gotta remember to run time machine...

oops. it's pretty easy to forget to plug the external drive into the laptop every now and then so it can get backed up automatically. On the desktop at work, I leave the time machine drive plugged in, so it's always up to date. Need to be less forgetful with the home laptop, considering that's where all of our family photos live...

February 27, 2010 · 1 min

Check your backups...

I just tried to navigate around in my Time Machine backup, only to find that it was woefully out of date. I'd set it to automatically back everything up, and had assumed that it would, you know, automatically back things up. It hadn't been doing it. Since December 5, 2007. Over a month ago. And I'd assumed that I had a reliable hourly/daily/weekly/monthly backup. Except the last month got dropped....

January 7, 2008 · 1 min

Be Careful With rsync --delete

I've been using an rsync-based script to backup my iPhoto library to another computer, just in case my Powerbook blows up or something, so I don't lose every photo I've taken for the last 4 years. It's worked flawlessly, run every now and then from home, to squirt changes in my Pictures directory to my desktop at work, where I further back it up on an external drive using another rsync script....

October 3, 2006 · 2 min

Automatically backing up multiple Subversion repositories

We're using Subversion to manage files for all of our projects in the Teaching & Learning Centre. More projects means more Subversion repositories to backup. Instead of maintaining a list of projects and repositories, we stick all repositories in a common root directory, and I've just put together a dead simple script to automatically dump all of them to a directory of my choosing. I've added this script to the crontab for the www user on the server, and it runs svndump on all repositories, gzipping the output for archive (and possibly restore)....

April 5, 2006 · 1 min

More on MySQL backups

I'm just putting some additional refinements to my automated server backup process, and have rolled together a handy script to backup each database into its own backup file (so I can restore a single database, rather than blowing them all away to restore from an --all-databases backup. I'm going to work on making a fancier / more dynamic script based on MySOL's show databases command to get all databases backed up individually without having to remember to add them to the backup script....

March 15, 2006 · 2 min

How to back up multiple servers

Just writing down the process so I don't forget. If anyone else gets some use out of it, that's cool too... Here's how I just set up my Mac to automatically back up 2 servers, as well as my home directory, to an external firewire drive. The process uses stuff that's included with MacOSX, so won't cost a dime. And it's automatable, so I won't forget to run it. Set up SSH to allow automated connection Following these instructions, boiled down to bare essentials below....

March 13, 2006 · 3 min

LaCie Big Disk Extreme back in action

I got the LaCie Big Disk Extreme 500GB backup drive back today. LaCie is suggesting it was just a firmware issue, so they thoughtfully updated the drive, nuked the data that was on it, and returned it. Over a month after it died. Going a month without any kind of backups is a little scary. Here's hoping it was just a firmware issue - the drive checks out OK now, and already has over 100GB of backed up data on it (and growing - likely will be close to 200GB by the end of the day) - and that's only 2 servers backed up....

February 28, 2006 · 1 min

LaCie Big Disk Extreme Failure

Well, not sure if it's an "extreme failure" or just a failure of a LaCie Big Disk Extreme. Either way, my shiny new 500GB backup drive decided to go on strike yesterday. Maybe the most depressing day of the year got to it. Maybe it thought, as a 500GB drive, that it should have been doing more exciting things than just backing up my crap. I was copying over the latest MySQL dumps from our production servers, and got an interesting error - "...

January 24, 2006 · 2 min

Server Backup Automation

With the shiny new backup hard drive, I'm in the process of almost-properly backing up our servers. I'd had to resort to using rsync to mirror critical files and directories to spare hard drives on our main server - handy, but not exactly best practices. And even these drives are nearly full. Now, I'm just finishing up with an initial backup of these files and directories to the BDE - using the Finder to manually drag stuff over into folders for each server and volume....

January 4, 2006 · 1 min

LaCie Big Disk Extreme

For the last few years, I'd forced myself to make weekly backups to CD-ROM. Then, when I outgrew 650MB of backup space, I switched to DVD-R. That worked, but backing up was goddawful slow - bringing my system to it's knees during the backup process. Eventually, I got lax about backing up. It's been months since I've burned a backup disk, and I was starting to get a little nervous. I had been using a tiny portable hard drive, but it was small enough that I had to skip entire directories....

January 3, 2006 · 2 min