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Linux: Quick & Easy Backup 
The default way of backing-up files on Linux has left many a new 'sysadmin needing to restore file dates and times. The problem only becomes worse when several sources are to be backed-up.

Here is a little ditty I use when backing-up multiple directories to POSIX-aware (ctime, mtime, atime) file systems:

#! /bin/bash
mkdir -p "./logs"
#EXAMPLE: How to perform any temp-file cleanup
#find "/d_drive/USR/code/" -type f -name "*.class" -exec rm "{}" ";"
zdate=`date +%j@%H_%M_%S`
echo "$zdate"
date > "./logs/nsync.$zdate"
for arg in "/a_drive" "/b_drive" "/c_drive"
cp -r -u -v --preserve $arg "./" >> "./logs/nsync.$zdate"
date >> "./logs/nsync.$zdate"

To use the above, simply:

(1) Copy and paste the above script into a file.

(2) Replace the *_drive folders with a full pathing to whatever rooted folders you want to back up.

(3) Place the script-file wherever you want your set of folders copied.

(4) Add the executable bit (chmod +x or otherwise mark the file as executable in Nautilus (etc.)).

(5) Run the results.

Details over what has been backed-up will be placed into the ./logs directory.



Note: If your are using a file system that does *NOT* support /usr/group (POSIX) attributes, then using `tar` as described here can also save the day(s).

Before any backup strategy however, don't forget to watch for, as well as kill those Zombies!

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AboutTime Updated 
Holidays are time for family, friends, ... and posting the latest features to your freeware!

Graphical Changes

This long-weekend witnessed the share of a few of my favorite recent additions to AboutTime:

(1) First, note that time-card calculations are now expressed as pure hours. --No more "24 * n" machinations:

(2) Next, HTML Reports have been updated. Reports are now generated by week:

While HTML reporting is now a-week-at-a-time, comma-separated variables remain our primary backup & data-sharing mechanism. In as much as limited backups invariably produce some unpleasant surprises, a CSV export still exports everything.

(3) Much like the weekly-HTML Reporting, the time-card entries are also now constrained by a default weekly-view:

The new effect of this "weekly window" is that our time-card summaries can be browsed. -This new "Next / Last" week-view allows both an easier perusal of the tasked "charge code" hours, as well as those linearly-logged "stop / start" summary hours.

(4) Finally - on a whim - yesterday I added a neat little minimalist-calendar feature:

Keeping with the monochromatic background theme, we thought that another splash of high-art might help get our day started off right.

Focus Change

The net effect of the above changes is that - as of this week - AboutTime is more of a time & task reporting database, than a weekly log-file & time-management tool.



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Linkedin asks: "How would you repair a company's mentality"? 


Like changing any single person's mentality, overtly changing an entire company's mentality is surely prone to their willingness to see any need to change.

While attitude-change at the top is always a good place to start, surely we need to qualify the type of "mentality" anyone wants to have?


What folks are supposed to "get" when we say "mentality change" often translates into changing from a negative, unsupportable, and / or intimidative culture in favor of a more respectful, supportive, and / or matrix-managed way of doing things.

But further qualification is also often needed: In general, whenever funding is flowing (jobs are not at risk) all simply comes down to an obvious Dale-Carnegie activity. Conversely, when things are tight the challenge is to prevent mentalities from becoming what one sees on a typical survivor show...


So assuming one is willing, when things are going well just about anyone can change their (or even a company's) mentality / culture / attitude . The trick however is how to do the same thing when the 'Mensloian Needs are not stacking up in one's favor.

At the end of the day we must also note that most people are very adept at detecting insincerity. Hence any genuinely reformed ability to keep folks positive is – more often than not – a direct reflection of the character to be found around each and every corporate citizen.


At a minimum, those who are permitted to lead other employees must be able to hold-up well when given any random team member's exact same set of circumstances. Why? Because coaxing genuine reform from others is never easy; Positive change requires sincere commitment. Certainly, when adjusting any mindset (first our own?), even scenting the slightest hint of hypocrisy from leaders will leave most mentalities far worse off then when they started.

Ultimately, nudging anyone's mentally toward the positive end of the spectrum is invariably a sincere, core-value, “Golden Rule” type of thing.


Interestingly, once a positive change is under-way, unlike individual mentality a change to corporate culture begins to take on a life of it's own.

Commonly referred to as "bureaucratic interia", the force to be overcome in either the positive or the negative direction offers very similar turn-around efforts.

While the debate may range over if the "dark side" is more irresistible than any inertial "light side", in my opinion the bottom like is based upon how genuinely each modal employee has been converted to positive, whole-life change.


So while people can be financially coerced into following any reasonably good example, becoming a good example oneself requires far more daily self-discipline, than bi-weekly self-deception.

Turning wealth-promising earth into far more highly-valued ingots has always been an involved process; While surely required as a first critical step, it is foolhardy in the extreme to believe that any single person-in-charge will be able to completely change any entire companies life-long value-set. Rather, no matter what one's leadership role, the process is to first convert oneself, see one's own critical-path significant-others convert, then witness the extended cascade effect.

Thereafter, the best any leader can do is to accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.


Such is how things work with men and things: In my opinion, only group-fostered commitments to sustainable core-values will help any organization both create, as well as maintain a positive mentality. -An employee of golden-rule integrity; A co-worker and / or leader that might yet withstand any hour's prevailing wind of financial and / or political change.

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