Saturday, 13 February 2010

Searching for myself

No i'm not about to go all deep and meaningful on you, although I was probably drunk enough earlier to consider it. Neither have I lost track of my person. Nor was I vanity-surfing.

First I was looking at how easy this blog was to find when looking for beagle board coding info, and then I was looking to see how easy info about me was to find for those that might be looking.

For the first I found a `BeagleBoard' user on facebook who has been noting my posts - but for that I had to dig, as I did for this site. And for the second I found a real gem of a memory on the first page of Google search results:

PC Backups/bugs etc.
Michael Zucchi (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 13:00:20 +0930 (CST)

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I'm an assistant sysadmin in a small computer department at the Uni
of South Australia. We have automated backup systems for unix
(using amanda), and mac systems (using retrospect), however its
currently upto the users of pc systems to backup the files they
use regularly, with whatever means they have at thier disposal.

Now, the recent versions of 'samba' include an smbclient which can
create tar files from pc shares. Obviously the idea here is to
use the recent tar support of Amanda to automagially do our PC
backups too, based on WFWG shares on each of the systems to be
backed up. Essentially, i'm trying to 'bolt on' remote pc share
'tar' support into the gnu-tar files. e.g. if the disklist

hostname //pchost/password nocomp-user-tar

then the 'hostname' host has samba installed (in my case i use
the master backup host - load to this host could be a problem
when a large number of remote pc disks are being backed up through it),
and when a backup takes place it connects to \\pchost\backup with
the password 'password', and tars to stdout. The gnutar code
recognises a remote pc host by the disk name syntax. I also modified
the smbclient software slightly to produce a 'totals' line from
stderr. I'm not sure if i'll ever get it finished, but i've managed
to get it to tar a remote NT workstation share and record it in
/etc/amandates, and incremental backups should work (properly - using
the dos archive bit) too.

However i seem to have found a bug in Amanda in the process.

client-src/sendsize.c calls start_amandates(0) in line 89.
start_amandates runs ok, but calls enter_record (from
common-src/amandates.c) which, on error (when the recorded
dump date doesn't match the /etc/amandates dumpdate) it
tries to use the 'log' function. This in turn tries to access
the config files - which aren't stored on the client side of
an amanda setup. Consequently sendsize bombs out with:
"sendsize: could not open log file (null): Bad address"

As this seems the only place to report bugs, i'm leaving it


Michael Zucchi

/// `... thinking is an exercise to which all too few brains
/// are accustomed.' - First Lensman, E.E. `Doc' Smith
\\\/// Michael Zucchi B.E.
\\\/ CIS, Assistant Systems Administrator, UniSA +61 8 302 3033

* Next message: Ken Laprade: "BUG: "cannot create" error file"
* Previous message: Martin Espinoza: "I need someone's, ANYONE's ...
* Next in thread: Gregory T. Notch: "Re: PC Backups/bugs etc."

Wow. From my first job. I had written and released free-ware before for AmigaOS in isolation (an accelerated GIF decoding system component for example), but IIRC this was pretty much my first post to a free software mailing list, and it was followed not long after by my first patch.

I was so polite back then, I wonder what happened. And wrote overly verbose email messages as I continue to do to this day. Although I had a somewhat pretentious signature (which I kept for many years), I still think it speaks volumes.

But after 15 years of crapping around the internet, you might have expected something like that would've dropped from the first page by now ...

What I find interesting is that if you search in 'bing', that is about the only sort of thing you CAN easily find with my name on it. It's like the whole internet after 1998 simply doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned (oddly enough, that's about when I started on GNOME).

Hmm, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing either.

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