Create a Web Server with Digital Ocean

Estimated Completion Time: 1 Hour | Difficulty: Beginner


With the web constantly expanding it is important to learn the basics and demonstrate our abilities to help the web grow. Having a web server for development or personal reasons can provide a quality of life of the administrators.
I have found Digital Ocean to be a great host for a VPS and they simplify the process immensely. I will be showing you how to create an account and VPS with Digital Ocean, how to configure the VPS to act as a web host, and finally how to use your web host to work for you. We will be using the LAMP (Linux, Apache2, Mysql, and PHP) stack to develop this server. LAMP will give us access to a web server with Apache2, a database connection with Mysql, and server-side processing with PHP.

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Project Reflection – Mint Coffee Bar

Project Link

What was the goal?

The goal of this project was to create a responsive, static webpage for a fictional business using the bootstrap framework with minimal javascript code. The focus was to deliver respectable load times and keep the website lite. I purposely limited the project to a single page to challenge myself with keeping all necessary information on one page but displaying it in a design that works.

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Rewiring the Network Rack


The Beginning

As the new guy it isn’t uncommon to be thrown at tedious and laborious, but necessary tasks. One of these tasks happens to be the untangling of a spaghetti mess of a network rack. Although it was before my time at Linemaster, I am sure the rack once looked manageable… maybe. As time progresses and network changes are made, network racks, unfortunately, start to look disastrous.

The past few months my company went through with a large network upgrade. We purchased new storage, implemented higher bandwidth, and resubnetted our entire network. These three changes alone would be more than enough to make a mess of the network rack. Let me be the first to say, the first time I saw the network rack I knew it would eventually be my responsibility to clean it up. That statement may have a negative connotation, but in reality, I was kind of looking forward to a fresh start. Maybe I’m a sick person.

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The Trip to Minnesota

I am the newer guy in the department as I was hired on as a temporary intern while I was finishing my studies at my local community college. My manager offered me to stick around and work full time hourly. I happily accepted the offer as I knew this would help develop my skills and I love what I did. A few months of hard work after being offered full-time, the IT Manager offered me to stay on his team permanently as salaried. I was astonished. I always knew this day would come and I’m thrilled to see my work paid for itself.

It started a couple months ago when my IT Manager brought up the idea of a couple of us attending the Infor TechEd conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have been with Linemaster for less than a year so I knew my chances of going to TechEd was slim. Fortunately, this conference was educational and was designed for developers to learn more about their product, Syteline. Sooner than later I was asked if I would be interested in traveling to attend this event, which I happily accepted. I consider that moment a milestone in my life – my first business trip.

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Creating a Central Logging Server with Nxlog and Kiwi Syslog


Earlier this year I was tasked with the project of creating a central logging server within our domain environment. The idea behind this is to have all of our server’s logs forwarded to one central server that will store, parse, and archive the logs. Through research, I found many different solutions. One of the best solutions happened to be the ELK stack by elastic. Although this solution is very pretty and offers heavy-duty log parsing abilities, I decided to take a different route with something more simple. I eventually stumbled across nxlog, which is a small application that runs as a service and ships logs from a source and repeats them to a destination of your choosing.

Once I had nxlog configured to ship logs to my central logging server, I went searching for a solid product that will display these logs and manage them automatically. I came across Kiwi Syslog Server created by SolarWinds which worked perfectly well for my task. The program is, unfortunately, a paid product, but does some heavy lifting. It has the ability to store all the syslog traffic, archive and compress the old logs, and send notifications through email/text/or SNMP. Within a couple of hours of designing and configuring this project, I was able to complete everything necessary to no longer worry about my logs.


Please note that this guide is written for Windows machines only.

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LSC Print Reset – Instructions

LSC Print Reset Logo

Using the Application

Once the application is fully loaded (after the orange spinner is gone) we can interact with it. The program is split into two rows: one for cleaning the printer and one for replacing the print head on the printer. From there we split the two rows into three columns each with different functions for each printer. Below is a legend on how each button operates:

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LSC Print Reset

LSC Print Reset LogoAn Electron based printer count resetter for Zebra printers within Linemaster Switch Corporation.

Program Instructions | Program Github

The Issue:

Due to standards at Linemaster, Zebra printers need to be serviced and cleaned by an IT member every x amount of inches printed. After the set amount of inches has been printed our monitoring system, What’s Up Gold 2017, will use SNMP to create a helpdesk ticket requiring the printer to be serviced. Within the helpdesk ticket, we include all the information of the printer configuration including the print count, from the printer’s web page. After the printer is serviced, we reset the print count to 0.

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