My Blog

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 using encryption to protect your personal data.

Let’s have a look at what it can do and how you can set it up. You won’t have to make a single change to your website or application!

DevOps , Software Development 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 been before, or are going for the 20th time, this is a list of the top 10 things to do in Florida that I think will make your visit that little bit more memorable.

(Spoiler alert: Disney features a lot!)

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

A year to the day before the UK leaves the EU, the European Commission announced that all .eu domains registered to a UK address would be dropped.

Horrified at the thought of losing my andys.eu domain name (and with it, my primary email address of 8 years) I tweeted out to EURid – the organisation that manages .eu domain names.

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 secondary domains (e.g. “spelling mistake” domains, or alternative-spelling domains) to your primary domain

I have recently implemented the following on my own website, and I would like to share this Apache trick.

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.

At the start of February 2018, I provisioned a new Cloud VPS to run my website and other apps. I also chose to migrate all my private Git repositories to it and cancelled my paid Github subscription.

This article explores the reasons why I went self-hosted.

DevOps , 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.

With all these improvements in cloud hosting, I thought it would be interesting to focus on a key metric of hosting providers that many overlook: network speed.

Most modern cloud hosting providers give your dedicated server or VPS a 100Mbps or 1Gbps network connection. But how close can you actually get to that speed?

DevOps , Software Development Read more


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.

DevOps , Software Development Read more


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 favourite artists of the last 10 years: Chris Daughtry.

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?

Read this article to see how to upload photos using the Blue Twilight photo gallery and your iPhone or iPad.

Blue Twilight , Software Development Read more