Backing Up My Life and Sending My Machine Away
I'm getting my laptop fixed and it felt like a separation of old friends.
I'm in the process of shipping my personal laptop to Dell for repairs. At first, I was a bit worried that I'd be out of a machine for work (I use it for client work at black.af as well) but I have a PC that I've dedicated largely for media consumption (gaming and video storage). That made me wonder how much of my actual online life do I have backed up in the event that my main laptop was out of commission. I took some steps below to move my "vital" infrastructure over to a closer location.
- I copied my GPG keyring into my Yubikey. These keys are useful only really to me with one publicly known key and another key I keep for personal encryption that isn't shared anywhere.
- I moved any files I wanted to keep long term into my personal install of Nextcloud. I've been using Nextcloud since 2016, ownCloud since 2015 so everything I need and want is stored in there. That server also has reproducible backups (test your backups monthly!)
- I started uninstalling a few GUI applications that I used a lot and checking if I could back up their settings. This ended up being my terminal, IRC client, e-mail, calendar, code trees resulting in gigabytes of information having to been sent over rsync. A good time to raise a ticket with KDE about making the serialization of one's system settings an actual practice - this way, I could keep some settings in sync with others across devices. This is going to become more prevalent as Plasma Mobile is likely my mobile operating system of choice in 2020.
The most complicated part was probably copying my files over that I didn't keep synchronized under Nextcloud's watch. This was mostly the code of projects I work on which produced and all of the assets in cache as a result of it (curse you Node modules and projects that can't support the link flag).
I don't know why but I got slightly emotional packing up my laptop and putting it in the box, lol. I'm eager to have it up and running soon. Safe travels!
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