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Backups and Manpages, for Rakovsky


Mar 14, 2017
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Alphaville Zone Sud
Rakovsky has asked if we have backups.  This thread is my full response, and might be the Geekiest thread ever posted in the long and storied annals of OCNet, but better to be a Geek than a Nerd, I’ve always said (not that I am calling Rakovsky a nerd; that would be rather a low blow).

Well duh! What do you think Anastasios and I do when we log into the server, multiplayer Tetris?  Doom?  (this is a UNIX server so Doom 3 is the only modern game available, and only because iD software are such nerds, but the original was so creepy, and Half Life Two nearly gave me a heart attack; I am too scared to play Doom 3, even with Anastasios.  If a teleportation experiment by the United Aircraft Corporation* between the two moons of Mars results in one of them being taken over by demons and the other one being sent to whence those demons came, let someone else deal with it.  Even with a chainsaw in hand, my nerves can’t take it.  I like playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, as one would expect from my recent flurry of Walt Disney quotes; I am not cut out to be a space marine).  Also i daresay running Doom 3 on an Orthodox server would seem unseemly.  That would leave us with Tetris, which we are not running.  In fact no software described in Chapter 6 of the UNIX manual system (that is to say, games) is installed on our server.

By the way I hate it when multiplayer game servers put their manpage* in Chapter 1.  I think Minecraft did that and it boils my blood.  Games go in Chapter 6.  Servers go in Chapter 8.  Pick one.  That’s the rule.  man(1) man, and if you don’t like it, write to Bell Labs, or the Regents of the University or California in Berkeley, or Richard M. Stallman, but don’t break my UNIX, n00b!

As said in the in-thread reply, Anastasios and I both keep full backups offline and we also have hot backups online.  And we now also have a DR server for the NSP, so when we do transition to the new software, we will be very hard to kill.

*A manpage is an online manual accesssed via the command man(1), followed by the subject matter; it can also be browsed and is divided into eight chapters, which start with regular software, include libraries, function calls, kernel functions, and games, among other things; a manpage is not on the other hand reading material preferred by Episcopalians.  /zing

    The standard sections of the manual include:

    1      User Commands
    2      System Calls
    3      C Library Functions
    4      Devices and Special Files
    5      File Formats and Conventions
    6      Games et. al.
    7      Miscellanea
    8      System Administration tools and Daemons

    Distributions customize the manual section to their specifics,
    which often include additional sections.

Also lest anyone freak out at the name of Chapter 8, in UNIX land we call what Microsoft Windows politely calls a “Service” a “Daemon”, an allusion to Greek mythology, because daemons or services as Windows calls them operate autonomously without a user running them.  There were no real daemons on DOS because, being a singleuser, single tasking system, it lacked a user to handle them, but DOS did support a TSR, “Terminate and Stay Resident”, which is a program which would load its library routines into main memory and then exit, so a subsequent interrupt could call those routines, but you would not want to use this for any kind of serious, multiuser application.  That said, like Windows, Novell’s file server, Netware, was bootstrapped by DOS (DR-DOS, the 100% MS DOS compatible version of DOS originally developed by Digital Research and Gary Kildall, memory eternal, who also wrote the first decent microcomputer operating system, CP/M, on which DOS is based, as well as a surprisingly elegant multiuser server for early micros called MP/M.