Month: March 2016

Making Your Word Press Site Secure with SSL for Free

Well, it has been quite a journey of learning and it has been quite good. Green Geeks, a big American website hosting company upset myself and a few other customers about their unwillingness to support the latest and best free and open encryption service, Let’s Encrypt.  They wanted to sell their SSL certificates instead.  The mentality is quite different from this hosting company that we found called Siteground who looks at the big picture.  Let me think for a second.  I’m a customer.  I want to choose my hosting company.  One company says ‘come over here and we’ll let you do your own certificates or we’ll sell you one” or company B says ‘We will sell you one and it’s our way or the highway.”  Which one will I choose?  Green Geeks needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Anyway, Green Geeks forced me to figure it out by myself but it’s working. I got SSL installed on all my domains at Green Geeks.  You can read my tutorial about how to do that here.

HOW TO SET UP SSL ON CPANEL BY YOURSELF WHEN THE HOSTING COMPANY IS TOO SHORT-SIGHTED TO HELP YOU

Now that you have your SSL stuff installed you probably are like me and have a bunch of Word Press sites.  What you will find is you will probably get warnings that look like triangles, exclamation marks, etc, etc.

First, your best resource that I found through this process is this website where you can type in your domain and it will spit back the cause of your no-padlock SSL certificate problem.

WEBSITE TO TEST FIGURE OUT WHY NO SSL PADLOCK

Next, you’ll probably find this blog very educational and might help you decide a course of action that is slightly different from my decision to ‘just fix it quick’.  For me, my blogs weren’t highly important (like this one) so experimenting didn’t bother me.

GREAT WEBSITE TO LEARN ABOUT WHY MIXED SSL CONTENT WARNINGS COME AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM

Now, without further adieu, here is the ‘quick fix solution’ to the ‘no padlock error in a Word Press website. Just install this plugin and, if it doesn’t fix by default, change the setting to match mine in the screen shot below.

GREAT PLUG-IN TO FIX ALL YOUR MIXED CONTENT SECURITY WARNINGS

WP-SSL-Insecure-Content-Fixer-Settings

Bonus Feature! Force your Word Press Site to Use HTTPS

Now that you’ve gone to the trouble of making SSL work and then fixing all the errors, why not force all traffic to run via HTTPS so your site is hyper secure?  It’s easy with this this plugin.  Just… well. Plug it in.  And done.

GREAT WORD PRESS PLUG-IN TO FORCE ALL TRAFFIC TO HTTPS

Hopefully everything here works smoothly for you as it did for me.  You’ll note my success since I did this tutorial to this blog! 😉

 

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How to Do Let’s Encrypt in Cpanel with Shared Hosting

Did Green Geeks (www.greengeeks.com) not want to help you get Let’s Encrypt working in your Cpanel even though it works in cpanel?  You aren’t alone.  But we can take matter into our own hands, you know.

The tutorial I’m going to share is awesome. It’s pretty much what I based everything on and of course my experience of just making my own self signed SSL to do the same thing but more home-brew.

TUTORIAL/HOW-TO TO MAKE LET’S ENCRYPT WORK IN CPANEL

His tutorial is great if you’ve worked on servers or command lines for a while, but I wasn’t so smart.  Hopefully my notes will help the less fluent folk accomplish freedom too.

Let me just give a few side notes to help someone as they do this:

Before beginning, in your terminal, you will need to:

sudo apt-get install git

  • steps 6 and 7 – Cpanel help –  Note before beginning! At no point should you ever, ever, press enter on your keyboard while in the terminal because it will force you right back to square one and you’ll have to delete all this great work you are about to do:
    • go to file manager
    • go to public_html directory and click it
    • click ‘create folder‘ with the + icon
    • type ‘.well-known’ (no apostrophes) into the field that says ‘new folder name’
    • in top right settings of your control panel hit the cogwheel and click ‘show hidden files’ or you will not see the .well-known folder you just made
    • go into the .well-known directory and create another directory called ‘acme-challenge‘ and click ‘create new folder’
    • now go inside the ‘acme-challenge’ folder and click the +file button. you will get the file name from your terminal by selecting everything after ‘acme-challenge’ and then using control+shift+C to grab it to clipboard as per this screenshot
    • copy-paste-random-file-name-2
    •  paste it into the file name with control V and ‘create new file’
    • now go back to terminal and grab the next bunch of random strings and copy it to clipboard as you are learning so well to do, young champion as per this screenshot:
    • copy-paste-file-content-from-term-2
    • highlight your newly created pile of randomness in cpanel
    • click the ‘edit’ button top right ish area of the screen and it will give you some warning and you will say ‘uh huh yep’ and click ‘edit’
    • you will now control V paste that bad boy into your file (just into the big white space) and click ‘save changes’ and should see ‘success!” because you deserve success by now, my little cherry cake.
    • click ‘close’.
    • Now you will have to do it again. The tutorial doesn’t say why but I figured it out, by golly.  It’s because you had domain.com and www.domain.com so you have to do two verifications.  If you had a bunch of subdomains, you’d have to do these steps for all of them as well, FYI.  Also, there is no mention about what to do with these random files sitting in these directories in cpanel.  You can delete them after the verification is done.
    • now go back to his original tutorial and start at step 8
    • Note!  The coolest part about this experience is when you get this message at the end: ‘Self-Verify of Challenge Failed”  – so you are like ‘NOOO!” and then what comes a few seconds later in the terminal?  This message:  “Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at…” which is actually the truth.  And then you are like ‘YAAAAH!!’ So much drama!  So many victory cries!
  • step 9 isn’t as easy as the author lets on.  It’s also a mystery to my why I cannot have permissions with sudo to do this in the command line but it gives permission denied.  I didn’t know there was a permission higher than sudo but….

sudo nautilus yes, but then where?  this screenshot should help

sudo-nautilus-to-etc

Note also typing the first letter of the folder you are searching for will speed things up, like in ‘L’ for ‘letsencrypt’ in the next level 😉

  • Step 11 isn’t easy either as he doesn’t explain how to open with ‘gedit’.  Just right click on the .pem files, then go to ‘open with other applications’ and then ‘show other applications’ and then start typing ‘gedit’ and it should show right up

Now here is the *critical awesomeness* that took 7 hours of my life to learn.  I will never get these hours back so I hope that you will take all the money I didn’t save by spending all the time and get it back out of GreenGeeks who refused to support Let’s Encrypt when at least myself and a few people I referred to Green Geeks asked them if they would help.  This, by the way, was the response we got:

greengeeks

No, you don’t support them.  But because you didn’t support me, I now support them with this blog post.  And for just 5 years of free hosting with the best plan they have, I might be convinced to remove this truth so fewer of your customers find out that they can work around your antics….

Let’s get started taking away those $20 purchases from the Geeks which are Green, shall we, or any of your hosting companies who don’t want to move into the future shall we?

How to Get a Free SSL Cert Working on your Green Geeks Hosting Plan on all your domains with Cpanel

You can create a let’s encrypt certificate for *all* of your shared domains.

Where I lost all my time was where to put the .well-known/acme-challenge in the subdomains and the whole time it was super easy.  You just click in, open the main directory under file manager and create the directories right there at the top level.  That’s it.

Then you go back and create certs for each domain and pop them in by repeating this tutorial.  One for the www and one without.

Done! Now let’s encrypt.

 

 

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How to Make Self Signed SSL Certificate Work in CPanel

Tutorial Assumptions

  • you have a website domain
  • you have shared hosting using cPanel
  • you are using a computer running Ubuntu

This isn’t a perfect solution if you have a public facing website, but if you have a private website for yourself, your friends, your business, etc, this will be ‘better than nothing’ and at least give you encryption for your traffic.

Most hosting companies probably sell ‘real’ SSL certificates which cost a certain amount per year.  This may make sense if you don’t have time to figure it out, or you don’t have root control of your server, or if your server happens to suck and not be ubuntu.  If these things happen, you should consider a hosting change ASAP because someone else is controlling your website.

In my case, I’m financially challenged right now and I have a couple of personal domains I want to secure.  Note that I have not yet, as of the date of posting this, figured out what to do for W.O.T.  It is still showing ‘not secure’ because it’s not https but I don’t want to use a self-signed certificate because it will scare away most visitors before they start reading.

The best looking solution moving forward, by the way, and I’m trying to plan all my future sites around it is Let’s Encrypt which is supported by some major players but also playing ball with the EFF it looks like.  However, if you don’t have control over your terminal on your server and cannot issue commands, I’m not sure that it will work. I’m still investigating.

This tutorial is using Greengeeks cheap shared hosting out of the USA.  I remember having to contacts tech support to making this option available in cpanel so you might have to as well

Download and Install OpenSSL on your Ubuntu machine

I assume it would be this command although it has been a while. might have to search it out if this doesn’t work:

sudo apt-get install openssl

Navigate to a Nice Place with your Terminal and Create a Directory Where Your Certificates will be Stored

I gave these a file name of domain-name-ssl-certs, and I did it in my home directory for speed and ease

sudo mkdir domain-name-ssl-certs

Run the Command to Generate the Certificates

You will need to swap out the directory path in this command to the one that matches where you just created the above directory

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /directory/directory/domain-name-ssl-certs/apache.key -out /directory/directory/domain-name-ssl-certs/apache.crt

It will  ask you to fill out stuff and the most important is this one which links it to your actual domain:

Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []:example.com

Go to Cpanel back end and prepare to paste in some stuff where it should go

If you don’t see the stuff I’m talking about in this section it may be because your hosting company doesn’t want you to know you can do this because they want to sell you a $20 to $50/year ‘real certificate’.  But if you are doing home-based stuff you need not spend.  Make them make this function work or move to a company who will.

In my cpanel it’s under ‘security’ and ‘SSL/TLS’.  Click that.

Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)

Go back to your terminal and open those .key and .crt files with a text editor like nano or gedit

sudo nano apache.crt

Select all the text after the — of ‘begin cert’ and before the — of ‘end certificate’ as follows.

cert-copy-paste

with the control and shift button down hit the ‘c’ button to copy it to the clipboard memory.

Go back to your cPanel and paste it in the certificate field. If you get a warning that it doesn’t match yoru domain it’s because you didn’t enter the domain correctly while you were creating the certificate in the ‘Common name’ step above that I warned you about.  You should see everything as below except the red warning:

cpanel-warning

Go back and Open your Private Key that you generated and Copy/Paste it into your Cpanel

sudo nano apache.key

copy-apache-private-key

control+shift+C it into this window in cPanel

cpanel-private-key-paste

Click ‘install’ and you should be good to go.

Of course you will always get the ‘this website is dangerous’ warning the first time you visit it but whatever.

Hope that helps.  Now to try the same method with ‘let’s encrypt’ and hopefully get rid of the ‘dangerous’ warnings, too!

 

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How to Make Joshua 13-21 Hyper Exciting

Joshua 13-21 is the part of the Bible where God divides the land to the 12 tribes.  I have read this many times and it’s a little… boring. The Word of God ‘boring’???  Sin! Repent!

No.  Some parts of the Word of God are boring.  Of course they are “exciting because it’s the Word of God and God is speaking to you”, but… the content (of some parts) is boring to me. It’s important, but it’s boring.  Like, who wants to read about borders and city names, especially when the map is totally different today?  It’s like how music theory or in-class driving classes are boring and jamming out and driving fast is more fun or… ANYWAY!

I love the Bible and great news! I found a really cool link to make chapters Joshua 13-21 *way more fun*.  Check this map out, zoom in on the details and try to find all the places on this map as you read your Bible.  It’s in Spanish or some etymologically-similar language that I don’t know but the names are pretty close.  And I really love this map because somebody made it *by hand*! Someone must have really loved their Bible and/or found it too boring to read these sections without the visuals. Someone dedicated a *big* part of their life to making *our* Bible time more fun so I’m super thankful:

AWESOME 1759 HAND MADE MAP OF THE DIVISION OF LAND TO 12 TRIBES

Source wikipedia link

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What is Ubuntu: Quick, Technical Summary

Today a friend got mad at me.  He barely can even call me his friend it seems! He is upset at my lack of key understanding, and so he should be.  It is kind of funny that we allow things to control our lives and not even understand the very basic stuff about how they work.  It would be like driving your car and not understanding that there is an engine under the hood of the car that needs gas to burn and the burning gas moves the car…

So I guess he got frustrated today because he took the time to educate me.  In fact, the sharp rebuke educational email course was so good that I decided to blog it out there as the best ever snapshot of what Ubuntu is, on a technical level.

Before reading this, though, also understand that Ubuntu is much more than software and you should read about that before thinking it’s just the technical stuff below.

Without further adieu, the *best ever* Ubuntu technical course I’ve ever taken summarized in a few bullet points!

  • Linux is a kernel.
  • BSD is also a kernel.
  • An OS needs a kernel to “talk” to hardware.
  • Ubuntu is an OS.
  • Therefore, Ubuntu needs a kernel.
  • Ubuntu now has two kernels that can be used: BSD or Linux.
  • Some people think Ubuntu = Linux.
  • The people above are wrong.
  • Computer science courses are useful.
  • A trip to KFC contributes to heart disease.
  • Wayne! What the heck is wrong with you???? (I edited this so kid’s could read it)
  • Read this! http://blog.josephliau.com/ubuntu-challenged-chicken/
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How to Remove or Delete the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

This is part of a series of posts that hopefully will save people a bunch of time.

How to Delete or Remove the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

Important note: if you wait more than 9 seconds between any step below it will automatically go back to home screen and you have to start again, so work those fingers, baby!

  1. Press Menu button
  2. Press 13 on keypad (T-CTCS).  This will bring you to the section of menu where you can edit the tone frequency which will get you into repeaters.
  3. Press menu button again.  This means “I am now editing this part of the menu”. You’ll see a little arrow appear if you have options to see by using the arrow keys.  In this case, a menu will appear because you can toggle between all the tone options.
  4. Toggle with up/down arrows to the setting you want. You can either press the button repeatedly, or press and hold which will turbo-speed you through the frequencies, but what you need to do is get to  *one step above 254HZ* or *one step below 67HZ* which will show the ‘OFF” option.
  5. Press Menu again. This means “I am now saving the settings I edited in step 4. If the voice audio is on you will hear ‘confirm’ which means victory
  6. Press ‘exit’ to get back to the home screen or just wait the 9 seconds or more and it will go there for you automatically

Note for this setting: You will *not* see any indication on your home screen that you have no tone on until you transmit.  When you transmit you will *NOT* see CT lettering appear which means you successfully deleted/removed the tone.

Done! You’ve got rid your tone thingy.

Go to this page for more tutorials as I write them:

RANDOM BAOFENG UV-5R TUTORIALS

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How to Set the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

This is part of a series of posts that hopefully will save people a bunch of time.

How to Set the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

Important note: if you wait more than 9 seconds between any step below it will automatically go back to home screen and you have to start again, so work those fingers, baby!

  1. Press Menu button
  2. Press 13 on keypad (T-CTCS).  This will bring you to the section of menu where you can edit the tone frequency which will get you into repeaters.
  3. Press menu button again.  This means “I am now editing this part of the menu”. You’ll see a little arrow appear if you have options to see by using the arrow keys.  In this case, a menu will appear because you can toggle between all the tone options.
  4. Toggle with up/down arrows to the setting you want. You can either press the button repeatedly, or press and hold which will turbo-speed you through the frequencies.
  5. Press Menu again. This means “I am now saving the settings I edited in step 4. If the voice audio is on you will hear ‘confirm’ which means victory
  6. Press ‘exit’ to get back to the home screen or just wait the 9 seconds or more and it will go there for you automatically

Note for this setting: You will *not* see any indication on your home screen that you have a tone on until you transmit.  When you transmit you will then see a CT lettering appear which means you got the tone saved successfully.

Done! You’ve got your tone thingy all set.

Now, you need my tutorial page below to figure out how to remove that little gaffer because it ain’t that simple!

Go to this page for more tutorials as I write them:

RANDOM BAOFENG UV-5R TUTORIALS

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How to Set the Plus/Minus Offset Duplex Setting for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

This is part of a series of posts that hopefully will save people a bunch of time.

How to Set the Plus/Minus (+/-) Offset Duplex for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

Important note: if you wait more than 9 seconds between any step below it will automatically go back to home screen and you have to start again, so work those fingers, baby!

  1. Press Menu button
  2. Press 25 on keypad.  This will bring you to the section of menu where you can edit whether duplex is + or – (default is 600 by the way).
  3. Press menu button again.  This means “I am now editing this part of the menu”. You’ll see a little arrow appear if you have options to see by using the arrow keys.  In this case, a menu will appear because you can toggle between + , – and blank
  4. Toggle with up/down arrows to the setting you want.
  5. Press Menu again. This means “I am now saving the settings I edited in step 4. If the voice audio is on you will hear ‘confirm’ which means victory
  6. Press ‘exit’ to get back to the home screen or just wait the 9 seconds or more and it will go there for you automatically

Done! You’ve got your offset duplex thing all set.

Go to this page for more tutorials as I write them:

RANDOM BAOFENG UV-5R TUTORIALS

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How to Quickly Manually Program a Frequency in Baofeng UV-5R

This will be a series of posts that hopefully will save people a bunch of time.

How to Simply Manually Punch in a Frequency

 

  1. push VFO/MR orange button to make sure it’s in ‘frequency mode’, not in ‘channel mode’.  If you have the voice feature on (on by default) the girl will tell you which mode you are in.  Push it again to check if you aren’t sure and cycle through the two options
  2. Punch in all the numbers in frequency but don’t forget the last number.  146.55 for example you would punch in as 146550

Done! You’ve got your frequency.

But you might not have your tone or your offset frequency.  To deal with those bad boys, try:

HOW TO SET THE OFFSET FREQUENCY FOR REPEATER USE IN BAOFENG UV-5R

and…

HOW TO SET THE TONE FOR REPEATER USE IN BAOFENG UV-5R

 

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Church Worship Music: The Good, Bad, Ugly, Right, and Wrong

Music – it’s just so personal.

Musical Theory Crash Course – What is Music?

Let’s, for a second talk about music on a secular (wordly) level.  It’s composed of melody, harmony and rhythm.  Theoretically, then, a computer can write a song by adding all of these elements in some way and create ‘music’.  And computers can and do this. On a secular level, it’s actually pretty good. So let’s be clear that music can also be 100% impersonal.

Genres are really just a ‘tendency’ of one or more of the three components above to follow similar patterns.  I happen to really like reggae as a genre and the reason is syncopation or ‘off beat’ rhythms.  Instead of a typical rock beat which goes:

one-and-TWO-and-three-and-FOUR-and

reggae goes:

one-AND-two-AND-three-AND-four-AND

So ‘reggae’ would follow a ‘tendency’ to do that or similar rhythm and would therefore be considered a ‘reggae rhythm’.  There are, of course, other elements like the place where the bass comes in which is so different from standard rock as well.

And don’t think that church music is without genres and this is part of the discussion of this blog post.  But if you were to step back there are two major ‘church genres’: the hymn and what Koreans call ‘CCM’ or what English speaking countries tend to call ‘Praise & Worship Music’.  Now, on that topic, let’s start this blog with some FUN!  Because I’m all about fun whenever possible, even if people get upset.

The Ugly

Note before clicking: do *NOT* go to the red URL because it seems to go to some very potentially *bad* places, although I haven’t researched nor will I.

Is it possible to make worse music for God?  It’s music like this that has turned a lot of people away from Jesus I think! What the heaven genre is this?  “Mullet Praise”?  Dear God have mercy…

Let’s stick with this fun theme and watch another one, shall we?

Note before clicking: Based on my own research I cannot support Amazon (who owns Audible) or Facebook, so please do not support what he is selling until you have done your own due diligence.

How to write a perfect “Praise and Worship Song” (CCM):

This same guy made this similarly funny video.

The Problem with Christian Bands

 

But this topic of music is not actually that ‘funny’ in the church.  I heard a statistic that I have never been willing to research myself but that I believed immediately upon hearing which went like this: “Music is the number one cause of all church splits”.  As soon as I heard it, I believed.

When I became a disciple of Jesus I was coming from a rock and roll garage band kind of background.  I was the typical teen with the guitar and amp and even made a little headway with our little band.  Although music was, before I met Jesus, my god and idol, when I came to the church I realized that music was still important.  Ever since then, and it has been over 20 years now, I have wanted to take a deeper look at what music is, what it should be, and why it’s so impacting.  This blog post is supposed to just whet the whistle on the topic and hopefully spur some comments from people around me and out there so that I can build on the study and leave something useful out there for the body of Christ.

We’ve had some laughs, we’ve drunk some milk, but now let’s get into the meat (even though I’m trying to be a vegetarian).  A Korean sister in the Lord found this video.  I searched both high and low trying to find it in English because a) I want to know who this dude is so I can give him some credit and b) I desperately want to watch part 2 of this series.  Anyway, if you speak either English or Korea, this video should be amazingly beneficial to you on this topic.  If you know who this guy is, please throw some comments below and let me know:

Details about music, genres, right, wrong, harmony, melody, rhythm as it pertains to the church and worship

 

But for me, it didn’t stop there.  There is more to discuss.  Here is a good video to watch where a hip hop reggae Christian artist dude asks a very important and personal question: Why do some churches reject his music?  Please watch especially the response from Ravi Zacharias at the end.

Why do some churches reject my music genre?

 

The first speaker answers with a very bold and, in my opinion overly generalized way when he said ‘If you reject a certain kind of music there is something wrong with you.”  I totally disagree.  There may be very good reasons to reject a certain kind or genre of music as we shall hopefully study over the next few months as I find time.

He also mentions the idea that ‘you can reach people with music’ and his implication is therefore ‘so you should use music as a tool to reach people’.  I am now of the opinion that this is a very dangerous position to take because I agree that music is, at the very roots, a tool: a tool of expression of the soul, a motivation tool, a tool of influence, a tool of worship, and many more applications.  But if a tool is powerful, the person using the tool must understand what the tool is, the benefits and dangers of the tool, the right and wrong time to use the tool, and essentially be well grounded in the usage of said tool.  To just throw a ‘Christian band’ in front of your church and ask people to participate in whatever they lead you to do is, in my opinion, opening yourself up to some problems.  Refer to the ‘Problems with Christian Bands’ video above.

I believe that Ravi’s answer was more grounded and has within it the core issues that need to be addressed when discussing music.

Music is the Language of the Soul

Ravi said ‘Music is the language of the soul’ – and how correct he is.  But this brings us to the most fundamental problem in the church today: no one knows what the soul is, let alone that there is a difference between the soul and the spirit!  To get immediately educated on the topic, I recommend that you go and buy Watchman Nee’s “The Spiritual Man”.  I regret so deeply that I had this book on my shelf for nearly 20 years and never opened it until now.  Now and only now things are starting to make sense in the world as this teaching of body, soul, and spirit comes alive.

What is the Soul?

As a quick snap shot, the soul is composed of the mind, the will, and the emotions.  Simple as that. But as it pertains to music, you will note that *unsaved sinners* all have a mind, a will and emotions!  And herein lies the greatest danger – what is the *spirit* behind the music?  Is the person leading you into worship even saved?  Are they born again?  Are you sure?  Or, are they leading you down a pathway to *their soul*?  And who is the master of their soul?  Is it Jesus?  Do you know?  Are you sure?

I’m not going to pretend to scratch the surface of this topic but I hope that up to now I have spurned some ideas and that we will be able to walk down a very deep path towards truth on this topic of music in the church and in worship.

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