Tuesday, 30 August 2011

backups - part1

There are 2 sorts of people - those who keep backups and those who have never had a computer system failure  when it contained important stuff . Ive now got a backup system that works reasonably well .
I use rsnapshot and have written a bash script  that automatically updates the server backups of a windows machine. but I haven't got off-site backups. Ive recently been subscribed to the livedrive backup system - I have unlimited  backup space !
The  backups I have are done with rsync, which is very efficient. My backup system keeps incremental backups , but links files that have stayed the smae, thus minimizing  the amount of stuff that gets sent over the wires.

ive spent a while trying to get curlftpsfs and rsyn working , so far to no avail.  I then cam across lftp , described as  a 'poor mans' rsync', so i gave that a go. Ive got config script that includes the stuff i want to back up, including the multiple copies created by rsnaphot. But there are a  couple of serious problems.

file transfer to livedrive
heres one problem - upload speed of 20K/s .
So stuff takes ages. And because you cant link files on livedrive, it transfers duplicate copies. it is taking over 24 hours to do a copy of what I want to backup.
So this is clearly impracticable.  What I'll have to do is go back to rsync and see what i can do , i try  lftp  with just the option of sending newer files to livedrive. it wont keep incremental backups that can be easily restored, but if i set it to not delete, it may keep copies  , but not versions, of svey file i want to backup.

I'll have to see how I get on

Monday, 22 August 2011

Licensing again

 The cafe culture HMG thougth we'd get  after in 2003.  Didn't happen.  Instead we ended up with City centres as no-go areas.

Through the National Organisation of Residents' Associations,   I've been notified of more stuff from HMG about Licensing. there was a consultation process a while ago .  The latest document has  the snazzy title of

Impact Assessment for the alcohol measures in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill and has a fair bit of stuff in it.
Some things that I noticed
Local Authorities must promote licensing objectives
• the prevention of crime and disorder;
• public safety;
• the prevention of public nuisance; and
• the protection of children from harm.

So nothing about public health there then. 

A licensing application goes for consultations and the Authority can receive representations from interested parties . Interested parties are Responsible Authorities (police , Environmental Health etc ) , members of the public and businesses that may be affected by the new license.

Currently, if no representations are received, licensing authorities must grant the application. The proposal is for this to change so the Licensing Authority can refuse off their own bat  - they dont need to have 'representations' from anyone

Other proposed changes :
  • They can charge a Late Night Levy or late licences to cover the cost of policing.
  •  Early Morning Restriction Orders (ie banning alcohol sales) apply currently between 3am and 6 am . This will be extended to midnight to 6am 
Overall , a 'good thing' . Shame about the public health imperative though.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Vista , hide/unhide and read permissions

Ive just installed thunderbird as an email client. Straightforward, as these things go.

 The local folder location is buried deep in the thunderbird settings  its a subfolder of  the profile. I went looking for it - we have a network, and then offsite backup that runs regularly , and I wanted to sort out the backup whilst I was there. 
But the 'local folders' folder isn't visible by default. I assume windows will think that it will confuse you  by showing stuff you dont need.
How to make it visible , if you cant see it ?

I went to the root of the Users' folders , right clicked on the user and looked at properties -something like this

so I unchecked 'hidden'  and set it off - and the majority of the desktop icons ( well, all the important ones ) disappeared.  OK - id got something wrong . So how do you make it reappear when you cant see it.

Much clicking  and swearing and nothing I did restored it - not even the windows things of restarting the computer, and if that didnt work, switching it on and off at the wall.
I think I worked it out
To make the user folder visible again, it has to be set as read-only and then unhide. Once the computer has done its stuff , the desktop icons re-appear. But you get some really strange error messages because software need to write stuff to the disk when it start and if it cant do so , it will stumble.

  • OpenOffice - an unhelpful message about a run-time error
  • Dropbox - a mesage about a python error
  • Firefox - an error message about it not being able to write (ha ! a clue) security settings
so once the stuff is restored  you need to go through select folder removing the read-only
So far its been
  • Appdata
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Dropbox 
Im sure there will be others that i havent come across yet.
But sanity is restored, catastrophe averted,a s the system is up and running

Thank you , Bill Gates - NOT