Keeping two very large repositories in sync can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you’re dealing with residential-grade ADSL connections at one or both ends. rsync can kind of do this by itself out of the box, but in practice it needs a bit of a wrapper to make it workable. There’s some hints on various sites on how you can wrap rsync, but they were somewhat incomplete, so I wrote this bash script to make it a smidge easier.

My favourite wiki – DekiWiki by MindTouch – used to run on a cranky old Pentium-based server that had started suffering from sufficiently frequent random reboots, plus MindTouch had evidently pivoted into a company that doesn’t actually provide any of the stuff they said they’d provide forever, so a few years ago I powered that beast down and started what I thought would be a short search for a new personal wiki for me and the family to use.

I’ve had to use Microsoft operating systems on and off (mostly off) since the late 1980’s. Yeah, yeah, I know. Like any normal person my response to the early exposure has been to try to limit later exposure – to avoid employment options that obliged me to use various Microsoft products on a daily basis. I recently failed on this front quite savagely. I now suffer frequent doses of MS Windows 7, 8, 8.1, as well as the usual crufty products that go hand in hand with these things – Microsoft Office, proprietary add-ons, OneDrive, Sharepoint, OneDrive for Business (which is neither one nor the other), and various other server-side abominations.

A work-in-progress description of setting up Debian GNU/Linux on a new Dell Precision M3800 (functionally an equivalent model to the Dell XPS 15).

I am in the process of writing up some benchmarking analytics for my QNAP 569L NAS – but while enjoying that journey I discovered several challenges with NFS and iSCSI that are surprising given the professional nature of these appliances. Specifically that as sold the appliance isn’t fit for purpose. After several days of experimenting with different options in an attempt to get around fatal errors occurring on the appliance, I have finally got my QNAP successfully serving a handful of iSCSI LUNs to an ESXi machine without crashing. On the downside it required installation of beta firmware – neither encouraging or comforting.

Evernote has been annoying me for a while now. It feels a bit flaky, and it turns out it is more than a bit flaky. They don’t make it easy for me to do my own (automated) backups. I’m not entirely convinced of their security or privacy arrangements. There’s a stack of features I don’t need (and which sometimes make it harder to access the functionality that I do need). The Android client interface is frequently frustrating, even on a 5" screen. Finally, as a Debian GNU/Linux user, I’m treated as a something less than a third rate citizen, left to rely upon the good work of volunteers like Randy Baumgarte if I want to use Evernote from my desktop.

I’ve been rediscovering VMware’s $-free product ESXi. I would much rather be using kvm and managing it with virt-manager – but I’m working with a bunch of virtual appliances that are only certified to work on ESXi.

I needed a modest virtualisation lab for running a fair number of virtual machines for work. These are constrained to work only on VMware’s ESX virtualisation platform, regrettably, or I’d happily bimble along with virt-manager and kvm.

The Scything Plus Workshop – a weekend on Hazelcombe Farm near Mudgee, NSW, AU, learning interesting things from interesting people.

I originally suggested replacing my sister’s ageing (power-hungry, obstreperous, recalcitrant) Core2-based server with a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of USB disks as a bit of a joke. A few minutes later, I had convinced myself it was a fantastic idea.

Very briefly, recently, an ‘Ask HN’ thing popped up on Hacker News about a guy trying to work out how to get his would-be wedding photographer to agree to supply copies of the RAW image files along with the skilfully post-processed, print- and publish-ready jpegs.

After a recent upgrade to the kernel and GRUB recently, my Debian system started acting a bit weird, and feeling too tired to spend more than a few minutes trying to diagnose it, went for the Microsoft option – let’s reboot that sucker back to health.