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[#] Fri Jun 29 2012 23:55:56 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Which backup solutions for a single fileserver?

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If you are using rsnapshot already, you might give duplicity a look:

http://duplicity.nongnu.org/

It has had some growing pains over the last few years, but has grown to be a decent solution for me.  The best part I have found using duplicity is the ability to change out the back end by simply rsyncing the store to another back end and changing the backup url scheme.

The part I did not like is figuring out how to script it.  There are convenience scripts out there that wrapper duplicity, but I don't trust them yet.  If you want I could share what I have so far and what I have written for a wrapper for duplicity.  It is quite flexible for doing backups where you have different backups to run (especially if you need to backup parts of filesystems on a different schedule as you can split a backup in to parts).



[#] Sat Jun 30 2012 08:56:37 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Which backup solutions for a single fileserver?

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Interesting, it uses librsync. I wish I'd known about librsync when I was looking for a library that did the equivalent of diff and patch.

Obviously there are are *many* people who have the need for incremental and/or differential backup. I did daily fulls for years by simply swapping tapes, but my data has finally outgrown the capacity of my tape drive and I'm not buying a bigger one this time around.

So far what I'm finding, however, is that backing up to a filesystem that has built in block-level snapshots is just such a huge step up that it blows away any solution that attempts to do it at the file level.

[#] Sat Jun 30 2012 22:34:59 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Which backup solutions for a single fileserver?

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Agreed that doing a snapshot with LVM or something is faster / more complete, but you might find you need to set aside a bit more in CPU and or filesystem (if it changes quickly during the backup) than you might think.  I have done LVM snapshots for a while, but found you can get in to cases of Uninterruptible Sleep (D) State for failed copy processes and the like.  I would love to hear what you come up with though if you are willing to share IG.



[#] Sun Jul 01 2012 22:17:56 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Which backup solutions for a single fileserver?

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Well I did post my script on Tuesday (June 26) and it's been running for nearly two weeks now; I'm very pleased with the results.

On my server at the data center I'm doing LVM snapshots, but I'm snapshotting volumes that contain the disks for a bunch of virtual machines. I know that's a bit unorthodox but I periodically test the snapshots by simply booting them up in the hypervisor, and they are perfect every time.

[#] Tue Jul 03 2012 17:09:03 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: My little rant of the day

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How to do it: http://www.eff.org 

How not to do it: http://www.fsf.org

The Electronic Frontier Foundation fights for individual liberties and freedom in the digital world.  They are good at what they do, effective, and successful.

The Free Software Foundation, on the other hand, is a failure.  They were useful back when they used to develop free software.  Now they don't do much of that anymore; it's just Richard Stallman and his sycophants pretending to do the same thing the EFF does, but really all they do is whine a lot, give things different names that confuse everyone, and look like idiots.

Dear FSF: please do everyone a favor and shut your organization down.  Advocates for digital liberty should focus their energy on supporting the EFF; those people know how to do it and be effective at it.

And for the last f**king time, it's called "Linux," not "GNU/Linux."  Some of my code is included in a typical Linux distribution, but you don't see me whining like a spoiled baby when people fail to call the operating system "IGnatius T Foobar / Linux" ... yet Stallman does things like that on an hourly basis.

Seriously FSF, you're a bunch of spoiled whiny babies and you are doing the open source community far more harm than good.  Go away.



[#] Mon Jul 09 2012 14:03:33 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Which backup solutions for a single fileserver?

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I use rsync for stuff I don't need history on and rdiff-backup on stuff I do.

A lot of people seem to like BackupPC.  It is based on rsync but has its own perl front end that does something similiar to rsnapshot (I think) and also does dedup.  It also offers a web-based interface for your users so they can service themselves and retrieve any backup files they want.

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana/



[#] Mon Jul 09 2012 14:15:19 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: My little rant of the day

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I strongly disagree with your rant.

The EFF and the FSF serve completely different missions although sometimes, I guess, their missions might have some overlap.

Lots of people complain about the FSF and the antics of RMS.  I'm not one of those people.  RMS needs to stay the uncompromising jerk he has always been because that is his role.  He is fairly unique in that role.  If it wasn't for him and his purity, we'd all probably be running a lot more proprietary software on top of our free systems... because there would be less free software.  While the FSF doesn't pay people to develop software anymore (to the best of my knowledge, but I'm fairly ignorant on the topic), they do act as a clearing house for lots of free software projects and as far as I know, they have new projects join them all the time.

I have also personally interacted with a number of people (over the years and recently too) that have gotten into free software and Linux because of RMS... as a result of personally seeing him speak.  Yeah, Richard does pretty much say the same things over and over and over... and doesn't have a lot of new material... but there are still a large percentage of people who are completely unfamiliar with his speal... and since he speaks so much, especially overseas, he does still bring a lot of new people into "the movement" even if his message hasn't changed much in the last two decades.  I imagine he will continue to do so.  The EFF, not so much.  See, they have different missions and both the EFF and FSF are good resources.

So, what was it about the FSF that angered you?  I would assume it was something specific and not just the general concept.

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana



[#] Mon Jul 09 2012 14:51:46 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: My little rant of the day

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The thing that pushed me over the edge was the renaming of UEFI Secure Boot to "Restricted Boot." Yes, it is a more accurate name but that's NOT what it's called. Stallman does NOT have the right to rename other people's things just because he feels like it.

Why did open source succeed where "free software" failed? Simple: Richard Stallman is a liberal; Eric Raymond is a libertarian. You can say it in more words if you want to, you can talk about how open source is about a better and more beneficial development model while "free software" is just militant ideology, and it would all be more or less correct, but my way of describing it pretty much sums things up.

See also: "Shut Up And Show Them The Code" [ http://goo.gl/AHb9U ]

You are free to disagree with me, but if you do, I *demand* that you refer to our favorite operating system as "IGnatius T Foobar / Linux"

[#] Tue Jul 10 2012 12:22:19 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: My little rant of the day

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Wow, you're mad that Stallman came up with an alternative name for Secure Boot.  Get over it.  He always comes up with alternative names for things and he always will.  He has a right to do so just as much as everyone else does.  Remember, modern communications is all about "framing" just ask David Frum.  If memory serves he renamed the "estate tax" the "death tax".  Another Stallman framing thing was DRM.  Digital Restrictions Management vs. Digital Rights Management.  I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.  Yes I have seen a number of sqeaky wheels get upset about some of the FSF's PR compaigns saying they were stupid and/or unaffective... but it isn't like they spend 1/100,000 as much as Apple or Microsoft does on one of their product campaigns.  That is to say that given the cost, they are fairly effective... just not as effective as fighting fire with fire.

Regarding the political labeling of RMS and ERS and saying that one has won and one has not or whatever... sorry, but I'm not following you.  Free Software is a winner.  Open Source is a winner.  To me neither term has won out over the other... and they are often clumped together as FOSS or FLOSS.  Both seem to still be legitimate terms that have a decernable meaning... and are somewhat incomplete by themselves.  Free Software is just as important now as it ever was.  In fact with so much stuff going "into the cloud" and the big companies using FLOSS to construct proprietary services, that war we thought we had won has clearly taken an unexpected turn.

I'd like to expand this discussion into hardware too.  We need a free hardware foundation.  Maybe there is one and I'm just not familiar with it... or maybe the FSF has a branch on hardware as well.  Someone please inform me. Here are two presentations that I think are very well worth viewing that show why we need some organization looking out for us on the hardware front.  Maybe the EFF is?

Bruce Perens' Linux.conf.au 2012 Keynote: http://www.montanalinux.org/video-lca2012-keynote-bruce-perens.html

Cory Doctorow: The coming war on general computation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYqkU1y0AYc

My guess is that you are already familiar with them.  The whole Restricted Boot... cough... I mean the UEFI Secure Boot issue plays into the "closed hardware of the future" narative setup by those two videos.

So far as who seems to be more active in the community these days... RMS is still going like the Energizer Bunny although he has had some recent health issues.  I haven't really heard much from ESR in a few years.  The last thing I recall hearing from ESR was when he lambasted Fedora for not abandoning their principles and giving people all of the patent encumbered codecs that they want.  Perhaps I'm paraphrasing in my own unique way.  My guess is that ESR has continued to be active but that I've somehow missed it.

So far as calling it I.T.F Linux... I call my distro either "Fedora Linux" or "MontanaLinux"... but until everyone switches over to LLVM/clang and all BSD licensed tools, RMS does have a reasonable arguement.  I myself do not call it GNU slash Linux and yes I realize that a Linux distro comes from thousands of places... but RMS was on a mission to build a free OS and he had most everything but the kernel... and Linux filled the bill there.  Of course we have the BSD licensed systems as well but I don't see so many people clamoring to them.  They definitely have their following and use cases so please no one take offense.  I prefer the GPL over BSD/MIT.

While I certainly love to talk politics, I really don't like to ues political views as analogies for the software/tech industry.  They just don't map very well... and when I try to think in those terms... my head hurts.

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana



[#] Mon Jul 23 2012 12:11:25 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: A computer for novices... that's Linux based?

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Greetings,

I just ran across a computer brand named Telikin that is designed for novice computer users.  They currently offer two all-in-one systems with touch screens, keyboard and mouse.  They run Linux... a fork of Tiny Core Linux... but the user interface that is on it isn't anything that you'd recognise.  It almost seems like a webpage because there is a menu on the left fifth of the screen and the applications take up the rest of the screen... and the menu always shows.  I wonder if they borrowed any code from existing FLOSS applications or they if they did everything completely from scratch?!?

Anyway, check it out if you have any desire.  It is an interesting concept... although I'd like to see the software available separately.  http://www.telikin.com/

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana



[#] Mon Jul 23 2012 17:30:02 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: A computer for novices... that's Linux based?

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hm, the calendaring page looks a little like what sunbird grew up from.

but nice weird thingabob.



[#] Wed Jul 25 2012 11:20:26 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: A computer for novices... that's Linux based?

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It looks like the same thing a lot of builders have done -- just a bunch of existing software with a slick looking UI wrapped around it.

Seems to me that it shows there's a place for a "shell for dummies" that could be swapped in when the intended user is computer illiterate.

[#] Wed Jul 25 2012 11:20:57 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: A computer for novices... that's Linux based?

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(Oh wait, there is, it's called "Metro" and it can't be turned off. And it requires the underlying operating system to be fundamentally broken.)

[#] Thu Jul 26 2012 11:48:59 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: Metro for the masses

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I agree with your assessment of Windows 8 from one perspective... that of Windows literate users.  From the perspective of computer novices, Metro is more usable.  I think Microsoft realized that the iPad (and other smartphone derived user interfaces) was winning with people who found more traditional computer interfaces intimidating.

The desktop computer UI is very much filesystem oriented with a file manager being important... as well and item selector dialogs (mini-file managers) within applications.  Apple decided to go the other way and make it application focused by providing screens of application icons and letting the applications themselves act as proxy file managers doing their best to eliminate the need to understand storage concepts.

Microsoft with Metro has adopted a hybrid approach.  Metro is somewhat application oriented but they don't use little icons... Metro is more content oriented.  The application icons are replaced with larger solid color rectangles whereby when the application is used and configured and content is available, these rectangles will preview content.  It is really an application oriented interface but they are presenting it a little differently so they can say they didn't rip anyone off.

The "desktop" is still available in Metro but they have gotten rid of the start button.  No, scratch that... they have NOT gotten rid of the start button, they just have a new start button that is part of the Metro interface which is very search oriented... and they want you to use the new design rather than the desktop oriented one.  Conceptually it really isn't that different but since the start button isn't where it used to be... and is different... many desktop literate users are freaking out.  Microsoft is trying to guide them slowly to the new system but as people start to get to use it they will slowly forget the old way and the new way will become THE way.  After a year or two of the new way, going back to the old way will seem weird and oddly painful... and yes, even clunky... but it is hard to see that from now / here.

This is very similiar to the switch from a menu driven applications menu to a search driven system that we have seen with the Gnome 2 -> 3 switch, the Gnom2 -> Unity switch, and the KDE 3 -> KDE 4 switch.  Having used both Gnome and KDE for many years, at first the search oriented system was painful but eventually I got used to it and it is second nature now.  Why did the desktops switch from menus to search, because the Internet did long ago... and people were used to searching rather than going through tree structure type catalogs and directories of topics for finding information on the Internet.  The search indexes were fairly primative at first but over time they got better... and the shear amount of information exploded and the old way couldn't handle it anyway... and finally Google's searching got so good that whatever it was you were searching for was usually at or near the top of the results.

I believe Metro, iOS merging with Mac OS X, and the newer Desktop Environments on Linux will eventually win over the majority of people.  I primarily use Linux and at first I was rebelious towards the changes in the Linux desktop systems but finally I saw the light. :)

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana



[#] Thu Jul 26 2012 14:37:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Metro for the masses

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The new UI's on several platforms eliminate the distinction between an application that is running and an application that is installed/available. That works fine on a mobile, where applications know from the start that they may be asked at any time to save their state and go away (in Android, the app at the bottom of the stack falls off when the operating system needs more resources for what's up front; I imagine Apple does the same).

This may or may not be the right thing to do on a desktop, especially with legacy applications which aren't expecting this behavior. Sometimes when the user clicks on an icon he wants another copy of the program to be started, not to simply focus the copy that's already running. I think the newer versions of Gnome Shell let you right click on the icon to select which action you want to take. I know Apple briefly removed the little arrows on icons that distinguished a running application from a startable one, and there was enough backlash on that decision for them to put the arrows back.

I don't think the new UI's suck because they are search based. They suck because they are optimized for touch even on non-touch devices. They suck because they assume the user is operating with the short attention span associated with mobiles, even when seated at a desk.

[#] Thu Jul 26 2012 15:59:57 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Should have named it "Retro" or perhaps "Throwback."

[#] Thu Jul 26 2012 19:34:56 EDT from dowdle @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Metro for the masses

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Thu Jul 26 2012 02:37:01 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored Subject: Re: Metro for the masses
I don't think the new UI's suck because they are search based. They suck because they are optimized for touch even on non-touch devices. They suck because they assume the user is operating with the short attention span associated with mobiles, even when seated at a desk.


I'm not sure if you were referring specifically to the Linux desktop environment updates or not... or perhaps more generally... and I have seen this claim aimed at Gnome 3, etc... but I don't think it is completely accurate.

What touch devices are running Gnome 3?  The only ones I know of are the higher end tablet PCs that are enhanced laptops with twist/flip around screens with touch features usually using a stylus.  Ubuntu is definitely going after touch-based mobile devices, but again, I don't know of any that exist now.  If none exist, why and how would they be optimized for touch?  Some of the refactoring is probably to accomodate touch... so that one interface would be usable for both.  I think that is better than having two different codebases but opinions on that differ.

A lot of focus with Gnome 3 has gone into hotkeys so that applications are easily launched via keyboard... without requiring the mouse.  That is definitely not touchscreen related. Switching tasks via keyboard has been improved (alt-tab and alt-`) Some of those features aren't exactly obvious to non-hotkey fanatics but they are there.  I also like control-alt-up/down arrow for switching between virtual desktops.

What does Unity and Gnome 3 do that makes it so hard to use on the desktop?  Let's look of the changes I can think of.

1) They got rid of the task bar and took most of the taskbar functionality and merged it with a dock.  Gnome doesn't always show the dock and Unity used to be that way too but with the most recent Ubuntu release I don't think they auto hide it by default anymore.  This change isn't really touchscreen related.  If you don't have a taskbar, you don't really need to minimize things... because where would they minimize too.  For those who really want minimize, they have tweeks to add it back.  I added it back but found I don't really minimize things anymore.  I have been using the window snapping feature alot though.

2) The dock basically replaces the portion of the panel that was dedicated to aplication launchers.  You mentioned that clicking on a running application icon in the dock takes you to that application's window rather than starting up a second copy of the application... and that you could right-click to start another... but there are other ways to start up another copy of the application.  I'm sure you are aware but I thought I'd mention that most applications have an "Open new window..." feature one or more places... in a File dropdown, via a right click menu... or by dragging a tab off.  I find myself using mostly tabs in applications that offer them rather than new windows.  The web browsers made tabs so popular.  For terminal windows I add screen and/or tmux for panes / side-by-side views.

3) Gnome 3 auto-manages virtual desktops (and vertically stacks them) and I'm not sure what the reason for that its... other than perhaps helping new users understand what virtual desktops are and how to use them.  I think Unity is limited to four virtual desktops but I'm not sure.  This doesn't seem touchscreen related.

4) No icons on the desktop.. I didn't use them much.  Oddly most touchscreen environments are lots of icons all over the screen so their move in this direction seems opposite from touchscreen.  Of course you can add and remove launcher icons from the dock so that functionality is still there.

5) Search oriented application launcher... again, not what the touchscreen environments are doing... which is screen after screen of icons.  While you can do that too on Gnome 3 and Unity, the search interface is strongly encouraged... and the icon system is painful... on purpose it seems.

6) Universal menu - That's a Unity thing that they borrowed from Mac OS X which isn't a touchscreen feature.  I am NOT a fan of it.  Gnome 3 does have a universal menu but there isn't much there and they still retain the traditional application menubar thank goodness.

7) Systray-ish icons... are basically still there just moved around some.

Other than those changes... everything is pretty close to the same as before.  Personal preference is a big touchy (no pun intended) subject so I don't really expect anyone to agree with me completely. :)

Now having said all of that, I primarily use KDE at work and Gnome 3 at home.  I like KDE because it does a fanastic job of session restore.  KDE also has activities which I conceptualize as being able to have multiple sessions to restore to and switch between.  Activities are more than I need so I don't use them much.  At home I typically have less applications open so restoring them upon login isn't as big of a deal... and most of the applciations I care about (web browsers) have session features of their own.

-- 
TYL,
Scott Dowdle - Belgrade, Montana



[#] Fri Jul 27 2012 04:31:36 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Metro for the masses

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Thu Jul 26 2012 14:37:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored Subject: Re: Metro for the masses
(in Android, the app at the bottom of the stack falls off when the operating system needs more resources for what's up front; I imagine Apple does the same).

IOS? Multitasking of any kind? which planet do you live on?

you can merely implement a callgate to the apple push notification service to awake your app for notifications, which is right now closed in europe due to motorola patent wars.



[#] Sun Jul 29 2012 21:59:05 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Metro for the masses

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A random blog somewhere ran an article called "An Opinion on the Future of GNOME" and it was the usual random stuff ... I saw some Scott Dowdle comments there too ;)

G3 is starting to get usable, which probably means they didn't do enough user acceptance testing before releasing the first couple of versions. Back in the days before Apple adopted its "we know best" attitude, they were famous for doing a huge amount of UAT, even to the point of observing the users through one-way glass to see how people reacted to various design decisions.


The Gnome team needs to do more of that type of thing.

After a couple of releases, Gnome 3 eventually was good enough for me. I was particularly impressed with the way they dynamically create workspaces; why did it take so long for someone to think of that! The only reason I didn't stick with it is because the accelerated window manager kept locking up my video card. So back to Gnome Panel ('Gnome Classic' in debian) it is for me.

[#] Wed Aug 01 2012 16:44:58 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: Metro for the masses

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the ranch...

[ http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE1MTc ]

It is being reported that Nokia is getting ready to sell off its Qt asset.
This is not surprising, considering that Nokia is basically now the mobile phone division of Microsoft, and they have been systematically killing off all of their own software (Maemo, MeeGo, Symbian, Meltemi, etc)

According to the article they are going to try to get the Qt 5.0 release completed before the group is sold off. Depending on who it is sold to, the future could either be awesome or terrible.

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