I was updating my network to use a different subnet and realized that the last time I did that, my HP printer stopped working because a lot of the network drivers set the IP address into the printer settings.
So I figured that maybe I would need to update the printer’s IP address on my Mac. I looked at the printer settings and didn’t see anything that might work.
I support a web application that is hosted on a virtual private server. The application architecture is JavaEE running under GlassFish on CentOS.
Like most ISP’s, my hosting provider builds vanilla Linux boxes that can be configured with various flavors of the OS.
Out of the box these images have their timezone set to UTC, and since my end users are in California, and I’m not doing anything on the client to handle timezone conversion, the times that come up in the application are off by 7 or 8 hours (depending on whether it’s Daylight Savings time or not. Continue reading →
I was setting up a temporary WordPress site for a client as a placeholder for their business. All they wanted was their logo, a link to an existing product page, and a message about the site being under construction.
Since they were going to have some design ready shortly, I set them up with a WordPress site, and found a simple theme (Decode by Scott Smith) that their logo would work with.
The owner then told me she wanted to see the site running with SSL (aka HTTPS), so I grabbed a certificate and installed it.
First step is to log in to the cPanel, which is typically at some arbitrary port on your server, and log in with your admin credentials. If you go to the right URL, you’ll be prompted with something like:
Type in your user name and password, click the “Log In” button, and you’ll see the cPanel home screen. In my case I see something like:
So, just like any WP installation, the first thing you need is a database, so you look for the Database Wizard (in the Databases section):
This will bring up the Wizard which will ask you for a name. In this case I’m creating a test wordpress, so I type in “WP_test” just so I know which DB I’m using. This can really be anything, just has to be unique.
If you’re on a shared host (which I am) this name gets prepended with your admin account name (this is how the server knows which databases belong to you and keeps you from seeing other people’s database schemas).
Going to the next step, you’ll be asked to create the database users. Again this can be anything, but also needs to be unique to the schema you’re creating. At this point the database has been created, but there are no users. The user name also gets prefixed with the account on a shared host system:
You can give the user any name and password you want, you will need those along with the database name once you are ready to fire up WordPress. I believe it is possible to use the same user for multiple databases by skipping this step and manually adding them to the newly minted database later instead, but it’s probably not the most secure way to set up access.
In my particular setup, I want to attach this new WordPress to a specific host name, so the next thing I do is my Subdomains panel in order to create the directory and tell Apache where to send the users. The default behavior is for the directory to be a folder under public_html with the same name as the subdomain, so in my case “WPtest” causes a folder named /public_html/WPtest to be created:
In my case I prefer to keep them separate physically, so I remove the “public_html/” part and call the folder something more meaningful. Depending on your setup, you may also need to add this new host name to DNS, although for testing you don’t even need that (more on this later).
The next thing to do is to get the latest WordPress binary and upload it to the newly created folder, which you can do using the cPanel folder manager:
I next see a popup that asks me where I want the File Manager to start, so I pick my new subdomain:
In reality it displays all of your folders, just starts up opened to that particular one which might save you a click or two. At the top of the file manager, you’ll see the menu bar where you can choose “Upload”:
You’ll get the typical button to choose the file with, and a status bar that will tell you when the upload is complete:
Once it is uploaded, go back to the file manager and with the file selected, click the “Extract” icon, or right click on the file and choose that option:
You can actually choose to extract it somewhere other than where you uploaded it, which could be useful for creating multiple copies or updating WordPress into multiple folders:
Now this ends up creating a wordpress folder under the one where you really want it, so I do a bit of cleanup that involves moving the contents of that folder up one level. I use the File Manager’s drag and drop to move the files, and then delete the empty folders and zip as shown in this video:
After that, the rest of the configuration is a standard WordPress setup through the browser (see: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress#Famous_5-Minute_Install)
Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
When I first came to the PMI SFBAC board, we had a serious problem with continuity: The entire board was elected every year, and terms were limited to two, which meant there was little chance of any vision longer than a year being accomplished. In addition, the board was a working board, meaning each of the board members also wore an operational hat, which led to some odd silos within our volunteer organization.
Every year, we’d have an executive retreat and work on what the strategic goals of the organization should be. And the next year, a new board (often with little point of reference for the prior vision) would come in and do the same thing.
The board would try to apply PMBOK best practices to the organization, and implement things like PMO’s, only to have to end up starting afresh as we experienced another complete rebuild every couple of years.
I know we recognized continuity as a problem, and had a few things in place to help mitigate that problem, but the reality was, we had no real fix until we were introduced to Policy Governance® and combined that with another brilliant concept for our key roles: triplets.
Triplets was a concept that came out of some work we did trying to solve the problem of human capital in a volunteer organization. The issue was that we’d find a volunteer who was really good at something, and then for various reasons they’d be ready to move on. We’d scramble to find a replacement, often leaving the board member to do the work left behind for some time.
We also had this odd arrangement where the President was also the CEO and chair of the board, which meant the direction of the organization often changed completely when a new president was elected.
Because we’re a volunteer organization, accomplishments are a bit more difficult than they are in a commercial organization. Work is done on a part-time basis by people who have other more important things to do (like make sure the bills are paid). And since they work on something only occasionally, it often actually takes more person hours to accomplish (since setup tasks often have to be repeated, and simple tasks like turning on the computer are a larger percentage of time spent when you only have a couple of hours).
So the triplet idea was to assign three people to every job. This didn’t necessarily resolve the problem of losing key people, but it did at least ensure we had a candidate when one of our volunteers suddenly found a new job and could no longer do what they’d been helping with.
Moving the operational work to the CEO, freed the board to focus on guiding the organization. It also separated the volunteers from any turnover in the board, since they no longer reported to a board member directly.
When we adopted Policy Governance®, we learned that it was important to have a Chief Governance Officer to keep us on the track as we began the shift from working board to leading board, and that was the role to which I was appointed.
The CGO has two main roles: acting as the chair of the board which requires being assertive holding the rest of the board accountable to policy in order to speak with one voice, and secondly to interact with the board’s one employee (the CEO).
This video of an interview with John Carver will give you some idea of what we needed to consider in naming someone as CGO.
Please join me in congratulating the new board on a great choice for the new CGO, and congratulate Athens on showing the type of leadership that inspired her to be the clear choice.
In our first years with Policy Governance® we’ve managed to rewrite the bylaws, expand the size of the board, and create a more sustainable organization. With the help of our owners (the membership, the legal and moral owners of PMI SFBAC), we crafted our global ends statement (our guiding policy):
PMI-SFBAC members, people who live and work in Northern California, and virtual beneficiaries experience a continually improving standard of living, stability, a sense of community, self-esteem and self-actualization. These Ends will be achieved in a sustainable manner that represents value for the resources invested.
With this in mind, we’ve been able to focus on making the volunteer work more meaningful and useful in your professional life, and continue to build on sustainability. We’ve managed to increase what we are delivering, while driving down costs AND making our programs more accessible and valuable.
Thanks to the hard work of our CEO, Malika Malika, and her staff of volunteers, we have a growing volunteer operation and a sound financial statement, and solid reserves to carry us into the future.
In the coming years, we will continue the work of making sure the goals we are working toward are the right ones for the membership (you, our legal and moral owners), refine our policies, and continue to improve on what value that we can deliver together.
So here’s the board’s ask of you: take a moment to consider volunteering. We always have needs at all levels of the organization, the board is looking for people who want to learn more about servant leadership, and Malika has a variety of opportunities where you can help out and stretch your skills.