How To: Automated Encrypted Incremental Backups on Amazon S3 with Duplicity (OS X or Ubuntu)

Purpose: setup an automatic encrypted off-site backup system that utilizes Amazon S3 with incremental backups by duplicity on the Mac (Leopard) or Ubuntu. Currently, I do have my own on-site backup system in place (nightly backups via rsync to external hard drive), but I am wary that some day my house may explode and I’ll have nothing left. Enter my new friend: the encrypted off-site backup.

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Bash Script: Incremental Encrypted Backups with Duplicity (Amazon S3)

Update (5/6/12): I have not been actively developing this script lately. Zertrin has stepped up to take over the reins and offers a up-to-date and modified version with even more capabilities. Check it out over at github.

This bash script was designed to automate and simplify the remote backup process of duplicity on Amazon S3. After your script is configured, you can easily backup, restore, verify and clean (either via cron or manually) your data without having to remember lots of different command options and passphrases.

Most importantly, you can easily backup the script and your gpg key in a convenient passphrase-encrypted file. This comes in in handy if/when your machine ever does go belly up. Code is hosted at github.

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How to: Retreive Custom Field Data in a WordPress Post

Purpose: use WordPress’s “Custom Field” key/data pairs to store and retrieve specific post information and display it in your own custom templates.

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How To: Install MacPorts on OS X Leopard (10.5)

Purpose: install MacPorts on OS X Leopard (10.5) to gain access to a host of open source applications and tools that make working on the Mac as cool as can be. Using MacPorts makes it easy to install applications you would otherwise have to build from source — which can be difficult for folks like me, who don’t understand what the hell they are doing in the first place.

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How To: Network Trash on Ubuntu File Server (NAS) with SFTP (SSH + Fuse) and AFP (netatalk)

Purpose: create a Network Trash functionality for a Ubuntu Linux file server (NAS). Reason being: by default, files deleted from the command line on file server go away permanently. If I am connected to my file server from my Mac via AFP (through netatalk) or SSH (SFTP through Fuse) and delete a file, that file is gone forever! This is a problem, because often I find I want them back. Enter: libtrash!

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How to: Install Netatalk (AFP) on Ubuntu with Encrypted Authentication

Purpose: Install Netatalk (AFP) on Ubuntu with encrypted authentication (using OpenSSL), which is not enabled by default with the Ubuntu netatalk package. By default, the package installed from the Ubuntu universal repositories will transmit your password via clear text (you’ll know this because Mac OS X Tiger will throw a warning and Leopard won’t do anything useful at all).

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How to: Mount a SFTP Folder (SSH + FTP) on Ubuntu Linux using SSHFS & Fuse

Purpose: to mount a remote directory on my local Ubuntu Linux Desktop system using SFTP (which is SSH in an FTP-like fashion). The goal is to easily gain access to a remote system’s files through another folder on my desktop. Debina/Ubuntu allows you to easily mount SSH folders via the GUI, however, these mounts won’t show up in the terminal (and in some programs). I used sshfs to accomplish this.

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How to: Redirect Apache’s Default www or public_html Folder to a Directory in Your Home Folder

Purpose: The default installation of Apache (from a Ubuntu-Server installation) sets the base directory for the web documents as /var/www (on Ubuntu’s installation — this may be different if you are running Apache on another machine); this may not be where you want it, in the end, and certainly isn’t as easily accessible from a remote machine. One option is to change where it is Apache searches for its web documents folder in Apache’s configuration file; another way, which I chose, is to create a symbolic link in the default location’s place and have it point to a directory in my user’s home folder.

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Welcome to the blog

Hello and welcome to the blog at

If you have been paying close attention, you will surely have noticed that this is my second blog (in celebration of my two readers). Though much has changed in the year since I first stepped off the boat with, one matter has not: I still fear for my first post — such that it is — and what it all will represent many years from now and how it will, certainly, be a poor attempt at anything.

What to say? How to say it? How to explain in so few words what fewer people will ever read?

This blog serves a distinct purpose (unlike the witticisms and clever prose from my first one): a place for me to document all the little things I learn in front of the computer and then immediately forget and have to re-learn again. Posting my wanderings here, I hope, will shorten the re-learning process.