Hosting Your WordPress Blog with DigitalOcean – Part 1 – The Droplet

Welcome to the, “Hosting Your WordPress Blog with DigitalOcean” series. This is part 1, “The Droplet”

The first thing you might be asking is, “What in the world is a ‘droplet'”? Well, friends, that’s easy. A ‘droplet’ is what DigitalOcean calls one of their cloud servers.

Before we can create our droplet, we need to create an account with DigitalOcean. I’m not going to walk you through that part, its very trivial. You will need to either add a credit card to your account, or make a one-time payment with Paypal. The credit card you add will be billed automatically, whereas, if you use Paypal, you will need to make those payments manually.

Once you have your account, and can log in, look for the big green “Create Droplet” button

On the next page you are presented with the options for your new droplet. We’ll start at the top and work our way down.

First, is the droplet name – I generally like to use the domain name I’m going to assign to (eventually) assign to it.

Next up is the size of the droplet. I generally start with the “$10/mo” option:

Next up is the region you want the server to be located in. I am in the US, so I generally pick one nearest me :)

The next section allows you to pick an OS image to use as a baseline configuration. The thing I always change here, is to switch to the “Applications” tab (instead of “Distributions”) and select “WordPress on XX.XX” (where XX.XX is the current base OS image)

The final section is for some add-on settings DigitalOcean can add to your droplet, and the ability to add SSH keys (to keep this as short as possible, I am skipping these sections – you can configure SSH keys later)

With everything filled out, click the big green, “Create Droplet” button at the bottom!

You’ll be presented, now, with a progress screen – note that it doesn’t take long to get all of this up and running!

Once its done, you’ll be navigated to the droplet page, and you should also receive an email with the root password.

Here’s a video I took of the process, as well, 2x speed:

This ends part 1 of the series. Stay tuned for the next part, where we’ll do some configuration through the console/Linux to get our WordPress installation up and running!

Hosting Your WordPress Blog with DigitalOcean – Part 0

I’m going to start a new multi-part series on standing up (and more specifically, how I stood up mine) a WordPress blog using DigitalOcean.

Most of the setup is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things that got me during the process, and I kept having to search for articles on how to resolve them. Now, I was able to find the answers to everything I needed, but things might be a lot easier in the future if I were to have all the answers right here.

So, stay tuned for “part 1″ – starting a new droplet!

Remove DRM From Google Play Music

I purchase all of my music through Google Play, and I primarily use their web application to listen to it. As a precaution, I also use the Music Manager application to keep a local backup of all of this music on my NAS.

Recently, I wanted to switch to a new Google Account because I was changing primary email addresses. Before doing this, I made sure the music manager had downloaded any purchased music to my NAS because I will be deleting the old Google Account permanently.

Once I had verified the music had been downloaded, I logged out in the Music Manager application, and logged in under my new account. At this point, I had to wait for ALL of my music to be re-uploaded to Google’s servers.

After the music had uploaded, there were 17 songs that could not be uploaded because I had purchased them under a different account. (Apparently not of all the music contains DRM?)

You can see the error in the troubleshooter – “Song was purchased with another Google Play account”

A little digging led me understand that Google hides their DRM in a hidden ID3 tag that is not easily removable by conventional means. This digging, however, also led me to a Python utility that could do it – and so, into the world of Python.

First, I had to install Python, which was dead easy –
*Note: I am on a Windows machine, and the utility I will show you apparently requires version 2.7 of Python, so get that one :)

During the installation, I let the installer add python.exe to my PATH variable.

Once the installation was complete, I launched a command prompt and installed ‘eyeD3‘ using pip:

Now, navigate to your music directory (mine is on my NAS, mapped to my computer as “M:”)

Execute one simple command, and let it run (depending on how much music you have, it could take a while)
python -m eyed3.main --remove-frame PRIV ./

You should now see a lot of text flowing through your console output. That’s eyeD3 doing its thing. Let it run. Go grab a snack.

Once completed, the Google Music Manager picked up on the fact that the files had changed on disk, and started to re-upload them – without error I might add!

Celebrating One Year at Heuristics

I realized earlier that today marks my one year anniversary at Heuristic Solutions (thanks, Facebook ‘On this day’ :-) ).

My time at Heuristics has definitely been a game changer for me. Being able to work alongside Seth Petry-Johnson and Matthew Groves has proved beneficial beyond my imagination. To say, “I’ve learned a lot”, would be an oversimplification of the amount of knowledge I’ve gained over the past year, but that’s the easiest way to put it – I truly have learned a lot.

What does the next year hold?

Hard to say for sure. I would imagine a ton of new lines of code for LearningBuilder and more learnin’.

Outside of that, surprise me.