Updating to Yosemite: clean install with a clever backup

I upgraded my iMac (which is aging, sadly) to Yosemite while taking a break from work.

I wanted to do a clean install: the drive had two partitions, one an old windows partition that we don’t use anymore, and the other was full of crap from years of trying out apps and the migration from Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion to Mavericks, etc.

I wanted to make a full backup, so I could recover all of my settings and go scrounge around for files that I missed, etc., but I didn’t want to clone a drive. I stumbled on these:

Can you see my plan? It worked very well.

I did have to boot into recovery mode (I had a bootable USB drive with the Yosemite installer on it, so I just used that), and I did use the command line instead of working through disk utility, though I believe either would have worked.

hdiutil create /Volumes/External-USB/full-backup.dmg -srcdevice /dev/disk0s2

I did have trouble with the windows partition, but we haven’t used it in so long that I just made an image of the Documents & Settings folder, and called it a night.

After wiping the drive and putting Yosemite on, I was able to raid the *.dmg for apps and settings, etc. (I am sure I could have used the data migration utility, but I was trying to ditch the cruft… so I was selective. I have the dmg to refer to if I find something missing).


posted 30 December 2014
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Bootstrapping ubuntu server on an external drive

I have a new 2TB drive that I am going to use to replace a drive on a much used server that is currently running gentoo (which I have increasingly less time to tend). So. I have this new drive in an external enclosure, and I want to bootstrap it with the new OS without having to do that “go reboot your computer with a USB key thing”. I want my OS on the disk, I want to test that all the services can be coerced to behave the way I need them to behave, and I want to do all this with a minimum of fuss and gymnastics.


posted 29 August 2014
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DIY paper planner - with a cover

So. It took one day, and I had to make a cover. I couldn’t help myself. Thankfully, I have more scrapbooking supplies lying around than I know what to do with, so it didn’t take too long.

I wanted pockets. I wanted pseudo-lamination. I wanted something that could still flex backwards. No problem, right?


posted 24 September 2013
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DIY paper planner

Cover view

Those that have known me for a long time know that I am a sucker for planner. The trouble is that I don’t use them much beyond the new planner honeymoon period (for any number of reasons).

With two kids and a change of house coming, I needed to do something for my overloaded brain, and no combination of apps on the phone is doing the job. Hubby and I do use Google calendars for a somewhat shared brain (at least with regard to who should be where and when), but I don’t like Google tasks much (and can’t unload work brain there, anyway). I also prefer hand-written lists and notes: I end up with little notes everywhere which doesn’t help when you’re already feeling overwhelmed!

So, I stumbled on DIY planner printables on Pinterest, and it got me thinking. None of the ones I saw were quite right, and I realized a few reasons why:

  • they tend to be over-regimented
  • many split up or squish the weekend in the week view
  • many use a lot of color, which is nice, but I have a black and white laser printer, so all that flash is lost on me

With all of that in mind, I made my own. It is sparse and unadorned, and has few boxes dedicated to this or that kind of note (to do, shopping list, contact list, etc.). This thing is basically all a to-do list of sorts, and I wanted to give myself room (with pen/pencil) to evolve how it works.


posted 23 September 2013
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Cross-site search (1): Apache nutch

Our team needs a targeted search engine to allow searches across several websites (wikis, mostly), mailing list archives, and IRC logs.

I’m going to use Apache Nutch as the web crawler. In the way-back-of-beyond days, I had htdig as a webcrawler (who didn’t?), but it didn’t work very well.

I’ll be using Apache Solr as the searcher, and will run this on the Liberty Profile introduced with WebSphere Application Server v8.5. disclaimer: I am the development lead for the Liberty Profile. I think it is awesome. I am biased.


posted 19 June 2012
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