My actual question is this line of code:

$other = mysql_real_escape_string($other);

is giving me this error message:

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user
'nobody'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /path/to/file/file.php on
line 148

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be
established in /path/to/file/file.php on line 148

You need to connect to the database before you can use mysql_real_escape_string so it can work out database encoding etc.

Where the previous server didn't require this I am wondering if there is
a line I may add to my .htaccess to by-pass this requirement.  My
concern is that if I don't find all the instances I will have errors on
my site ... this is extensive to correct.

You could try using auto_prepend_file (see

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