and thanks in advance for helping out and any time you can provide to me to sort this out.
When I run .php files if the code is encapsulated in <? ... ?> rather than <?php ... ?> it will fail. In the former code it will be displayed as plain text (am assuming that Apache is looking for <?php at the start of the code segment to understand that it is to be ran as PHP code). Is there a way I can reconfigure it to understand that <? ... ?> is the same as <?php ... ?>.
Took me three hours to work out I was having this issue, as all my code is written with <? ... ?> as the standard.