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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Network Backups via Rsync and Rsnapshot

Network Backups via Rsync and Rsnapshot (via www.jeffskinnerbox.me)
I got a 4 Terabyte Seagate Backup Plus hard drive as a Christmas present and I plan to put it to use as a central backup for my Linux desktop, multiple Raspberry Pi, my laptop, and anything else that my come along. My plan is to keep things simple but I wish to do regular hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly incremental backups. This will give me the ability to recover files from the past, but also to recover from a hardware failure or software install that has gone very badly.

There are many backup tools you can pick from but I wanted to stick with something basic, widely used, and simple. Rsync is one of the most widely used Linux backup solutions, and in fact, it is often used by other backup tools as a foundational component. Rsync stands for remote synchronization tool. Rsync is a UN*X command line utility, containing a special protocal and algorithm, that synchronizes files and directories from one location to another while minimizing data transfer by using fast incremental file transfers. (rsync has also been ported to Microsoft Windows, Mac, and other operating systems.) The first time, rsync sends all the data over the network to your backup machine. The benefit comes the next time you backup………


Having Fun with Wine, VirtualBox, and TurboTax

Having Fun with Wine, VirtualBox, and TurboTax (via www.jeffskinnerbox.me)

Sometime ago, I committed myself to Linux and Wine, with the promise that I would sincerely abandon Microsoft Windows by notdual booting my system nor installing any virtualization software. Well, it is now tax-time and the Federial goverment wants their “fair share” of my income. Will my prefered tax software package, TurboTax, run with Linux & Wine? All the evidence I have gathered (see Wine’s ratings for one data point) on the web leads me to believe I will be very disapointed. I can’t find any success stories! Never the less, I will use this as a learning opportunity. I’m going to plung forward and try to get TurboTax working with Wine, …. and it it fails me, resort to VirtualBox, which appears to have at least some success stories…..


IPython Notebook in Virtualenv

IPython Notebook in Virtualenv (via www.jeffskinnerbox.me)
I discovered a problem with using nbconvert for posting IPython Notebooks to my blog. Basically it doesn’t work for my version of IPython, so I looked for an upgrade. I found it but its only delivered bundled with the latest version of IPython. Currently, I’m stuck with using IPython 0.13.2 on my Ubuntu system, at least if I use the distribution provide via Ubuntu. And I can only expect to have problems if I try mixing an older version of IPython with the latest version of nbconvert.

I sure Ubuntu will be getting around to supporting the latest version of IPython (i.e. IPython 1.1.0). in the next few weeks to months, but that doesn’t help me now. I’m hesitant to do a whole sale upgrade of IPython on my system since it my upset other thing I got going on.

The answer to my dilemma will be using the Python Org tool virtualenv (see this for full documentation). This tool will give me a virtual environment that will not disrupt my other projects. Virtualenv is a tool to create isolated Python environments, quite likechroot jail on Unix systems. In a chroot, programs cannot access anything outside of chroot but in virtualenv as the name implies, it creates isolated environments only with respect to libraries, but the programs can still access the files and folders normally. With this, I can support my blog IPython 1.1.0 while also maintaining my other projects which requires IPython 0.13.2……


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