The random thoughts of Andy Heathershaw

I try and blog about things that pique my interest, something I've had difficulty with, or just anything in general that I either want to keep at hand or think may be useful for others to know.

You can therefore find posts covering diverse subjects such as software development/programming, writing and all things Disney.

Encrypt your database with MariaDB encryption at rest

The new EU data protection legislation, GDPR, mandates that every reasonable effort and technology is used to protect personal data. It even goes as far as specifying encryption. The open-source database MariaDB (a drop-in, compatible replacement for MySQL) has supported “encryption at rest” since version 10.1. Use MariaDB encryption to satisify the GDPR recommendation of […]

DevOps Read more


Top 10 things to do in Florida

Florida is my go-to destination for a holiday. I’ve been several times since our honeymoon in 2012 and yet I still manage to find something new to see or do each time. When I fly into MCO airport and walk through the stunning atrium, I know I’m back in my happy place! Whether you’ve never […]

Disney, Reflections Read more


Install a LAMP stack (Apache, MariaDB, PHP) on Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server is a Linux distribution that is ideally suited to server workloads. For example: hosting websites and web applications.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install a LAMP stack – that’s Apache, MariaDB (in place of MySQL) and PHP – on Ubuntu Server using the latest available releases, and how to keep it up-to-date.

DevOps, Software Development Read more


Brexit forced me to change my identity

… but I’m OK with it. A few days ago I sat in an airport lounge in Gatwick, waiting for our flight to Florida. I had finished a diet Coke and was chewing on a piece of yoghurt-covered honeycomb (which was delicious, FYI) when I read a news article about Brexit that stunned me. Europe […]

Reflections Read more


Redirect all visitors to a primary domain in Apache

There are several scenarios in which you may want to redirect all your website visitors to a single, primary domain in Apache: Redirect the www and non-www (root domain) hostnames of your domain to avoid duplicate content and improve SEO Redirect an old domain to a new domain, maintaining links and search engine reputation Redirect […]

DevOps, Software Development Read more


Why I prefer self-hosted Git repositories to Github, Bitbucket, etc.

It’s the year 2018 and it’s impossible for a software developer to have not heard about (or used) Github, or a variant like Bitbucket. Even self-hosted Git evangelist GitLab is a popular choice. I have held a paid-for Github account for a few years now. Github hosts my open-source PHP photo gallery, Blue Twilight. However, […]

Software Development Read more


The Great Big Cloud Hosting Speed Test 2017

2017 was an exciting year for the bigger players in the cloud hosting arena. Both Linode and DigitalOcean upgraded their network capacity. OVH opened new data centres in Germany and the UK. Bytemark launched an automated backup service for their cloud server platform. My own hosting provider, Memset, launched a new OpenStack region in their […]

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Content Delivery Networks can improve your website’s performance

Content Delivery Networks were created for one reason: to speed up your websites and web applications. In this article, I explore how you can take advantage of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to improve your website performance for a small cost.

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Daughtry performs Demons in The Passion

Earlier this week, I couldn’t sleep. So I did what I normally do when I can’t sleep – I watch music videos on YouTube. The first video in my “here’s what YouTube wants you to watch” list caught my eye. I immediately thought I had missed a piece of new music from one of my […]

Entertainment, Reflections Read more


Upload photos to Blue Twilight PHP photo gallery from your new iPhone

Buying the new iPhone that Apple will announce today? Interested in photography? Did you know that you can capture a photo and upload it straight into your Blue Twilight photo gallery directly from your new iPhone or iPad device. First Method – direct upload into an album Login to your Blue Twilight photo gallery and […]

Software Development Read more