[linux-elitists] Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Sun Feb 1 18:43:09 PST 2009

Howdy all,

Thanks to Don Marti for the compare-and-contrast
<URL:http://zgp.org/~dmarti/www/beware-the-cloud/> between Rick Moen's
excellent WINOLJ screed and Jason Scott's more recent rant.

There are a number of online services that take efforts to *not* keep
data in a silo; e.g. feed readers that provide OPML documents of all
my subscriptions, or bookmark sites that allow one's whole set to be
downloaded in [some open format that I can't recall right now].

So, if I'm a clever smug bastard because I give preference to services
that do allow constant access to my data in open formats, what's a
sensible strategy for automatically backing all this online stuff up
against the event of any one of those services suddenly not providing
what I want?

I could ‘curl http://feeds.example.com/bignose/opml/’ (or whatever the
thing is I want to keep safe) on a daily basis; but then it occurs to
me that I might not *notice* that one of those services is serving up
garbage where my stuff used to be, until it's too late and my backup
is overwritten with a perfect copy of garbage.

That leads to “real” backup, of course, with all the administrative
burden: volume management, rolling archives, indexes, blah blah. I
know where to look for tools to do this for networked filesystems.

I don't know where to look for backup tools for online services, since
I'm a curmudgeon who only grudgingly got into this stuff so it's all a
bit new for me.

What's an elitist to do?

 \         “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the |
  `\                                               best.” —Oscar Wilde |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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