSL certificate already setup

In your wp-config.php file find the comment line:

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

Immediately before that line add the following:

/**
 * SSL for Login and Admin
 */

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

This will then force SSL on the dashboard and logins! You’ll find general port 80 requests to /wp-admin and /wp-login.php will get redirected automatically. Much more secure than your password going across in plain text. Because you know the NSA and PRISM probably have your connection to your ISP tapped… Woops probably said too much.

Quick Tip: Removing all your WordPress post thumbnails quickly

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WordPress is a very database centric Content Management System, and like most systems the SQL database can be the best way to achieve a quick solution to an otherwise long and boring repetitive task. Here’s one of those tasks. I needed remove all the old thumbnails, due to bad sizing and thumbnail improvements. However I have over 100 posts, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to manually go through the WP dashboard and do it. Here’s a quick and easy way to kill all the thumbnails quickly via SQL

DELETE FROM wp_postmeta WHERE meta_key = '_thumbnail_id'

This will remove all thumbnail references on all posts and has_post_thumbnail() will return false.

If you needed to run this on a specific set of rows, you’d need to use an AND clause at the end of the above SQL

Note: Always run SQL commands like this on a testing server/localhost installation and have backups ready!

Fixing some quirks with Disqus comments in WordPress

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disqus-logo

So recently I’ve relaunched my blog, with that came A LOT of offline time (busy with irl etc etc). I develop various projects on localhost environments but one thing that doesn’t play nice with localhost is Disqus comments. This is because it requires a live top level domain with the correct permalinks to each post (or discussion in this case), so of course while my blog was under development this got quite badly out of sync and started to slowly break. Putting my blog back online and chaos ensued on the comments front, its getting back to normal now, but I had quite an adventure solving some interesting quirks.

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