May 2006

I have tons of archives. Mainly graphics files that I have created in the past or the some 15,000 photos that I have taken with my D70 since buying it. Not to mention the thousands of photos that I took before the D70. Then I also have my scans. I scan almost every piece of paper that comes into my house. Bills, receipts, and the like. (I will post an article about that some day.)

I like to keep everything accessible on a shared server so that I can easily get to them. But all of this is in the 100+ Gig range. It is easy enough to store all that somewhere. But the problem is backup.

Sure I can split the archive into 4.5G chunks and write it to dvd, but how do I know it worked. MD5SUM you say? Yes.

In the past I have used programs like tripwire or aide to do server integrity sweeps. Why not use one of them for making sure that when I backup my data that it really is saved. Well, the problem is that those are pretty rigid and have config files stored in /etc/blah. They are meant more for intrusion detection. Not really what I need.

I could write a script that recurses directories and stores the md5sum along with each file name. Then after making a backup I could run those again recursively against the stored data. Not good again. That would require me to have to write software. That is a bad idea. Anything that creates real work for me is a bad idea.

Enter md5deep. After searching for a few hours and looking at all the integrity programs I stumbled upon md5deep. Wow. It is just what I am looking for. It allows me to do something like this:

md5deep -r /etc >/tmp/file.database.txt <- this recurses the directory and generates a flat text file with all the md5sums.

md5deep -r /etc -X /tmp/file.database.txt <- this reads the database and recurses the directory telling me if any files don't match the database.

 Couldn't be simpler.

To test it I will run it on my photo archive. Then make a backup to dvd-r. Run the checker and see if what I think is on them is on them.

Tonight I was showing one of my friends NetHack for the first time. It has been a while since I played it and it brought back tons of memories. Back to the early days of playing Rogue on a trs-80. Rather than launch him into something like Falcon's eye or a NetHack with tiles, I decided to show him the text mode. The way the game was meant to be played!

He used to be a D&D player so most of the ideas and terminology were second nature to him. I think he liked it.

Now I'm gonna be playing it for days. 

So with the new server I really wanted to do virtual server stuff. I want to partition it into at least 3 servers.

I have spent the past few weeks dealing with software and hardware issues. (I had a stick of ram that was bad in the new machine.)

Finally it is all up and running. The host system is a Ubuntu Dapper box running two Qemu for the two guest systems that I have set up now. Why Qemu? It works for me now. I am excited about setting up the box later to use Xen for the virtual servers.

The thing that has me using Qemu over Xen or UML was that I wanted to take the old server as is and run it using the virtual system. Its an old Debian box. I had it almost working with UML but Qemu was the most stable with the old install.

If you haven’t tried you yet you need to try Google SketchUp. It is a extremely easy to use 3d modeling tool that was recently purchased by Google. There is a free version and a Pro version.

I have only tried the Free version as the $495 pro version is a little too steep for me right now. I was able to sketch out our place in just a few minutes.

I plan on doing a SketchUp version of Rennes Le Chateau. I think to ease into the learning process of the program I will start with a Tour Magdala. Then move on to the chapel then the house.