New server, new look…new headaches!

Save some money, I thought.

Have some fun, I thought.

I’ll set up a free Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) instance and host this blog there, and, while I’m at it, I’ll set up another instance and post to the Applesauce Fluxes Twitter image bot account from that instance, I thought.

Easy-peasy, I thought.

Well…no, I discovered.

I know if I laid out what I did I’d be here longer than it took to set up(!), and, while I understand video guides can be really annoying, it actually makes sense for me to just post this handy video representation of what happened next:

Yes, this is really what happened 😞

In the end, I went through probably eight OCI instances, four WordPress setups/migrations, two nervous breakdowns, and one case of wine (only three of those facts are true, no matter how you swap the numbers).

I’m happy to discuss at length what I did/learnt throughout this process in direct messages or e-mail (or via a Zoom if [and I {very much} doubt it] there’s enough interest), but I won’t inflict every step I took on anyone who’s paying me the respect of reading this blog – I have too much respect for you.

However, I will offer some takeaways:

  • Nothing, and I mean nothing, is easy – OK, the decision to go down this path is way too easy, but after that, a big fat nope!
  • OCI works well and is performant enough for the tasks at hand – I would definitely recommend it for technically-savvy self-hosters;
  • Don’t bother if (often) being elbow deep in a Linux CLI scares you;
  • SSH key-based login is your friend;
  • Webmin is your friend;
  • OCI Boot Volume Backups are your friend;
  • Don’t expect to get it right the first (or second [or third {or…}]) time;
  • Unicode characters in WordPress posts don’t migrate via the Duplicator plugin I used (or its MySQL code is unable to cope with them);
  • twitterImgBot has bugs (and extraneous code for most uses) – but it’s generally clear enough to work through the code;
  • Custom Permalinks vs Virtual Hosts…OMFG, WHY?!;

Why did I inflict all this on myself (other than being a techno-masochist [of the geek {not perverted} kind])?

Well, I’d been forced to migrate my G Suite legacy free edition mail hosting services, and I chose to migrate them to iCloud+, so I was out AU$10/month more for the additional iCloud+ subscription…but I was saving about AU$2/month not needing extra Google Drive storage (I have a lot of archival e-mail)…and I would have been paying about AU$6/month for my hosting next year so I thought I could eliminate that and almost break even compared to my current setup…and I had unexpected free time (due to some dodgy employment shenanigans [not on my part])…and I’d done all this before at one time or another so it was going to be smoooooth.

NARRATOR: It was notsmoooooth”.

But I’m here now, I think I’ve squashed all the WordPress issues (Permalinks work, Unicode characters updated, incompatible table-generator replaced), I have the Applesauce Fluxes Twitter image bot humming on the same OCI instance (after a few glitches, some also Unicode-related, some bug-related) and I’ve even decided to update from the old Twenty Eleven WordPress theme to something much more modern – Twenty Sixteen!

Yes, I’m a techno-masochist luddite – put it on my gravestone.

Welcome to the europlus zone!


While I struggle to find the time to write up my WOzFest Slot 7: Your Card recap and post the galleries photos and links, I may as well write a quick post on the “re-branding” of my blog here.

A year and a half ago, when I moved the hosting from MacGUI Vault’s A2HQ, I went searching for a domain name to host under and settled on “”. Following my Twitter handle, I made “” the main domain for blog URLs, and left “][europlus” as the blog title.

Earlier this year, I was thinking about the blog name (I think in response to it being mentioned on the Open Apple podcast) and changed it just to “europlus” to simplify mentions of the blog – it could be referred to as just “the europlus blog”.

This also made my WordPress e-mails a little tidier, as they use square brackets around the blog title, so I was seeing lots of e-mails with subjects starting “[][europlus]” (the square brackets also do funny things at line ends, which is an occasional source of annoyance on Twitter and Facebook).

A few months later and I’m pondering such issues again, and I realise what I should have back when I first registered the “” domain – a suitable name for the blog, matched with the corresponding domain name for URLs, was “the europlus zone”.

I’d already set up Let’s Encrypt certs earlier this year, so I needed to add the new domain name to the cert, which was a little bit of an exploratory adventure, but I figured it out eventually (I’m looking forward to Let’s Encrypt’s support of wildcard domains early next year, let me tell you).

Setting up the new domain in my hosting settings was relatively straightforward – as was allowing the existing “” domain to continue to point to this site (and “” and “”). Plain http connections are also automatically redirected to https.

I’m yet to go through prior posts to update the links to use the new URL, that will be dependent on me finding the time and inclination to do so. It doesn’t help my motivation that the old ones will continue to work.

I’ve gotten a strange sense of satisfaction making the changes to the site name and setup – I’m not sure why that is, but who am I to argue with my strange senses of satisfaction? All that really matters is I like the sound of:

“Welcome to the europlus zone!”

Update: after posting this, I went to the trouble of reading my post about moving from A2HQ, and what do I see but me referring to this blog on my hosting as “The europlus Zone”! Nothing new under the sun and all that, eh what? I think my brain dropped that name from its awareness in the two months between setup and my first real post here, and the rest is (forgotten) history. So consider this a faulty recollection of how I came about the name, when, in fact, it’s simply an implementation of something I did think of back in the day (albeit with tortured capitalisation). I hadn’t made the URL or title match that name, so it’s no wonder I got confused!

A new ]HOME

Welcome! I’ve decided to try self-hosting this blog – it may not see me posting more often, but I do want to make it more “my” place.

So, this is “The europlus Zone” – I’ll be consolidating things like the files for my Silentype Font under this domain (☑︎ done!), as well as the pictures I’ve placed on an old site I’d previously hung off my business’ domain (☑︎ done!).

I am hoping, now that our renovations are almost finished, to get back into retro goodness – consolidating and documenting my collection, testing my two Silentypes now I have an Apple ][ interface card for them, mucking around with the Uthernet II, writing a few more posts here and, should I be ready, finally entering the RetroChallenge.

Just a quick shout out to David Finnigan of the Mac GUI and A2HQ – without him starting the A2HQ hosting area, I wouldn’t have bothered starting this blog. I’m hardly changing the Apple ][ world, but it is a place for me to share what retro things I have done.

Apple ][europlus forever!

][ Years Later


I mean, real life really gets in the way, sometimes.

Moving, unpacking, re-organising, work, painting, nausea, planning renovations, dealing with strata stuff (as an owner and Executive Committee member), enjoying time with the family and just vegging out at times has seen the time just fly.

As I’m sure is not uncommon with personal blogs, my last post was certainly never meant to be “My Last Post”, but it so easily could have been. Even with nine post ideas/drafts in place before my hiatus, it’s taken this long to put fingers to keyboard.

This year, however, has seen my Apple ][ interests re-invigorated, and there’ll be posts (and pictures) about the whys and wherefores of that re-invigoration, hopefully shortly.

The best intentions often go astray, but I have a cunning plan to keep me on the top of my game, ahead of the pack, my head above water, two steps in front, and…umm…I suppose…umm…posting more often.

I could barely post less often, could I⁈

Hiatus? I hate it!

Well, it’s been 5+ months since I last put finger to keyboard and posted here. An unexpected hiatus brought on by bouts of the ’flu and the trials and tribulations of moving.

However, the blog is not forgotten, just temporarily on hold. Issues around the move now settle quicker than they arise, and something secured in our new place is a 41m² (440ft²) storage room, meaning I get to keep my Apple ][ collection at home (let alone at all) with a lot of space left over for workbenches and systems to be permanently set up – there’ll even be room for non-computer stuff!

So it’ll be a veritable retro-renaissance for me once we get through a few more move tasks and I start to get benches set up. That’ll also, hopefully, allow and drive a more regular posting schedule here.

Hope to see you here again soon!


A quick extra post this week. I’ve just spent a day sorting through some of my computer collection in the garage – we’re moving soon (we hate moving), but we have some time up our sleeves to prepare, so we’ve been sorting through rooms in our current home to get rid of stuff we don’t need. Today’s rummage through my collection was primarily to clean machines which aren’t boxed (and the tops of boxes) so I’m not moving dust into the new place.

One of the things I found is this lovely t-shirt I got from the dealer we bought our europlus from, Computer Lighthouse (there are two pictures, front and back). The colours are still vibrant but, unfortunately, I think it’s a little small for me these days – I’m sure it must have shrunk over the last 25+ years as it used to be a good fit. I find it odd they went to the trouble of producing these t-shirts but didn’t bother to put their phone number on them.

I have more europluses than I thought – I counted four today (I thought I was up to three). I have two other early ][‘s – one’s missing its lid, and the lid on the other that says it’s a ][+ (i.e. North American), but the colour of the lid’s plastic doesn’t match the rest of the case, so I have some motherboard detective work to do on those (maybe I have the lid on the wrong machine). At least I’ve been able to update my page banner using one of the better ][europlus badge photos I took today (I might play with it a bit more, though).

I also have more //c’s than I thought – seven, if my tired brain is remembering properly (there may be more in boxes I didn’t unpack today – there’s certainly one in its original box, and I found a shrink-wrapped Apple IIc Owner’s Manual, too). I might have to put some of the //c’s on eBay. I love the idea of the //c as a compact machine ideal for reliving a collector’s Apple ][ days of yore, but I always find myself firing up a //e or IIgs, instead.

Looks like I have six //e’s at home (add those to the one at the office). Not sure about IIgs’s, I think I have three – the final census will have to be a job for after we move.

I did start to take photos of the items, their serial numbers, etc. I’ll have to make a database of the collection someday – does anyone know of a good template/schema for a retrocomputer collection database?

I also found a TRS-80 Model I base unit and a Model II keyboard. Although I still get nostalgic whenever I see a Model I, I don’t have anything but those two base components (don’t even have a PSU), so I think they’re eBay-bound as well.

Although I completed the cleaning I wanted to get done today, it’s just made me realise how much documenting and real cleaning I have to do, let alone trying to check that everything’s operational. At least the place we’re buying has a decent amount of storage/work space, so I may actually be able to get back into the nuts and bolts of having a collection, rather than just collecting bits (and the bits collecting dust).

Have you looked through a neglected portion of your collection recently? Found any gems? Let me know in the comments.