Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the portable Subversion server

I've been working out the details of working in my home office full time. One of the goals is to get some redundancy and recovery into this environment.

I started out with moving the Quad G5 into the next room, cutting a hole or two in the walls and running firewire & USB cables back and forth. That makes the office a lot quieter! The audio rack, HR824's, and displays remain in the office.

I wanted to create my own Subversion (svn) server, but I also don't want to open more ports on the home firewall. My server ISP, Hurricane Electric, I don't think is really into being my own SVN host. And since I expect to be wandering around, and don't want to explore git yet, I decided that I'll use my laptop, Santoku, as the house svn repo.

I found these instructions: to be foolproof. Really - don't be thrown off by the page name. The author's 'basic subversion structure' is not my cup of tea. I like the structure to be more focused on the artifact being stored - the product, and the artifacts to be under the product: /repo/BOB_THE_EDITOR/trunk as opposed to /repo/trunk/BOB_THE_EDITOR

Then a few firewire disks; one for Santoku and a couple for the G5. And a new SATA internal drive for the G5, as it's getting tight in there with all the Sakai and Native Instruments stuff - and one of those cool cable adapter kits which lets me run the SATA drive nekked while I migrate the G5's boot volume. These are multi-headed cables with adapters for IDE, ATA and SATA drives. The result is a mess of wires and a shiny hard disk sitting out exposed and running. An OS X Disk cloning tool, SuperDuper, was then used to make bootable backups for each machine. That can be a long process.

While that was running I took the time to dust off an old P3 with some SCSI drives and ran through installing Debian, Red Hat, and Ubuntu. I found that Debian had a hard time with the old oddball equipment. Red Hat - well, it's professional and all that but I found the unending user registration process to be really intrusive. And as no one I like works there anymore, feh.

Ubuntu won out. It did a better job of dealing with the oddball hardware too, even if it complained of the old BIOS. Now it'll serve as the household fileserver back in the call center. ( yes this house has a call center. I think it has a checkered past. )

This is a lot of plate juggling.

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