Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

August 3
Recovering DSPsrv, day 3.

More fun with the restoration of files; as /var was nearing capacity I realised that there'd been a 50-50 split between /var and /home on the original as all the user mailboxes lived in the former. There then followed several attempts to repartition again, each time with the kernel ignoring the partition table I'd just updated in favour of the one it "remembered".

(The two hardest problems in Computer Science: naming things, cache invalidation, and off-by-one errors.)

Eventually I wound up unmounting all the partitions, unloading the kernel driver, reloading it, and rewhacking the errant partitions with the mkfs stick.

After that, it was just a matter of waiting for the data to restore, followed by some brute force reconstruction of the bootloader. As of 21:00ish, the server is now bootable from its own drive, meaning I can start sanity-checking it for return to the server farm.

August 2
Recovering DSPsrv, day 2.

Managed to get things set up in a slightly less lavish environment - a 15" display rather than a 55" - and started on investigating the backups. First problem I encounted was that it's been so long since I've done manual disk manipulation with a Linux box that I had to consult a manual to (re)learn the operation of parted, which I quickly gave up in favour of cfdisk. Then I realised that I couldn't just lump everything into a single partition because I needed to add swap space, which brought me to investigating the backups I've been doing to see how the disk was laid out.

Good news: full list of partitions.

Bad news: the only one for which I can determine a size is the swap partition, i.e. the one I care about least. It's possible that the partition sizes are logged somewhere in the backup, but I was damned if I was going to trawl through the whole thing on the off chance I could find them. du -s to size the partitions as they were in the backup followed by some entertaining partition math mostly left me scratching my head, so eventually I took a bunch of random advice from the Internet and ran with that.

Somewhere in the middle of all this I restored my iPhone as it had gotten into that state where it claims you have nothing on your iPhone except "Other", and it has nowhere to put all this music &c. Result: my Asphalt 8 profile got partially nuked. Specifically, my 900k+ in-game credits and ~70 cars all vanished in a puff of smoke (there's over a year's worth of accumulated playing there, I think). Bizarrely, some things remained: the in-game tokens, a handful of cars which had been won rather than purchased, my entire collection of unused power-up cards, and, apparently, all my best times as it keeps telling me I've beaten them when I run through a previously-raced track with the benefit if a year's experience. Le sigh. This has already happened to a couple of people I know, and it's pretty annoying. Then again, since I've been playing without paying - buying cars through constant grinding on high-value tracks - I guess I can hardly be too whiny about it... currently flipping through every other app to see what else, if anything, got lost.

Initial DSPsrv data restoration failed due to my partition sizes being incorrect, so I had to repartition and try again.

August 1
Cocktails and Swingers. They all look so YOUNG. And THIN.

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Galloping towards 2016