06 June 2010

One year blogging

I have been checking the webpage for mistakes because during this summer I intend to update it a bit. Especially the mirror site which is completely out of date. So this is what I am going to be up to during the following months.

And guess what? I have realised that the first blog entry at weebly was in June 2009, exactly one year ago. So happy blogday!!!

Now I need to go out for a while, ride my bike and breathe some fresh air.
I suppose this is my traditional farewell  until autumn. I may occasionally publish some new entries during summer but it's not very likely. See you soon.


05 June 2010

TLCL - The Linux Command Line

 This past week I have been so focused on this new book I got that I've hardly had time to think about anything else. This awesome masterpiece was written by William E. Shotts, Jr. An expert in teaching linux at the CLI (Command Line Interface). You can visit his website at or follow his blog at

When I started learning linux back in 2004 I read his entire website and I even downloaded a copy of the site to keep it as a reference when I was offline. It helped me a lot. Most of all to be able to understand how commands and scripts worked. At that time I was only able to  read and understand some very simple scripts. I had trouble compiling from source and so on and so forth. A typical linux newbie thing lol

In time I have learnt some more things. I can  use the command line to carry out several tasks like editing configuration files or do some more complex admin work on servers but most of all I know my way around a Linux system much better. Now after such a long time, revisiting his writings has encouraged me to try new things like for example building an all-text workstation (Though I have to admit that the example being a Debian system has helped me a lot to decide to do it) I have also tried to write very easy and simple scripts. They might look a bit silly or naive or something of the kind to real linux experts. But they -these scripts- help me a lot in my everyday system admin tasks. Especially when it comes to backing up important data.

And last but not least, though this might sound even sillier, I have taken into consideration the idea of writing a book!!! No, wait wait, don't get me wrong. I do NOT by any means imply that if Mr. Shotts has been able to write and publish a book then every man can, no no! What I mean is that it impressed me that he has managed to write an extraordinary book in a very professional fashion by simply using some of the tools that we all have at hands reach like openoffice. That together with a lot of talent and imagination.

I should get down to work and start writing that book. The only problem is what about!!! Well don't worry those of you who know me are aware that I'm a very stubborn person both in its positive and negative meaning. It's all a matter of time until I find the inspiration and time to start work.

Thanks William E. Shotts, Jr. for being there, for teaching us all so well and for your inspiration and encouragement. Keep up the good work!!! I still haven't finished reading the book but I am already looking forward to your next one. What about TLCL part 2?

01 June 2010

Backup with rsync

rsync is an amazing piece of software that can be used as a powerful backup tool. I made a very small and very simple backup script using rsync to save important files to a usb pendrive. After some trial and error, it is very handy.
I devised a small trick which consists in putting a dot at the end of only the files I want to include in the backup. This way, when I create a directory that I want to have copied to the usb I only have to name it with a dot at the end and it's done. The script is as follows:

#! /bin/bash
#This is a very simple backup script using rsync. It copies files to a usb pendrive assuming that it is already mounted. If not, use the mount command as root or pmount (Maybe better)
#The ampersand sign is used to redirect standard error to a logfile.
#Good idea to use it with cron. My crontab is 0 21 * * *
rsync -rlptoDvh  --delete /home/chals/*. /media/KINGSTON/ &> asb.log

I named the script 'asb'. It is a play on words with the name of our internet association (asc). 'asb' stands for advanced system backup. lol