Category Archives: Personal

If you’re big brother, then you should be reading this :)

The Perfect Programmer

"No program is perfect,"
They said with a shrug.
"The customer's happy--
What's one little bug?"

But he was determined,                  Then change two, then three more,
The others went home.                   As year followed year.
He dug out the flow chart               And strangers would comment,
Deserted, alone.                        "Is that guy still here?"

Night passed into morning.              He died at the console
The room was cluttered                  Of hunger and thirst
With core dumps, source listings.       Next day he was buried
"I'm close," he muttered.               Face down, nine edge first.

Chain smoking, cold coffee,             And his wife through her tears
Logic, deduction.                       Accepted his fate.
"I've got it!" he cried,                Said "He's not really gone,
"Just change one instruction."          He's just working late."
                -- The Perfect Programmer

Funny People

Very touching article on Cracked.com1, which is so well written that, with N (> 1) 1-line posts already in drafts of this blog, I’m not creating another draft of it. I hope it’s worth your time reading it.

1Never seen that site until few minutes ago.

Recursively checking out ports tree

I’ve come across a problem posted on #bsdports channel few days ago, how to download a port (FreeBSD) and its dependencies without checking out complete ports tree. So, I hacked a solution for this in Haskell to celebrate my recently attained bliss moment:

Ξ» ghci
GHCi, version 7.6.3:  :? for help
Loading package ghc-prim ... linking ... done.
Loading package integer-gmp ... linking ... done.
Loading package base ... linking ... done.
Prelude> :load download-portstree.hs
[1 of 1] Compiling Main             ( download-portstree.hs, interpreted )
Ok, modules loaded: Main.
*Main> downloadPortsTree "editors/emacs-nox11"
Loading package transformers- ... linking ... done.
Loading package mtl-2.1.2 ... linking ... done.
Loading package array- ... linking ... done.
Loading package deepseq- ... linking ... done.
Loading package containers- ... linking ... done.
Loading package bytestring- ... linking ... done.
Loading package old-locale- ... linking ... done.
Loading package time- ... linking ... done.
Loading package unix- ... linking ... done.
Loading package filepath- ... linking ... done.
Loading package directory- ... linking ... done.
Loading package process- ... linking ... done.
PortsList {portsSeen = fromList ["converters/libiconv","devel/gettext","devel/gmake","devel/libffi","devel/ncurses","devel/pkgconf","editors/emacs-nox11","lang/perl5.16","math/gmp","print/indexinfo","security/ca_root_nss","security/gnutls","security/libgpg-error","security/libtasn1","security/nettle","security/openssl","security/p11-kit","textproc/libxml2"], portsNew = fromList []}
Checking out port editors/emacs-nox11
Checking out port devel/gmake
Checking out port converters/libiconv
Checking out port devel/gettext
Checking out port devel/ncurses
Checking out port devel/pkgconf
Checking out port print/indexinfo
Checking out port security/gnutls
Checking out port lang/perl5.16
Checking out port security/libgpg-error
Checking out port security/libtasn1
Checking out port security/nettle
Checking out port math/gmp
Checking out port security/openssl
Checking out port security/p11-kit
Checking out port devel/libffi
Checking out port security/ca_root_nss
Checking out port textproc/libxml2

Happy hacking lambdas… πŸ˜‰


β€œA man can be himself so long as he is alone. If he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when is alone that he is really free.” (Arthur Schopenhauer)


Recently I needed to do some backups on a host (not managed by me), and being somewhat paranoid, and lazy, I didn’t schedule backups for sometime. Recently while trying to be just paranoid, I decided it’s finally time to close this task pending for a while, so gave a shot to duplicity again. Its manpage is quite well written, and so is the software.

My backup provider offers SFTP space (courtesy: ProFTPD, I think). So to login to SFTP account, I created a SSH public key to be used by backup script, and converted it into RFC4716 format (ssh-keygen -e), and uploaded to remote host. For encrypting backups, I used GPG, so generated a GPG key locally, and copied the public key to the host which is to be backed up. Since decryption of backups is not needed, unless it’s to be restored therefore I don’t need to copy private GPG key on remote host.

Now with a duplicity command-lines similar to below, I was able to do full, and incremental backups respectively:

duplicity full --encrypt-key ${GPG_KEY} --log-file=${LOG_FILE} ${SOURCE_DIRECTORY_TO_BACKUP} scp://${BACKUP_USER}@${BACKUP_HOST}/${BACKUP_DIRECTORY}
duplicity incremental --encrypt-key ${GPG_KEY} --log-file=${LOG_FILE} ${SOURCE_DIRECTORY_TO_BACKUP} scp://${BACKUP_USER}@${BACKUP_HOST}/${BACKUP_DIRECTORY}

And to periodically clean old backups:

duplicity remove-all-but-n-full --force  --log-file=${LOG_FILE} ${NUMBER_OF_OLD_BACKUPS_TO_KEEP} scp://${BACKUP_USER}@${BACKUP_HOST}/${BACKUP_DIRECTORY}

That’s it. Put these things in a script in a cron job scheduled at appropriate times, I can now do encrypted backups. As an anonymous guy puts it:

It’s better to have dump-ed, and restored, than to never have dumped at all

Now go backup yourself!