Duplicity + Amazon S3 = incremental encrypted remote backup

August 11th, 2007

Update: I haven't really been using this, since the bandwidth required is a bit... excessive. I think I'll stick to duplicity + external hard drive.

Duplicity is a backup program that only backs up the files (and parts of files) that have been modified since the last backup. Built on FLOSS (rsync, GnuPG, tar, and rdiff), it allows efficient, locally encrypted, remote backups.

Amazon S3 is a web service that provides cheap, distributed, redundant, web-accessible storage. S3 currently charges only $0.15 per GB-month storage and $0.10 per GB upload. The API is based on HTTP requests such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

The following is a description of how I made use of these to back up my laptop, which runs Ubuntu Feisty Fawn.

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Bypass web filters through encryption

August 31st, 2006

Use the Tor network to hide your communications. Incidentally, this is particularily useful when certain file types have been blocked, such as torrent files. The following instructions are written for Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux users. Tips for other systems are welcome.

Edit: Be extremely careful when surfing over Tor. There are rogue Tor exit nodes that will attempt to steal your information (credit card number, password, etc.), so when using Tor you should enable and heed all of your browser's security warnings. When using Tor, only submit personal information from a secure page to a secure page. Remember that a page is not secure if your browser couldn't completely verify the security certificate. This is a very real threat. In summary, try to only use Tor for reading unless you're sure you know what you're doing.

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Why not to click on links in unexpected email

August 2nd, 2006

This is a quick explanation you can send to folks who are a little too trusting of what ends up in their inbox.

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Javascript object literal namespacing

July 6th, 2006

The latest best practices in javascript recommend that object literal notation be used to create a namespace feature of sorts. Object literal notation is ridiculously easy to use and gives a great deal of power to the developer. Here is an example-laden crash course.

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KimDaBa’s HTML export explained

May 4th, 2006

Update: KimDaBa is now known as KPhotoAlbum.

Problem
KimDaBa's HTML export dialogKimDaBa doesn't always have the clearest interfaceKimDaBa, despite being a wonderful program, still has a few interface issues left to work on. Notably, the gallery creation tool, "HTML Export", requires quite a bit of trial-and-error before it can be used successfully. I could not find any useful documentation on the "Destination" tab's fields, so I write it here today.
Solution

The philosophy behind the KimDaBa HTML Export dialog is that you will have a series of galleries in the same folder. The "Base URL" is the publicly accessible base directory, while the "Base directory" is the location you want to store the actual files to. "URL for final destination" is the most confusing of all; it refers to the address of the main page of the gallery. I use index.html, but you can use an absolute address instead, if you want. "Output directory" is appended to the "Base URL" and "Base directory" to form the full directory path.

Enough with the philosophy, here's an example. I want to publish a set of photos, accessible at http://brainonfire.net/gallery/party/index.html. Let's say brainonfire.net runs off of my local machine, to make this easier. The server is located at /var/www, and has a directory called gallery. Here are the proper field values:

Base directory
file:///var/www/gallery
Base URL
http://brainonfire.net/gallery
URL for final destination
index.html
Output directory
party

You can publish to an ftp server as well, or over various other protocols. I won't go into that here.