The secretGeek Disaster Recovery plan

Jeff Atwood suffered a 'total data loss' of his blog. And here is how 90% of the world's bloggers slept that night:

a pleasant nights sleep

Immediately thereafter I cracked open the box labelled 'the secretGeek Disaster Recovery plan' and inside I found only an empty biscuit wrapper and a few stale crumbs.

So, after many hours of labour, I present:

The revised SecretGeek Disaster Recovery plan:

Every Sunday night, at 10pm, syncback fires up and downloads the contents of this website onto my most reliable home computer. If the computer is asleep, it wakes up to perform this task.

When syncback is finished, it uses powershell to tweet that it's done. It twitters to a single-purpose account that no one else need follow but me ('secretGeek_bkup').

Every night, syncback wakes up the local computer and copies all of the family files (documents, photos, code and websites) onto external media. These are rotated fortnightly to an offsite location. We're prompted to do this by scheduled tasks in windows.

The most fun part was getting syncback to tweet -- so I want to share that with you here.

I used the script Out-Twitter.ps1 -- from Jeffrey Hicks of Sapien, with some cheap hacks I've added.

Jeffrey's original script was very clever. It stored the credentials (the username and password) in a very secure 'best-practice'-oriented way. But that bit of the script kept exploding for me, so I threw it out. Since the twitter account I'm accessing is very low value (it exists for one purpose only) I'm happy to hardcode the username and password into the script. A compromise like that is the sort of corner cutting upon which enterprise thrives ;-).

syncback configured to run

Here's the exact callout string I put into syncback.

powershell -command " 'backup complete (secretGeek) @secretGeek' | out-Twitter "

Getting the quotes just write was by far the most annoying part. Followed by getting the firewall to play nice.

What's your backup strat? And did the coding horror blogapocalypso inspire you to make it better?

Also -- this just in: an authentic photo of Jeff, taken at the moment he first realised his VM wasn't coming back:

coding horror says you should get a backup

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