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Free Linux Server Backup Using Dropbox

Free Linux Server Backup Using Dropbox

I don’t need to tell you how important data backups are.  These days, several online backup services based on cloud computing are available for either free with some limited storage to a affordable monthly fee for unlimited storage.  Carbonite, Mozy, Blackblaze, and Dropbox are a few excellent examples.  There are advantages and disadvantages of these various services.  I use 3 out of the 4 mentioned, depending on the type of data, frequency of changes, , and how often I need to access them, etc.  For my VPS host at RapidVPS which runs on Ubuntu, I use Dropbox because Dropbox has a fairly decent support for Linux.

Here’s a pretty good instruction at Dropbox.  I didn’t follow the instruction exactly, but I’ve repeated the step enough times to know that it works for the most part.  I had some problems with my Python 2.6 installation after incrementally upgrading from 8.04 -> 8.10 -> 9.04 -> 9.10, but it’s all good now.  Anyway, on my VPS host, I set up several cron jobs to dump mysql databases and svn repos, rsync contents of some /var/www and tar-gzip contents of /etc, /root, and /var/log.  I don’t need to keep multiple versions of the backups because dropbox automatically takes care of incremental backup and versioning.  One thing to be aware, however, is that Dropbox doesn’t encrypt data, either in the transmission or storage, so you might want throw something like TrueCrypt or GnuPG in the mix.

Once backups are set-up with Dropbox, you can even subscribe to the backup/revision history RSS feed(s) provided by Dropbox to stay on top of the status.

Several other useful resources:

Making a StereoGram

Making a StereoGram

Gotta love StumpleUpon.

I came across this article today that walks through step-by-step on how to make a StereoGram yourself with free open source software gimp, blender, and stereograph.  The guide is written assuming you’re running on a Debian-based distro (like Ubuntu), but maybe there are other ways to run them in other platforms, I haven’t checked.

Anyway, I’ll post my own stereograms soon.

Super Grub Disk to the Rescue

Super Grub Disk to the Rescue

Super Grub Disk is a indispensible tool if you have installed GRUB to manage multi-boot on your system.  After modifications to the disks or partitions, you’ll often find GRUB complaining about errors (like the common 15 or 17).  Often times you just need to modify a few parameters to GRUB like the device or partition identifiers.  I have had this happened to me multiple times in the past, and have had to search various forums for hints.  By far the most safe and simple solution comes from Super Grub Disk.  Check it out.  A must-have for system admins.

Acer TM8200 + ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 + Ubuntu + Compiz Fusion

Acer TM8200 + ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 + Ubuntu + Compiz Fusion

Compiz Fusion

After many trials and errors, and with the help from Ubuntu Forum posts, I have finally gotten Compiz Fusion to work on my Acer TravelMate 8200 with ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 running Ubntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron).  This post serves somewhat as a note to myself so I can do it again should the need arises.

Among the packages used:

  • Latest 8.3* driver from ATI (now AMD).  Do not install the “restricted” driver prompted by Ubuntu, but go directly to ATI’s website to download the latest Linux driver.  There was just a spanking new one released Oct 15, 2008.
  • Compiz Fusion (compiz-fusion)
  • Compiz-Fusion Icon (fusion-icon)
  • CCSM (compizconfig-settings-manager) or Simple CCSM (simple-ccsm)

Many thanks to the Ubuntu community.