A couple of days ago, I upgraded the server that runs this site. It was running an older version of PHP, and some other components could use some update love too. I’m using a SecureDragon Virtual Private Server (VPS), which allows me to create a snapshot of the server before doing stuff like this. In case anything went wrong, this would allow me to go back to the way things were that morning.
More Backup bingo
A few days ago, @bakkel tweeted about WP Time Machine. This WordPress backup solution turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for. It gathers all the relevant bits (like your blog’s database, uploaded images, etc) and uploads them to Dropbox, Amazon’s S3 or FTP. It even adds a file with comprehensive restore instructions. I’ve argued before that backups need to be absolutely painless, and with this plugin they are.
More WP Time Machine – free off-site backups for WordPress
When I first heard about Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) in 2006, I wasn’t sure what anyone was ever going to use it for. It was not quite a web hosting service, because there were no extra services like PHP or MySQL. Or even FTP access. This was clearly aimed at developers, but most of those would probably have their own dedicated server boxes with tons of storage, right? Until I stumbled across a ‘use case’ for it this week. I signed up and found it to be a very flexible and useful service.
More Amazon S3 – pay-per-view online file storage
As much as I love WordPress, I am also a firm believer in competitive business. But that’s not why the news of Journalspace’s demise is so painful. It’s the ‘how’. Apparently, a RAID setup was their only data backup they had in place, and that doesn’t protect you from some types of threat. Most notably disgruntled former employees… Data gone. Blogs up in smoke. Ouch.
They’re selling off the domain names and trademark to cover costs, so chances are a new site will eventually emerge.
P.S. The Google ads on that page promote backup solutions… double ouch.
I know. This is basically silly, but some system tray icons bug the hell out of me. Here part of my current setup. See the mushroom sticking out like a sore thumb? I love Cobian Backup, and have recently installed it as a service, but the tray icon is making me itch. Codenamed “Amanita”, version 9 of course needed a mushroom icon, but compared to the black moon icon of version 8 this is pretty bad. A slightly more sedate colour scheme would be nice, as well a proper anti-aliasing.
Unfortunately, I can find no option to change the icon under Vista Home Premium, so I guess I’ll have to live with it. Seen against the greater scheme of things this is of course only a minor gripe, but if anyone knows an easy fix, please drop me a comment.
One of the few problems wth free software is the fact that the authors usually do not have huge marketing budgets to promote their work. This is why I didn’t know about Synergy until Matt Cutts blogged about it. It’s also why it took me ages to find a decent backup tool. I was just about to pay for a mediocre shareware solution when I came across Cobian Backup.
More Cobian Backup