Given how often I’ve stressed the need to back up your stuff, it may seem odd for me to claim that it’s possible to have too many of them. But in some senses it is, which is why I’m writing this post as I’m copying files to my main hard drive from a virtual machine running Ubuntu that’s mounting an OpenBSD drive via a USB-SATA adapter.
Since my primary server died in February this year, I’ve been running tadhg.com on a cheap virtual machine. That’s worked fine, but the original server came back to life quite some time ago, and today I finally completed the process of moving tadhg.com back to it. The move is now complete, and hopefully you’re not seeing anything unexpected. This post is about what’s involved in that move and what I’ve tried to improve along the way.
I haven’t written about how I configure a new machine since mid-2007, so this will be both about the new setup and about how it compares to that one.
The new machine is a Mac laptop running Mountain Lion, as opposed to the Windows desktop I set up five years ago.
Last week I went through a data loss scenario similar to last year’s, but with a less happy outcome—no miraculous recovery of the data this time. I screwed up some things in my backup infrastructure, so I did lose some data—and this should serve as a warning to you all. Backup your stuff, do it well, do it often, and don’t leave any holes.
Observant readers may have noticed that tadhg.com was unavailable for much of last week, from Sunday 17 July to yesterday, 23 July. This affected my email as well as my blog, so if you sent me email in that period, it’s entirely possible that I didn’t get it (and, therefore, you should send it to me again if you haven’t heard from me).
After a highly enjoyable, productive, and extended period, it’s time for me to return to the world of paid work.
I’m quite happy with the things I’ve done during my time off. Many of them are important only to me, but then, it’s been my time off.
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, document formats
, text editing
I had eight goals for 2009, and all of them that I’m going to get done I’ve already completed. Time to review.
I find in my use of Subversion that I often want to see a side-by-side list of files that aren’t under version control and files that have some other status. I also want these lists to be sorted alphabetically. Naturally, I ended up writing a Python script for this.
Last year, the server with my Subversion repository on it died suddenly. I’ve made several attempts to revive it, none of which have worked. I tried to get the data off of it, but had trouble doing this as well. Having been frustrated a number of times, I gradually got used to not having it… which is something I should have fought harder against.
Starting at Metaweb, I had to set up a new machine, something I haven’t done in a while. One thing that made it a lot easier this time is that I have a lot of my config in my Subversion repository, which saved me quite a lot of time. This also reflects some changes I’ve made since writing Essential Windows Software last year. (Oh, and all the software is Free Software.)
These are the tools I use when doing web development.
I’m gradually moving more and more of my personal files into my various Subversion repositories, and figuring out how to organize those repositories. I highly recommend Subversion (or some form of version control, but Subversion is free (and libre)) to anyone who uses computers to create documents that they consider important.
I’ve wanted bookmark synchronization between machines for quite some time. I’ve been trying to do it myself, using Subversion, but that’s proved awkward and annoying (not through any fault of Subversion’s). There are plenty of services that offer remote bookmark hosting, and there was the sadly undeveloped Bookmarks Synchronizer, but neither fit my purposes. So now I’m trying Foxmarks.
I’ve recently begun moving more or less all of my digital documents into a version control system (using Subversion). This sounds a little geeky and esoteric, and is in implementation, but I think it’s something that would benefit almost everyone who uses computers frequently.