Rsync and Carbon Copy Cloner

The one application I really miss on Windows is a utility that makes it easy to run backups and synchronize important files like all your folders. It is called Beyond Compare and is amazingly fast. I’ve tried a bunch of utilities but they are unsufferably slow on a Mac. So trying again:

Bob recommends Rsync as a command line utility. You just have to trust that the latest version of each file is what you want.

rsync -ncavu /source/ /destination
rsync -cavu /source/ /destination

The first line is a rest run to make sure what it is doing is sane and the next is the actually do the work and pray. The parameters are -c which means do a full checksum, not just date and length, -a means a full archive, -v means be verbose and -u means do an update so you are really replacing files.

Also bob says try grsync for a graphical front end and for wierd Unix reasons, you need a trailing slash in source but not on the destination. Finally, you should try

Carbon Copy Cloner is a shareware package that clones for backups, but doesn’t do what I need which is a two way sync with visual look to make sure the files are correct. Now for the commands.

I want a simple way to have say two Picture directories and to be able to sync them up. That is all the updated files from one side go to the other. That is because I edit photos are multiple machines and want to have two complete masters on the Drobo and a backup. It takes some work, but I think the correct command is to take the Pictures and then put it up. There is this wierd syntax on the trailing slash that I don’t completely understand, but this basically creates a directory /Volumes/Backup/Pictures which is a network drive and stuffs the contents of the /Pictures directory into it.

rsync -ravuz /Pictures /Volumes/Backup

Everything Linux – A Tutorial on Using Rsync

I’ll start with a commandline that I use in a script to synchronize a Web tree below from one local machine to another

rsync –verbose –progress –stats \
–compress –rsh=/usr/local/bin/ssh \
–recursive –times –perms –links –delete \
–exclude “*bak” –exclude “*~” \
/directory_to_sync/* \

Let’s go through it one line at a time. The first line calls rsync itself and specifies the options “verbose,” progress” and “stats” so that you can see what’s going on this first time around.

The “compress” and “rsh” options specify that you want your stream compressed and to send it through ssh (remember from above?) for security’s sake.

The next line specifies how rsync itself operates on your files. You’re telling rsync here to go through your source pathname recursively with “recursive” and to preserve the file timestamps and permissions with “times” and “perms.” Copy symbolic links with “links” and delete things from the remote rsync server that are also deleted locally with “delete.”

Now we have a line where there’s quite a bit of power and flexibility. You can specify GNU tar-like include and exclude patterns here. In this example, I’m telling rsync to ignore some backup files that are common in this Web tree (“*.bak” and “*~” files). You can put whatever you want to match here, suited to your specific needs. You can leave this line out and rsync will copy all your files as they are locally to the remote machine. Depends on what you want.

Finally, the line that specifies the source pathname, the remote rsync machine and rsync “path.” The first part “/www/*” specifies where on my local filesytem I want rsync to grab the files from for transmission to the remote rsync server.

The next word, “webserver” should be the DNS name or IP address of your rsync server. It can be “w.x.y.z” or “” or even just “webserver” if you have a nickname defined in your /etc/hosts file, as I do here. The single colon specifies that you want the whole mess sent through your ssh tunnel, as opposed to the regular rsh tunnel. This is an important point to pay attention to! If you use two colons, then despite the specification of ssh on the commandline previously, you’ll still go through rsh. Ooops. The last “www” in that line is the rsync “path” that you set up on the server as in the sample above.

Yes, that’s it! If you run the above command on your local rsync client, then you will transfer the entire “/www/*” tree to the remote “webserver” machine except backup files, preserving file timestamps and permissions — compressed and secure — with visual feedback on what’s happening.

Note that in the above example, I used GNU style long options so that you can see what the commandline is all about. You can also use abbreviations, single letters — to do the same thing. Try running rsync with the “–help” option alone and you can see what syntax and options are available.

The difference is service

I’m just amazed at the customer service differences that exist now. I’m willing to bet thy this eventually translates sinto loyal customers and more profits. But distinctions

1. I’m standing at te Apple Store. Bought an iMac. Screen was cracked when I opened it. In PC land this woul have been a disaster. Who do I return it to. Instead the guy looks At the screen says yes and they r pullihg one a fresh one off the pallet. Wow. Result is it doesn’t matter what software u run, work with a high service computer vendor and buy the three year walk-into-store service plan.

Then I hear that xbox just banned a million customers from their online service. No word of any povess. Just boom ur dead. No amnesty. And who do u call and visit anyway. It’s sad to me because te word of mouth effects ate really big. Plus it is not like the xbox is a perfect no failure rate product anyway. I’d say update your firmware. Result is for me to minimize software purchase there and hardware too since clearly the vendor thinks they own the machine and everything else.

Contrast is the iPhone cat and mouse on pwning. While apple could destroy your Phone. Why not just make it mire conve isn’t to download. Translation is that it is ok to buy an iPhone and fun to just buy stuff on it.

Final sad case is of course all that data loss with Danger. I hear it was recovered but hard to have faith and nobone ever thought danger would make good. Result is really being witted abou entrusting data into the cloud.

Tried to charge something. Fraud detection comes up. This is a mileage card so they start asking where I was on such and such a date. First shock that this kid of information is shared with the credit card group. Then they ask me what my mileage balance is so i flunk the test. Result I want to cancel the card.

While everyone makes great products it is really about the quality of the whole experience.

Modern Warfare 2

It’s been a long time since I’ve lost myself in a computer game, but the story of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is just kind of amazing. Piloting snowmobiles, boats and other things is just so cool. What story. Anyway, finally flew through at regular and it was haaard. Now is the time to go back and really learn it. There is alway multiplayer which is more like run-and-gun, but the levels are fun. There are lots of strategy guides from places like and a host of amazingly cool weapons too. They sold 4.7 million copies in a single day. Wow, that is kind of amazing. Last record was 1.1m with Grand Theft Auto.

There are some pretty cool new weapons at least to me like:

  • FAMAS which is a bullpup rifle that is the standard issue for the French Army.
  • SCAR-H is the Special Forces Combat Assault Rifle used by the US SOCOM and made by Fabrique National. It is brand new and is being deployed this year with the 75th Ranger. H means heavy and uses the 7.62mm round. It will rplace the M4A1 and also sniper rifles as well. It beat the M4 carbin, HK415 and the HK XM8. It will also have a grenade launcher option. In MW2, it has a smaller capacity but is a one shot kill. It also has a Heartbeat Sensor
  • TAR-21 is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle firing 5.56mm rounds and stands for Tavor Assault Rifle 21 century. Since it is bullpup, it is shorter in length but has the same barrel size. In MW2, it is one shot kill and has low recoil so is highly accurate. At 50-150 meters, it will outgun every other SMG and assault rifle.
  • FAL fires the 7.62 round and was used udring the Cold War and was first developed in 1948.
  • F2000 is also bullpup and is a 5.56mm system developed in 2001
  • Striker is a 12-round revolver shotgun developed in Rhodesia

Then there are some new light machine guns, like

  • L86 LSW is the light support weapon of the British Armed Forces.
  •  AUG HBA and machine pistols like the PP-2000.

Finally, there are new walkthroughs

Turkey Day Gadgets

No life is complete without the right gadgets for cooking on Thankgiving. Here are some highly rated ones”

  • Pyrex Bakeware 9 Inch Pie Plate. It is only $4 but Model 6001003 is still the very best for making pies. Get is at
  • Claphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan was the best back in 2006 when reviewed them at $12. They didn’t review the All Clad Roasting Pan though but this new exclusive attachment from Williams Sonoma looks pretty cool

Radar radar radar

On the road again and here’s the latest update on the cat and mouse of radar detectors

Radar Roy’s Blog

The one major drawback with these devices was the mobile photo radar vans that are moved, sometimes on a daily or even hourly basis. Trapster then emerged on the scene, building a social network of users that would notify each other via their iPhone or Blackberry of photo enforcement locations or other high enforcement locations.

Netflix comes to PS3 at last!

Netflix coming next month to PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced that they are joining forces to make thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix available to be streamed instantly to TVs via the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system. Netflix expects to begin streaming via the PS3 system next month at no additional cost to Netflix members in the United States who have a PS3 system.

Mac pricing search

Here are lowest prices so far. No word on how reliable these are.

  • MacBook. 2.26GHz. $899 from Onsale ($999 Street)
  • MacBook Air. 1.86GHz. $1400 vs. $1500 from MacMall
  • iMac 27″. 2.66GHz Quad. $1790 vs. $1999 from ClubMac

AppleInsider | Mac Pricing Matrix: Find the best prices on Macs

AppleInsider’s Mac Pricing Matrix aims to make it easy for readers to find the lowest price on all of Apple’s current generation Mac models. The best prices are highlighted in bold. The “Discount” column to the far right reflects the amount of savings between Apple’s retail price and the lowest price offered

BMW Ugh and AAA wonderful

Arrrggggh. I love BMWs and owned them for something lol 15 year for their ultimate-driving-machineness. But ugh i just hate. Hate their maintenance costs and how enormouse pieces fail.

A friends seven year old BMW had a coolant light on and a high oil gauge light. Walked in with some lights. Walked out with nearly $3k worth of repairs. Including a $700 water pump. OMG how could a car require that much service.

48 hours later the check coolant light goes off. Then off. Then driving along and there is amazingly no chime so just have to notice a small red light at the engine temp gauge. Pull over.

Turns out the little plastic overflow cracked and dumped all the coolant. Fixing the tub costs $500!!!! Now of course that the engine has overheated I’m sure we will see another $10k of related failures.

Two good things to report

1. If u buy a BMW make sure to get the six year and 100k full maintenance contract. Sell the thing at 5.5 years for whatever u can get. At least they offer this otherwise u have unlimited downside.
2. If u have a car like this get AAA. It is $89 and make sure the card and number are taped to the glove box inside. Or make sure if have the BMW towing service u have those numbers. While unlikely the failures will for older vehicles be likely enuf to need it. Btw AAA is amazing. Signed up online via iPhone and then called and got towed.

Samsung UN55B8500 reviews

Amazing LED based set is the 55″ Samsung because it has great blacks. Google shopping has it for $4500 list price or from ABT for $4,050 so that is quite a deal.

Samsung UN55B8500 Flat-panel TV reviews – CNET Reviews

Deeper black levels than any HDTV available aside from Pioneer Kuro; solid shadow detail; reduced blooming compared with other local dimming LED-based LCDs; accurate, highly saturated color; excellent video processing with adjustable dejudder; numerous picture adjustments; extensive interactive features including Yahoo widgets; beautiful styling with 1.6-inch deep panel; extremely energy efficient.

Samsung’s UN55B8500 55-inch LED LCD HDTV: Mmmm… Pretty: BigPictureBigSound

With local dimming the 8500 series LED/LCD TVs can selectively shut off lighting to areas of the screen as the picture dictates, allowing the set to approach (perhaps event meet) the black levels of top of the line plasma televisions.

iPhone Battery backup

Monoprice iPhone/iPod Battery Backup: Such a deal

The Monoprice Backup battery pack is the simplest of devices. When your iPhone or iPod is running low on juice, just plug this battery pack into the 30 pin connector. You can then either keep running with a fairly large dongle hanging off the bottom of your device, or wait and the battery pack will charge your device in 3.5 hours according to Monoprice (or about 2.5 hours according to my tests). It is just $14.50 and ugly for 1150 mAh.

This is especially impressive when compared to some of the more elegant competition, like the Morphie juice pack air with a capacity of 1200 mAh and a selling price of US$79 direct, or its larger sibling the Morphie juice pack holding 1800 mAh and selling for US$99 direct. But the Morphie is much nicer as a carrier.