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commit 04be125a1755d0d6b1756afb25f68558d636ccf5
parent fd1ce09dfd46ee2bf36608e75b9031df5afa8f81
Author: FIGBERT <>
Date:   Sun, 27 Jun 2021 20:38:19 -0700

Add post following up on previous post

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1 file changed, 119 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/content/posts/ b/content/posts/ @@ -0,0 +1,119 @@ ++++ +title = "An Update on Bad Backups and Internet Celebrity" +description = "My recent post on the Great Alpine Migration Tragedy of 2021 garnered some serious attention! I got a number of emails, a whole host of feedback on, and over 100 points on Hacker News! As I understand it, that means I’m now a top internet celebrity (and eligible for the 10 KB Club). Still, I must remain humble even as I catapult toward digital infamy and thus I am here to respond to feedback, answer questions, and talk about what I’ve done to prevent something like this from happening again." +date = 2021-06-25 ++++ + +My recent post on the [Great Alpine Migration Tragedy] of 2021 garnered +some serious attention! I got a number of emails, a whole host of +feedback on [], and over **100 points** on [Hacker News]! As I +understand it, that means I'm now a top internet celebrity (and eligible +for the [10 KB Club]). + +Still, I must remain humble even as I catapult toward digital infamy and +thus I am here to respond to feedback, answer questions, and talk about +what I've done to prevent something like this from happening again. + +<!-- more --> + +## Useful Tips from Strangers + +### Ctrl-C is Not a Debugging Tool + +That's a good point: I've been advised to update my methods. Several +folks pointed me towards [`strace`]. Sending the `SIGUSR1` or `SIGINFO` +signal to Tarsnap would also work. The `-v` flag could have been +helpful as well. + +### Don't Wipe Prematurely + +A number of folks were confused as to why I didn't keep the [old +machine] around during the transition. Others detailed their own +[migration strategies][klodolph]. In general, it seems that folks agree +you should keep around your old machine until you're totally certain +everything is up and running in your new setup. + +As I mention briefly in the article, I've actually done this in the past +myself! This time, however, there was no second server. Everything was +done in-place. I cannot change this, as it occurred in the past. In the +future I will avoid this kind of migration. + +### A Restore System + +A number of people took issue with my take-aways from the experience. +See: + +> Trying to address a lack of confidence by increasing the backup +> frequency doesn't make sense. The backup frequency is the most trivial +> thing to adjust and doesn't address deeper issues, like the fact that +> you need to dump/restore databases properly and shouldn't copy files +> from a live database. +> +> by [klodolph] + +I'll start by saying that that increasing backup frequency from zero to +anything greater than zero does, in fact, address a significant issue. I +now have backups where there were none before. + +Still, the point stands. Without quality backups, and quality restore +strategies, the backups are not as useful as they could be. + +### A Little Bit of Gold and a Pager + +There was some fun memeing in the Hacker News comments in response to me +being a teenager. Specifically, wildmanx said that they [wouldn't hire +me for their "company IT or devops or whatnot."][hire]. Several people +have a sense of humour: + +> Good idea to let him graduate from highschool before hiring him! +> +> by [nick__m] + +I'll add for further memery that in addition to the stress of my entire +server infrastructure burning, I had to deal with passing the +behind-the-wheel driver's test. I've now been a licensed driver for +about a week and a half. Coincidentally, I got my server back running +the same day I passed the test. + +## How I'm Doing Backups + +I moved all the data in my self-hosting setup into a single directory. +The files were previously all lying about my home directory, which is +what led to the tragic "forgetting about `.env` amongst all my dotfiles" +incident. + +I set up a cronjob that runs the backup script [`acts`] daily, set to +back up the self hosting directory. It currently keeps a buffer of 31 +daily and 12 monthly backups, and keeps around yearly backups forever. +It's been running for a couple days now, and it's all been smooth +sailing so far. + +## To Infinity and Beyond + +I'd also like to say thanks to a number of people who were especially +kind, and made this a fun experience: +1. Graham Percival, an employee at Tarsnap Backup Inc., reached out to + me directly – we had a fun and interesting email exchange. +2. [hannu] was the first to write the later much-echoed sentiment that + reflecting on one's mistakes is a useful and laudable thing to do + (see also [abraae] and [argomo]). + +I'm going to continue iterating my self-hosting setup. I've still got a +couple [new services] I might want to throw up there. I also can't +forget about that [dedicated page] I promised... + +[Great Alpine Migration Tragedy]: @/posts/ +[]: +[Hacker News]: +[10 KB Club]: +[`strace`]: +[old machine]: +[klodolph]: +[hire]: +[nick__m]: +[`acts`]: +[hannu]: +[abraae]: +[argomo]: +[new services]: +[dedicated page]: @/posts/