[kwlug-disc] Backups and Hard Disks

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Aug 18 21:40:00 EDT 2009

Script a run every hour, and first thing it checks is if it's run in 
the prior 4 - If so, exit immediately?

My laptop script runs daily. If it's disconnected it doesn't go. If I 
know it's going to be disconnected for some time, I stop the run.

I don't think there's a way around it - if you have a laptop you have 
to be constantly aware of backups, and think, daily at least, have I 
done enough new stuff today that I need to make sure I get it onto the 
local net so it backs up.

There are a couple of other elements to consider: (1) pushing vs 
pulling (then it becomes the repository's responsibility to run - 
which will fail if not present which is OK, without interrupting your 
laptop use when you're remote; (2) Is there too much overhead for you, 
  if nothing's changed such that you can't just have it run 
automatically every hour, knowing that most hour's nothing will have 
changed - yet it does take time and resources to go through the motions.

In the end, you *have* to be constantly aware of backups: if not just 
making sure the laptop is connected to be backed up, then at least 
checking backup logs daily. Stupid things happen silently - it's easy 
to obliviously assume all is well, only to be severely bitten when the 
worst happens.

Finally, for laptops particularly, bare metal restore becomes even 
more important.

Chris Irwin wrote, On 08/18/2009 9:05 PM:
> I'm recovering from a hard disk failure in my laptop. Luckily I didn't
> lose anything due to my constant use of `unison` to my server, but it
> got me thinking: This is not nearly as automatic as I would like as it
> relies on me to manually run unison.
> Has anybody come up with a better solution? Mainly I'm talking about a
> laptop that works disconnected fairly often, so you can't assume it
> will be on 24/7 for a scheduled job at night.

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