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Dr John Hawkins

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Unix in a Lunch Box

Posted on 2006/06/23 01:23:29 (June 2006).

[Wednesday 21st June]
I won't even comment on the dreariness of the day at work today.

I spent the evening with the Mac Mini, trying to remind myself that I didn't just fundamentally hate everything to do with computers! I have to admit to having rather enjoyed myself - I'm not sure I'm really making much use of the Mac side of things, but I just love messing about in Unix. Apple made a really smart move by using this as the foundation for OSX - similar I suppose to switching to Intel chips, which led the way to Boot Camp and Windows support.

The novelty value of the Mini still hasn't worn off yet - when I think of Unix I tend to think of great big unwieldy servers - it is really great to have the same kind of flexibility, but in a unit not much bigger than the sort of box you'd take your lunch to work in.

I've made a start on the 'Maison backup tool. I've decided to try and make it cross platform - so the finished product should work on Windows, Mac OSX and hopefully by implication Linux/Solaris. When it is finished, I'll make it available to all the 'Maison regulars, so you can all backup your own bits of the site (or even the whole lot if you feel so inclined). I really like the idea of all these little clients, beavering away all over the globe backing up the site. That way even if a whole continent slips into the sea, there'll still be a backup of the site somewhere.

A couple of weeks back I'd tried to make a start on the backup tool in .Net, and found it surprisingly awkward to get off the ground with the basics like getting a directory listing via FTP. Despite the decidedly low-tech approach of going the Unix route - building via the shell with gcc, and editing in a regular text editor - it actually seemed much easier to make progress doing it all "the old fashioned way". Sometimes all this fancy-pants new technology tries to be just too clever I suppose.

Anyway, it is early days yet, it will take a fair while before I've got anything that is really usable - especially as I always have to negotiate an "allowance" for this kind of free time from Chie... but I will keep you posted as the tool progresses.

Comment 1

1 question... Will the client back up the data ON your minimac too? I'm waiting for it anyways!

Posted by Lox at 2006/06/23 14:19:12.

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