COVID-19, new water heater, WordPress annoyances, Zoom meetings, oh my

Wow a lot of stuff has happened since my last post. I’m still catching up; but, I didn’t want to go too long without pointing out I’m still alive.

COVID-19: John Hopkins University has some computer science students who are doing data gathering and mapping that on to ArcGIS. The web page works as a status report of where we are today. Thanks to Ars Technica for the original article.

Today, Italy went over the 10,000 dead mark.

New Water Heater: I went two weeks without hot water. I am grateful this was before COVID-19, because I used my gym membership for my daily hot shower. In fact, a friend of mine, way back when, pointed out that if you ever go homeless, a gym membership is a way to stay human for around $20 per month.

And now the gyms are closed due to COVID-19. Well that hurts the homeless even more.

The whole water heater debacle deserves a post of it’s own, so I will do that, later.

WordPress Annoyances: there are things that don’t work, and, the WordPress Support Forums are a mass of dead and empty posts of people asking for help. Other forms of help don’t seem to be, either.

I want to migrate between sites, and from single-site to multisite, but man this stuff just does not work.

Zoom Meetings: Man oh man, I wish I had listened to my stock picking guys when they said Zoom was the new hotness in video conferencing over the Internet. Zoom stock price has nearly doubled since then. And now, even I use Zoom, and I know of three people who signed up to pay a monthly subscription. By the way, Discord is pretty cool, too.

Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves that they couldn’t leverage their leadership with Skype and Teams into being the industry leader. Of course Google had a shot way back when with Hangouts, too. Google though is just kind of a big failure to get anything done since merging with Doubleclick and abandoning the whole “Don’t be evil” motto.

New site steps

Note this is for a new WordPress Multisite

  • Log into AWS Management Console
  • Lightsail Create a new instance (Linux, WordPress Multisite)
  • Create a new static IP address
  • Assign the static IP address to the new instance.
  • Buy a new domain name (if I don’t have one available) – in this case,
  • Update DNS with the new static IP address
  • ssh – i path-to-pem-file-for-AWS-instances
  • Make Ubuntu like OpenSUSE
  • Log out, and log back in (get the benefits of pageup for history search, and .. as the cd .. alias)
  • cd /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress
  • sudo ./bnconfig --machine_hostname
  • sudo mv bnconfig bnconfig.disabled
  • sudo apt upgrade
  • sudo init 6
  • wait for reboot to finish
  • ssh – i path-to-pem-file-for-AWS-instances
  • sudo /opt/bitnami/bncert-tool

At this point, I get a warning:

Warning: Custom redirections are not supported in the Bitnami WordPress Multisite Stack. This tool will not be able to enable/disable redirections.
Press [Enter] to continue:

An updated version is available. Would you like to download it? You would need to run it manually later. [Y/n]:

sudo /opt/bitnami/bncert-tool

Welcome to the Bitnami HTTPS Configuration tool.


Please provide a valid space-separated list of domains for which you wish to configure your web server.

Domain list []:

The following domains were not included: Do you want to add them? [Y/n]:

The interesting thing here is that (if I’m interpreting things correctly) that WordPress Multisite really does not want one of the subdomains to be – yet here, Bitnami, through the Let’s Encrypt really does want one of the domains to be www

I hit <Enter> which signifies yes

Changes to perform

The following changes will be performed to your Bitnami installation:

  1. Stop web server
  2. Configure web server to use a free Let’s Encrypt certificate for the domains:
  3. Configure a cron job to automatically renew the certificate each month
  4. Configure web server name to:
  5. Start web server once all changes have been performed

Do you agree to these changes? [Y/n]:

I hit <Enter> which signifies yes

Create a free HTTPS certificate with Let’s Encrypt

Please provide a valid e-mail address for which to associate your Let’s Encrypt certificate.

Domain list:

Server name:

E-mail address []:

I put in my personal email address

The Let’s Encrypt Subscriber Agreement can be found at:

Do you agree to the Let’s Encrypt Subscriber Agreement? [Y/n]:

I hit <Enter> which signifies yes

And after a bit of work, the configuration of my new web site to be SSL protected is complete.