I asked a buddy Joel, who is an experienced embedded programmer, to help with the project. He came over this weekend and helped me get a captive portal working! This is a huge step in making iDONT a consumer product rather than requiring programming the ESP module for a person's Wi-Fi credentials (SSID and password) and upload the code. With a captive portal, the iDONT broadcast it's own SSID and once you connect with your computer or smartphone, the iDONT asks for the credentials and flashes itself. Great work tzapu and Joel!
That said, this only works on an ESP8266, not on a ESP32. Joel thought that with enough work, we could get it going on an ESP32, but given our requirements are small, everything will run just fine on a ESP8266. As a bonus, the ESP8266 is also less expensive. So, time to make a change.