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December 30, 2021 'Modern Times'
Oh joy.

I really, and I mean -really- dislike the way companies do software these days.

I am talking, of course, about automatic 'updates'.
They -always- happen at inconvenient times, and they -always- manage to break something.
I mean ... what is wrong with allowing the user to decide what version of some software they want to use, or when they want to update it?

"It's about security", you say ?
Well, isn't it -my- responsibility to decide what kinds of 'risks' I want to take ?

This happened last month (the dreaded 'Windows update' message) :

Windows 10 update.

This one was especially scary : Microsoft has been pushing the Windows 11 update (now with even less user rights and privacy) and I have absolutely no intention of doing that.

So. Fingers crossed ... and press 'update now'.

Restart the computer, and ...
Yes ! It's still Windows 10 (albeit with a different gui theme. Again. Sigh.).
I think my next computer will be a Linux machine ...

Anyway. This was the message that greeted me in my browser, this morning, as I was getting ready to proofread a post for my website :

xampp update.

Strange, because I can't remember clicking any 'update xampp now' buttons ...

The truely wonderful thing however, was that no matter how I was trying to navigate to my webpage ... all I ever got to see in the browser was this message.

Quite some time later (and quite by accident), I found out that xampp had installed itself inside a subdirectory of my local 'images' folder.
Now why the heck would it do that ??? And where did it get the permission to install itself into that folder ???

So. For your (and my future) enjoyment : here are all the hoops I had to jump through just to get things working again :

I started by following a 2017 tutorial written by Asif Rahaman.
But this only solved part of my problem ; starting up the new xampp control panel resulted in a bunch of Apache and MySQL error messages :

xampp error1.

I also got an 'accessviolation exception' error when I tried to quit the control panel ...

XAMPP error2.

Fortunately for me, I fairly quickly stumbled upon a solution that fixed both errors : admin rights !
In the 'xampp' folder : right-click 'xampp-control.exe', select 'properties', and in the 'compatibility tab' : check 'run as admin' and 'apply'.

For most people, everything will now work correctly.
I, however, do not store my website files in the 'htdocs' folder under 'xampp', but in a more convenient folder somewhere else on my hard drive. And this introduced another problem : Apache could no longer find my website (redirects to 'dashboard') ...

XAMPP error3.

The reason was of course that I had forgotten to modify the 'xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf' file !

XAMPP httpd modifiation 1.

After adding the above information to the file, and restarting the xampp control panel for the umpteenth time ... An 'access denied' error message !
But at least, the web server is already looking in the right place (/index.php) !

XAMPP error4.

The fix (still in the 'httpd-vhosts.conf' file) :

XAMPP httpd modifiation 2.

And finally ! Success !
It only took me 3 hours ... Sigh.

Now off to do some real work ...