COVID-19 quarantine, day... who knows anymore.

I have no idea how long I've been in quarantine.  I've stopped counting because the numbers were just making me twitchy.  Life is going about as well as one could reasonably expect.  We're all save and sound in northern California, as much as we can be during a pandemic.  Working from home is working from home.  To minimize risk we're getting as much stuff delivered as we can, modulo periodic trips to the local pharmacy to pick up filled prescriptions and suchlike. I wish I could say the same of things back home in Pennsylvania, but I'd be lying and …

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Fully remote backups of websites.

A couple of weeks ago my webhosting provider sent me a polite e-mail to inform me that I was using too much disk space. A cursory examination of their e-mail showed that they were getting upset about the daily backups of my site that I was stashing in a hidden directory, and they really prefer that all files in your home directory be accessible. I ran a quick check and, sure enough, about twenty gigabytes times two weeks of daily backups adds up to a fair amount of disk space. So, the question is, how do I keep backing up …

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Upgrading Ubuntu Server 14.04 to 16.04.

A couple of days ago I got it into my head to upgrade one of my Exocortex servers from Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS, the latest stable release. While Ubuntu long-term support releases are good for a couple of years (14.04 LTS would be supported until at least 2020) I had some concerns about the packages themselves being too stale to run the later releases of much of my software. To be more specific, I could continue to hope that the Ruby and Python interpreters I have installed could be upgraded as necessary but at …

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Leave nothing to chance.

Something that I keep meaning to write about is the topic of practical data backups - how to back your data up in such a way that you won't go bonkers trying to manage it, but if you blow a drive you'll be able to restore something at least. The thing about backups is that they're at once easy to overthink and confuse yourself horribly (which means that you'll never make or use them) and easy to do in such a fashion that they won't be usable when you need them the most. At the enterprise level, there are at least …

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