Category Archives: Solutions

Welcome Kiosk

I am setting up a kiosk PC for the Lansdowne welcome team to use while helping our guests.
ubuntu logo
It will be a standard screen, mouse and keyboard connected to an old PC box running the Ubuntu operating system. I’ve not set up a kiosk style PC before so it should be an interesting exercise. I’ve chosen Ubuntu because it is free to use and keeps our costs to a minimum. This should be OK for the users, because we’ll restrict access to only the browser window.

I need the kiosk to have a login (to stop unauthorised start up) and to start up in a full-screen browser showing our standard website and a special “welcome desk” start page.

The kiosk can then be used to show guests what facilities we have to offer and allow them to load up a form for entering the guest’s contact details and interests/next step.

Each submitted form will automatically send an email to the church office with the guest contact information and also add a record to a Google Docs spreadsheet. The office can then immediately respond to new guests the next day.

WordPress Login problems?

Another issue recently, with a different site.

The host supplier had moved the site to a new server and apparently this has “Suhosin” installed. This is an advanced protection system for PHP installations. It was designed to protect servers and users from known and unknown flaws in PHP applications and the PHP core.

It can also kill your WordPress dashboard (and the rest!).

I could authenticate successfully and get the WordPress banner menu showing above the site, but if I tried to get to the dashboard or any other part of WordPress administration, I was being redirected to the 404 Error page.

The site continued to work fine, I was just unable to change it in any way as I could not get to the dashboard.

A quick chat session with the host supplier and they disabled Suhosin. Now all is back to normal.


WordPress and mod_security

A web site that I jointly administer suddenly started to fail when trying to add images to pages/posts.

We’d not altered anything nor installed any new plugins, but this was disconcerting as Christmas was approaching and that’s a busy time for us.

It turns out the issue was caused by our host provider changing their security and WordPress was (to use their words) “violating mod_security settings”. Thankfully, they added an exclusion for us and things are up and running again (no lasting harm done).

So, if WordPress starts saying something like “Page not found” (404 error) when you attempt to publish a page or post, check with your hosting provider and see if they can change settings for you.

There’s also a WordPress support thread here on the issue: