Recently in Web/html/Apache Category

So, many years ago when this site started, I needed a Dynamic DNS provider, and after some searching I decided to go with Sitelutions.com, and they continue to be an excellent provider of this service. Unfortunately, some months back they changed their policy on how low of a TTL (Time To Live) value could be set, this value controls when previously looked up data expires, and much be looked up again in order to stay current. I was in the process of upgrading my router, and as a result picked up a new IP address, and after encountering an issue had to switch back to my old router, using my old IP address. Unfortunately, I couldn't set a low enough TTL value via Sitelutions to keep up with these changes, and my site was effectively offline on the new router.

Some renewed searching led me to DNSexit.com, another free provider of this service, and they not only allow low TTL values (as low as 2 minutes), but actually encourage this for dynamic IPs.

They also provide Domain Name registration, hosting, and a variety of other services. I strongly recommend them.

As I mentioned last week, I've been working on upgrading my system from 10.5.7 to 10.6.3, performing as clean of an install as possible to clear out years of crud under the hood. I've wrapped up the last of my upgrades, and am up and running on a freshly built system.

The only real hiccup was with the Postfix compile, once that was sorted, everything else was fairly straightforward, simply a matter of grabbing all of the various packages to make everything here run, run through all the necessary compiles, then finally transfer over various changed files since the last copy.

Here is a list of the software currently installed for mail and web services:

Xcode 3.2.2
PHP 5.3.1 (10.6 built in version)
Apache 2.2.14 (10.6 built in version)
MySQL 5.1.45
Postfix 2.7
Dovecot 1.2.11
Cluebringer 2.0.10 (Policyd 2.0)
PCRE 8.0
DBI 1.609
DBD-mysql 4.014
Net-Server 0.97
Net-CIDR 0.13
Config-IniFiles 2.57
Cache-FastMmap 1.35

Initially I needed to copy the etc/postfix directory to preserve configuration files when installing the new Postfix,also copied over /var/mail to bring over the mail stores used by Postfix/Dovecot, and a handful of other config files, /Library/Webserver for the web pages.

To get Apache running, there were some simple edits to enable the built in PHP, and setting up the correct vhosts again; I hand edited the files to match the old config to keep from introducing any unneeded changes.

I think that the only real surprise was that there weren't more surprises. I now have everything running in 64 bit mode on the new server, with the exception of some 3rd party apps. Sweet.

In my web searching recently, I came across DIYMacServer, a site who's focus is all about running Postfix, Apache, PHP, Dovecot, and related code on the Mac. There are numerous articles about each software update that comes down the line, and the author, Richard Valk, does a great job at documenting everything he can about changes each update brings, and how it effects his system.

It's upgrade time again here, and I've made the decision to set up a brand new system on the Mac Mini here. The current system originally started out under 10.3, was then upgraded to 10.4, then 10.5, and also saw at least one hardware switch in there. While fairly stable, I know there's a lot of crud under the hood left over from all the various installs, upgrades, and software changes. So, I'm setting up a new server completely from scratch on Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.3. I've set up a spare Mini for this work, so I can have both systems up and running simultaneously.

Recently I was working on a web page that used several chained menus for selecting data in a form. We've all seen the type, pull down one menu, select a value, pick something from the next menu, maybe make a selection from yet a 3rd menu before you're done with just that one bit. There had to be a better way...

The thought of using optgroup tags to build a hierarchical select was thrown out, mainly because Safari's rendering of these basically just creates one big long list, with only slight formatting. What I needed was unordered list style menu, such as what many sites use for managing their menus and links. The issue, though, was that I could find no samples of this type of menu being used in a web form, so off I went into unexplored territory.

After a few days of research, trial, and plenty of error, I finally came up with something that fit the bill.

Some time in the past, during an upgrade to the MySQL software here, I somehow missed a step and didn't upgrade privileges properly, and after upgrading to PHP 5.3, have now finally gotten the dreaded 'mysqlnd cannot connect to MySQL 4.1+ using old authentication' error when launching phpmyadmin. A lot of googling failed to identify an easy fix, but did yield a few clues.

Some time back, MySQL expanded the 'user' table of the 'mysql' database to allow for longer password hashes. But it seems that new hashes weren't generated, and the shorter hashes were still in place for those old user accounts So, ultimately, the fix was simple, just reset the passwords for the old user accounts, using the same passwords, which would update the hash to the new longer version.

If in doubt, the following MySQL commands will show the critical fields:

mysql> use mysql
mysql> select host, user, password from user;

This will show the above fields, the shorter password hashes are 16 bytes long, the newer version is 41 bytes in length. All you need to do is update any of the shorter ones and you're done!

To recap my recent upgrades here, I was transitioning my old web/mail server from a G4 box running OS 10.4 to a new Mac Mini running OS X 10.5. Funny that I wrote about using a Mini as a server back in 2005, and I'm only now finally getting around to putting one in here...

So, the basic process here was shutting down Postfix, then using Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my existing server to the Mac Mini (booted in Target Disk Mode), then rebooting the Mini into the Mac OS X 10.5 Installer. The Installer had absolutely no problems upgrading a PPC version of OS 10.5 to an Intel OS running 10.5, which was great. I really did not want to do a clean install, which would have been more of a hassle in converting mail files and other lower level items.

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