Help with a few projects

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Tue Dec 12 20:05:12 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

My name is Ulysses Harmony Garcia. My web site is I heard about I heard about 
this mailing list through a Facebook post.
   For several years, I've been trying to figure out what kind of 
services I
   could use to satisfy my needs. In the early 2010's, I looked into shared
   hosting plans, but the more I looked at them, the more I didn't like 
them because I wanted to be able to have full
   control of the server. All they let you use is a public HTML folder 
and an FTP server port 21 or 990 for secure connections, and a web-based 
administration tool like Webmin or C-Panel. So I continued using Dropbox 
to host my web site. The only problem was that I had to use an http 
colon slash slash dl dot dropboxusercontent dot com slash u slash 
xxxxxxxx slash index dot html to render it, which is a pretty long link, 
but at least it worked.

Four years later, I looked into the cloud, SSD, and dedicated
   VPS options. By asking around, I heard of several different choices 
such as Linode,
   Vultr, Digital Ocean, OVH, and through a diary entry I had made back in
   2014, VPS dot Next, I had to learn about which operating system I 
would most likely
   use for the server. Since 2005, I have primarily used Windows,
   and I started using a Mac in 2011. I have never used Linux, and I
   probably chose to stay away from it because I associated Linux as an
   operating system only computer geeks would use. So when I was looking 
for a
   VPS, I was lucky to find a Windows server on vps dot net. However, 
when I told others
   about it, many people acted like that was a crime, or that it was
   impractical to use Windows as a server, and that 99.99% of the web was
   hosted by Linux, which was meant to be used as a server operating 
   I've done most of the work on my own. I first began with a Windows
   virtual private server at VPS dot net, but I was not able to set
   up the web server, database server and PHP to work on-line, except
   through Localhost. I wasn't able to use Internet Information Services
   IIS either, so I gave up on it and cancelled my server. Fortunately, 
I kept my
   account active, so I could come back to it when I wasn't overwhelmed. 
I even tried enabling Internet Information Services on my Windows 10 
computer by using the enable or disables Windows features. I checked 
every one of them, but when I typed localhost in the connect to computer 
dialogue box, I got this message. IIS6 Manager  dialogue  Unable to 
connect to localhost. The target server does not have the SMTP service 
installed. You cannot manage an IIS 7.5 Web or FTP server by using 
Internet Information Services (6.0) Manager.
   As primarily being an extroverted person, I get energy from working with
   other people rather than working alone, yet for some reason, I've
   encountered a lot of people who think that being too dependent on others
   was a bad thing, that being completely independent was the best way to
   go. I disagree with that. I mean, I can see why some people wouldn't
   want to be too dependent on others for fear of taking too much of
   someone's time or being too clingy, etc, or taking advantage of said
   person, but I also believe that there needs to be a balance in helping
   others and being self-reliable. This is where interdependence comes 
in. Manuals are never straightforward. You can follow the directions in 
the manual as exactly outlined and end up with error messages. Even 
googling error messages can't guarantee that you will get a quick 
solution. Having said that, I have joined a few community forums and 
posted these error messages, but never received replies.
   Back in July, I contacted a few people I know who were successfully 
   the popular content management system WordPress, and asked if they could
   help out. One person, whose name I won't mention, said they could set up
   my web site, if I could provide $300/hr USD and that it was estimated to
   take four hours to set up to where I wanted it to be. Now, this person
   is also blind. What I do not understand is how someone who may be
   knowledgeable about supplemental security income could decide to charge
   such a high price to set up something simple, and that is
   semi-automated, and easy to install. I wrote a reply, and didn't hear
   back for a month. I re-sent my reply and was told that if I wanted to
   continue with the route that I choose, I would have to go on Bookshare
   or BARD to download books on Windows server hosting, and that I had
   sufficient resources on the Audio Games net forum to start.
   so in September, I finally found a fellow who turned out to be someone I
   knew by reputation, and he offered to spend his free time in helping me
   out, especially since he has had plenty of experience in working with
   virtual private servers and web hosting. If you ask him how he liked 
working with me, he might tell you that I learn things pretty quickly 
once I get to actually learning the steps live on Skype or phone. I also 
record my sessions so I can look back and see what I did. By that time, 
I was a little
   more knowledgeable in talking to others on this topic. Look at post four.  I 
told my new friend a little bit of what I've hoped to accomplish, and 
what I
   have done so far, and how much experience I've already had. In 2010
   through 2013, I worked on building an HTML 4.1 and 5 project in high
   school using Notepad, and in 2013, I used CSS 3 to enhance it when I
   took a college class in web development. In mid July of 2013, I got
   myself a WordPress blog up and running, which has been since taken down.
   I decided to export this blog and import it into the self-hosted
   version, and I was able to successfully link up all of my web pages 
to a podcast generator and the WordPress system.

Right now we are sort of stuck on where to go, since I already have a
   basic HTML site with no scripts on my Ubuntu VPS, a TeamTalk server
   running, and hopefully an IceCast or ShoutCast server for streaming. 
I heard that you can get
   an e-mail provider through Google Aps and install their mail exchange
   and text verification records, but they are quite costly, and I don't
   know if you'd have to install anything on Ubuntu to make sure the PHP
   contact forms worked properly. By following several guides on Linode 
and Digital Ocean, I was able to install Postfix and S-Nail, but I keep 
getting error messages when I am trying to send a message as a test.
I also got an account through Cloudflare, and if you were to do a user $ 
dig +short or root# dig +short you'd see instead of my actual 
server's IP address. If you tried using that directly, it'd say, 
Cloudflare direct IP access not allowed. This is to keep attackers from 
finding out what my server's IP address is. If they tried doing a who is 
on my domain, they'd see a privacy protect dot org notice instead of my 

Also, I really couldn't understand how C-Panel and Webmin administration 
tools worked until my friend showed me how he used the terminal on his 
Cent OS VPS to install it. It sort of reminded me of PHP My Admin. You 
simply put :2083, :2087, or :2086 at the end of your domain.

I also installed Certbot which uses Lets Encrypt. At the moment I can't 
seem to figure out how to force traffic to be automatically redirected 
to https(443) instead of http(80). But now since I'm using Cloudflare, 
I'm not sure if that will be necessary.

   Once I get more advanced, and raised my income through Amazon
   Associates and stripe payments, I'd like to install a phone box or 
PBX using Asterisk as well. Note that I am running PHP 7. My friend and 
I tried installing Free PBX, but it doesn't seem to like it, so we had 
to give it up temporarily, at least until they release the newer version.

On a more interesting topic, I don't know if any of you are into speech 
synthesis that can sing. I am very much into singing synthesis and have 
spent quite a bit of time with DECtalk and Vocaloid. I recently got 
interested in learning how to use Festival and make my own speech 
synthesiser. If you look at post 57 of this thread, you can see where I 
am at right now.
So having said that, might any of you be able to help me resolve this 
mail problem with Postfix and S-Nail? I keep getting a debug error.

Also, for some annoying reason which my friend and I have not been able 
to determine, I cannot install plug-ins or update WordPress directly. It 
wants to access my web server through FTP or FTPS, and I don't have one 
properly configured. I tried changing all file and folder permissions to 
7777 recursively, but I am still unable to update and install plug-ins 
automatically. If any of you are able to help me with that as well I 
would greatly appreciate it.

Anyhow, I apologise for this lengthy e-mail, but hopefully that gives
   you all an idea of what I've done so far and where I'd like to go 
next. :-)

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