Lesson (Re-)Learned: back up religiously
Oct 25th, 2009 by scaredpoet


So, I’ve been backing up the contents of this blog pretty religiously for about 5 years now, since its inception.  Every week I’d have a fresh new copy of everything ready to go in case disaster struck.

Then of course, a little complacency and Murphy’s Law conpsired against me, and the one month I finally trip up a bit and lapse on doing backups, disaster finally strikes.

I attempted to upgrade this server to the latest and greatest version of Ubuntu.  It’s a fine server operating system by the way, I highly recommend it.  Anyway, the upgrade had gone well all of my test servers and some productions systems I’m responsible for, so I figured there shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Sadly, no.  The update, for reasons yet unknown, put this particular site into a coma, and all data was unrecoverable.  No way to log in.  No way to save anything.  No way to even get the web server running again so people can read my drivel.

And so I had no choice: wipe out the server and rebuild it from scratch, restoring from backups.  Too bad I got lazy and my last backup was over a month old.

As a result, everything I wrote through the month of October was essentially lost.  Not that it was Pulitzer winning material or anything.  Even so, losing any of your work can be very disheartening.

Needless to say, I’ll be backing up far more frequently once again.  And, being a little more cautious about upgrading tot he latest and greatest server OS until I know for certain things will go well.

Linux makes a PR coup
Jan 11th, 2009 by scaredpoet

While the weekend was spent by millions of geeks crushing web servers in an attempt to download the beta of the latest installment of Microsoft Windows, some members of the Linux community got a little welcome PR from the New York Times. Mark Shuttleworth, the CEO of Canonical Ltd., and the guy behind Ubuntu (the linux distro that powers this website), was interviewed by NYT about his alternative OS, which challenges the commercial software model by giving away the store.

Microsoft had an estimated 10,000 people working on Vista, its newest desktop operating system, for five years. The result of this multibillion-dollar investment has been a product late to market and widely panned.

Canonical, meanwhile, releases a fresh version of Ubuntu every six months, adding features that capitalize on the latest advances from developers and component makers like Intel. The company’s model centers on outpacing Microsoft on both price and features aimed at new markets.

To those of us who’ve used Ubuntu and other linux distros, the article isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it does give a mainstream public relations polish to Linux, and presents the alternative to those who’ve never really thought that you can run something other than Windows on your PC.

And I love this quote from Shuttleworth:

“I want to find out what it’s like to have a gigabit connection to the home,” he said. “It is not because I need to watch porn in high-definition but because I want to see what you do differently.”

I had always envisioned this guy as some inaccessible, eccentric billionaire. He’s definitely eccentric, but it’s also clear he’s in fact quite human.

...and you KNOW porn really did have something to do with broadband motivations. 🙂

Not so random numbers means linux geeks freak out
May 13th, 2008 by scaredpoet


Well, seeing as lately my blog is geeking-out over Ubuntu, I may as well add this posting to the list, and it’s a doozy.

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Ubuntu vs. the “root” of all evil
May 6th, 2008 by scaredpoet

The contents of this article are probably bound to give certain people in the Ubuntu linux community lots and lots of butthurt.

Oh well. It sucks to be them.

Here it is, for anyone who needs it: How to enable the root user in Ubuntu Linux Distributions.

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Ubuntu: Linux for Human Rights?
Apr 29th, 2008 by scaredpoet


With the Human Rights situation in Tibet making headlines just 100 days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, it’s interesting to see that this issue has become a perfect battleground for Information warfare on the web, and in particular, suspected Chinese hackers who sympathize with the State.

Right now, web site intrusions and malware attacks are seeing a particularly large spike. Part of it has to do with an ongoing SQL injection vulnerability that’s hitting an estimated half a million websites as this is being written. Some of those sites included those belonging to the United Nations, as well as numerous small businesses, nonprofits, and local and state governments. The cause? Running Microsoft’s Web Services Platform, known as IIS.

Microsoft denies blame for the problem. Though, it is kinda funny that so far ONLY Microsoft servers have proven vulnerable.

The bad news? There appears to be no patch as of yet to solve the problem.

The solution? For now, pray. Or, switch to Mac or Linux.

The same advice goes for those whoa re running pro-Tibetan web sites. Pro-open-source site is distributing a document in PDF format that details an ongoing spate of hacking incidents targeting web sites sympathetic to Tibet. Ironcove also infers that the Chinese government may be involved, or sanctioning the attacks:

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