Thursday, April 10, 2014

Raspberry Pi Backup (geeking out, part 1)

"The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse."

 At $30 or so, the RPi is especially useful for many, many purposes. It makes a great teaching/learning tool. Anyway, setting the thing up from scratch is normally done on a full-sized computer. Almost all of the references I could find for backups and such also use another computer. And then I ran across exactly what I have been looking for. A script to clone the live, working, SD card to another SD card attached via a card reader.

 Installation works like this:
git clone https://github.com/billw2/rpi-clone.git
cd rpi-clone
cp rpi-clone /usr/local/sbin
 To use the script attach a reader with an SD card inserted.
"fdisk -l" will tell you the name of the card. Mine was /dev/sdb.
So to run the script...
rpi-clone (to learn about options, etc)
Then in my case
rpi-clone sdb -v -f

 It takes an hour or two the first time. After the process completes once it will do an incremental backup and only takes a few minutes.

 Perfection. Thanks BillW!

 Now that I've got a valid backup I can move on to more useful work with the thing.
-greg

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reconnecting

I haven't posted in way too long. First step to fixing that is getting my iPad reconnected to the 'blog. Time to work on that...

 

 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blogging on the iPad

I saw on TV several months ago where Oprah was giving away iPads, and she loved hers so, and she blogged on hers, and it was the best gadget ever. Uh, yeah right. Either she didn't format her own blogs (well of course not, she has a staff of grunts to do the dirty work) or she was using unreleased software. I searched. Tried the "best" ones. All crap relative to decent PC (win or mac) blogging software. I'm hoping that has changed. If this post looks pretty slick with a rose from my Flickr account integrated, credit Blogsy for leading the blog software pack. Credit Oprah for being an awesome individual who may be able to see into the future a bit more than the average Jo. :)

The iPad Update

Short version: I am now OK with replacing my notebook with an iPad. Not perfect, but I can make it work while traveling.

Long version: I've been keeping an ultra-portable PC (Sony TZ series, fwiw) in my bag for years. You pay extra for a PC that weighs less than 3 pounds.

I'm on the road again today and brought both a larger notebook (Dell Latitude) and the new iPad2 with Logitech keyboard/case by Zagg. Last night it took about an hour for the Win7 notebook to get its service pack applied...a machine that was supposed to have been "up to date." So much for grab and go. I'm using that Win7 notebook to connect to the console (9pin serial port) of a router. I suspect there is or will be cable for the iPad to do that too. The iPad will need updates, but thus far they've been pretty small/fast.

So while I wait on technicians to do their part of this road trip extravaganza, I've been using a Verizon MyFi to get online. The iPad has a built-in VPN client which works great. The Win7 notebook has a larger screen, better remote desktop, and other features which make it much preferred for remote Windows work, BUT...when I've tried to connect our Cisco Anywhere client it fails miserably. No VPN=no remote access. I expect a configuration error, but haven't gotten it working. So instead I'm learning my way around the iPad. I don't think I could do it without a keyboard. I was unwilling to haul around the original Apple bluetooth keyboard. The Zagg/Logitech keyboard and case is for sure the accessory to have.

As for completely replacing my ole trusty Sony ultra-portable...consider it done. This iPad2 has 2 cameras for conferencing and, more importantly, it has the built-in ability to ship its display out a VGA adapter. That will allow me to do the occasional presentation directly from iPad. I wouldn't call this iPad experience to be flawless. In fact it is far from it. The important factors in the iPad's favor are 1) cost 2) weight 3) battery life (which was great on the Sony too) 4) fewer OS updates. Something tells me there are plenty of folks who will want one just to have an iPod that will read Facebook. It might be nice to distinguish posers from users, but it isn't worth it. We had typewriters once too, but those have been replaced by computers that have the capability of allowing people to watch porn. I'm not willing to throw out the baby with the bath water. This iPad is pretty darned convenient.

Don't think for an instant this changes my view of Apple. :)