[wp-hackers] [Pretty OT]May I be the first to console Owen...

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Fri Sep 15 17:55:01 GMT 2006

___/ On Fri 15 Sep 2006 17:29:38 BST, [ Owen Winkler ] wrote : \___

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Owen,  I hope to see you back on wp-hackers. Your insightful
>> posts are sorely missed.
> Uh, ok.  :)
> Yes, the server is pretty dead.  I guess the RAID card fried a bunch of
> the drives that were connected to it.  I don't blame Unixshell for my
> inability to restore backups I don't have, and I should have known
> better than to trust only their snapshot system.  Getting the new VPS
> running is another question, however.

I  know  I  can  offer no advice that is  genuine  (and  yet
unheard  of).  However, I have learned from  some  miserable
experiences  that  one  should store all all  files  in  2/3
separate  (and  preferably distant) sites. There  are  tools
that  automate  much  of this and a one-time  investment  of
time/money  is  worthwhile as it stays with you forever.  To
speak  from  personal  experiece (hope you  don't  mind  the

I primarily use rsync (the bandwidth-efficient way) and scp.
It's  possible  to  make complete copies of  the  hard-drive
every  night,  along  with  a stack of  snapshots  to  avoid
'contamination'.  It helps me sleep better at night, as well
as use wildcards. *smile*

The  problem  (and biggest enemy) is that  with  complacency
comes  greed to be lenient and too trustworthy, which is why
I  *force* myself, using a calendar, to do particular backup
tasks  (and I still get sloppy on occasions). The routine is
mostly  scripted (as much as possible), but it needs  sanity
checks  (I'm doing one at this very moment). Procrastination
is  an  enemy and that's only ever realises if when you  say
"if only I had been more careful, I would have lost 1 day of
work  instead of a week, or a month". In my case, a disaster
last  stroke  two weeks ago when I broke my Firefox  profile
(third-party extension). It took hours to restore and it was
overall  lossy. Another possibility that I take advantage of
(in case of 'contamination' on the server) is mysqldump as a
cron job on the Web server, or a stack thereof.

> I'm not sure what all I have backups of, specifically the code for
> RedAlt.  Not a lot has changed since the backup I know I have (from
> March), but I'm not sure what the status of the function reference is
> for the moment.
> I've recovered the blog posts that weren't backed up from Bloglines,
> where I hadn't read anything since the last backup.  All 175 posts.  :)

Be  sure  to  check your browser cache for the  very  latest
posts.  Another  backup procedure worth having is  a  nighly
wget  of  the front page. There have been cases in the  past
where  recent  items  somehow got b0rked,  so  the  snapshot
proved to be useful in recovery.

> I'm hoping to get some things back online today and over the weekend.
> Once again, use the misfortunes of someone you know to take the time to
> verify the workings of your backup plan.

It  happens  to all of us. It's only a question of:  1)  how
often;  2) how severe; 3) recoverable/lossy/irreversible; 4)
how  we  handle  this emotionally. I think of data  loss  as
though  it's a mild analogy of recurring illness or the loss
of  a  loved  one... but data and blog posts are  the  least
terrible thing that can happen, so we must be lucky.

> Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts.

Good to hear from you again.

Best wishes and happy (data) recovery,


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