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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Puppy 4.2
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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 23:19    Post_subject:  

PaulBx1 wrote:
Er, can't we have our cake and eat it too?

I must have missed that suggestion, but it is a good one. I'll see what I can do for Puppy 4.2Alpha

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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec 2008, 03:53    Post_subject:  

Very Happy

There is some cake (too big for Puppy) but MU recently created an SFS for UP (Unnamed Puppy) that works in 4.12 for my fav program XaraX.
Looking forward to the cake now your days as daughter taxi service are finished . . .

And now for my fav simplest gateaux recipe

Two choc sponge cakes
layer half an inch of whipped cream in between the cakes sandwiched
then cover in half an inch of whipped cream and grate chocolate all over
obscene!
delicious!

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec 2008, 08:34    Post_subject:  

Nice explanation, PaulBx1,

My thoughts were similar, & not just for Seamonkey.......

Lobster, that cake sounds gross Wink Laughing

Aitch Smile
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vattimo

Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec 2008, 10:47    Post_subject: keeping cd/dvd wizard
Sub_title: a needed feature
 

Hello all -- I do apologize if this has already been covered, but I wanted to offer this info in reply to a query about the need for the cd/dvd wizard. (I just read some of the posts and have to get back to work...) My machine is a laptop - Compaq N400C, 850mhz, with 256ram, no HD, a cd, and a dvd/cdrw. Puppy version 4.1.2 -- Live CD, remastered to include Firefox from the packages -- I use various USB drives for storage. If I play a DVD I have to identify to Puppy which is the cd and which is the dvd. I use the Wizard for that., otherwise I get an error message.
Kudos to the entire team for this version ... and my thanks!!!
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec 2008, 12:31    Post_subject:  

Since noscript and adblock are the most popular add-ons to Seamonkey (I think), you might add them to the Seamonkey sfs.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1172
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec 2008, 23:41    Post_subject:  

Stuff I use in Seamonkey are CustomizeGoogle (to stop the user tracking, and make it behave the way I want, rather than the way they want) XSidebar, and DownThemAll (needed together. allows multithreaded downloads and a sidebar like Firefox) and the ubiquitous Mostly Crystal theme, to make it look good.

With these, I don't miss Firefox at all.

EDIT:

Oh one more thing. This is very important.

Please name the retro version of the Pup sfs fie differently than the newer kernel version!

EXAMPLE:

standard version = pup_411.sfs

retro version = pup_411R.sfs

The fact that different kernel versions have exactly the same name caused me some BIG problems Shocked troubleshooting some very odd system behavior this last week.

If you're curious, here:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=259885#259885
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BigPilot

Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan 2009, 15:15    Post_subject:  

I would like to add:

- better (easier to use) harddisk installation (more like Ubuntu where you either pick 'take over the disk' or use GParted first and you set up the installation partiions manually). No other selections should be needed!
- a better looking Windows Manager. I really like Xfce, it's clean looking but it could use a nice Puppy theme. I've seen many excellent themes in this forum alone, so the most difficult part will be to pick the best one. I don't know if Xfce is light enough for Puppy, but it's certainly much nicer looking.
- the network manager could be made easier, like the one in Ubuntu. Let it find the hardware and corresponding driver itself and add an 'Advanced' button somewhere where you can probe and load drivers like in the current version. Users should only be made to enter their admin password, the EESID and pre-shared key. The Ubuntu network manager is as easy as you can get (better than Windows by far) although sometimes you need more fine grained control (loading of a driver or ndiswrapper .inf selection).

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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan 2009, 19:32    Post_subject:  

vattimo wrote:
Hello all -- I do apologize if this has already been covered, but I wanted to offer this info in reply to a query about the need for the cd/dvd wizard. ...[snip]... If I play a DVD I have to identify to Puppy which is the cd and which is the dvd. I use the Wizard for that., otherwise I get an error message.

Relax, vattimo (Wow! Only 5 posts since 2006! The talk about removing the wizard must have really stirred you up! Wink ). I can assure you that the CD/DVD wizard will remain in Puppy 4.2 Deepthought. We are going for better usability, so removing that or any other wizard would be counterproductive to our aim.

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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan 2009, 14:03    Post_subject:  

I want to add one more appeal for automatic pupsave backup, since usability is the aim here. Smile Let's face it, pupsave backup is currently a pain in the ass.

Here's an idea. When creating the pupsave on the first boot, ask the user this question: "Do you want the ability to automatically back up the pupsave file on every shutdown? If you answer 'yes', on each shutdown there will be a quick dialog in which you will be asked if you want to back up the pupsave as it currently exists. This saves you from having to boot puppy into ram just for the purpose of copying the pupsave somewhere manually."

If the user answers "yes", then ask him this: "Where do you want to save this backup copy? It is suggested you specify a location at least two layers deep so the backup copy will not cause Puppy, during boot, to ask you if you want to use the backup copy for the running pupsave. For example, if your regular pupsave is on /mnt/home, a suggested location for the backup copy would be /mnt/home/Backups/Puppy."

Then, save the backup location string (say, PUPSAVEBACKUPDIR) in PUPSTATE, and create the specified directory. If PUPSAVEBACKUPDIR="" then there is no dialog on shutdown and no backup copy will be made. If it is not null, then on all subsequent shutdowns the question will be asked (immediately after the shutdown command is given), "Do you wish to back up the pupsave file, as it currently exists, to $PUPSAVEBACKUPDIR?" You could even add in this dialog, "If you do not want to be asked this question, and have no automatic backups made, edit the file /etc/rc.d/PUPSTATE and set the variable PUPSAVEBACKUPDIR to "" ."

If something got hosed in a normal session, the user would then have the opportunity to rename his backup copy so it does not get trampled, or at least to answer "no" when he is asked the above dialog on shutdown, or even just to rudely power-down the computer.

Of course the backup itself would be done at the very end when the disk has been sync'ed and everything flushed out to the regular pupsave. I notice that Puppy has the rsync command so there is no need for this backup operation to take very much time, and what time it does take will be unnoticed since it is a shutdown and the user has walked away from his computer.

<later>
An even slicker method occurs to me. Instead of the dialog on every shutdown, have two shutdown entries in Menu>Shutdown: "Power-off" and "Power-off w/ pupsave backup".
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1172
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan 2009, 21:30    Post_subject:  

Paulbx1,

I like it!

It would definitely be an advantage not to have to boot to another instance of Puppy to save the personal save file, then reboot again back to the original if you wanted to continue. That's two reboots.

With your method you would only have to do a single reboot back into the same system. Also, we wou;ld tend to backup far more often.

This would really work well with a multisession DVD or a CD RW.

With the multisession DVD, maybe it could record only a delta (if rsync could split that way rather than overwrite the last session). You could then have a script reassemble from any stage in the series to any backup point in the past. With the capacity of a DVD, that would be a lot of history before filling up.

I guess that's probably how Puppy already works in the multisession CD save mode? I haven't tried it yet so I don't know exactly how it works.

Backups are best made to hard media, sooner or later with an incremental rather than overwriting mode. If you just overwrite, sooner or later the backup may get clobbered at an unfortunate time. Particularly if the problem is a bad disk, or harddrive failure.

Asking where to put it each time is also a drag so if at all possible -- if a CD or DVD was specified for deltas, with auto incrementing, and a warning when the end of the disk was near, you'd have a dynamite semi-auto backup system.
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan 2009, 19:30    Post_subject:  

Ah, good points. I especially like backing up to media other than where the pupsave is; I had just thought of a subdirectory on the same device.

Could this be done with a destination of a flash drive? It's my impression that flash drives still do not retain their name over boots though. Or not reliably, anyway.

Even better would just be an sdio or equivalent card that stays plugged into the machine all the time - convenient for laptops...

Actually I was not thinking of rebooting at all, but just doing it in the evening when you normally shut down anyway. Of course if you leave your machine on all the time, then a reboot is required. But still you have to go to bed sometime; so a reboot at that time would be no inconvenience at all. Oh, unless you have an encrypted pupsave!

This means the Menu>Shutdown menu would also need a "Reboot w/ Pupsave backup" entry.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1172
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan 2009, 21:28    Post_subject:  

Paul,

Rebooting is often necessary when creating new apps, or installing (and removing) dependencies to try to get a piece of software to work, during testing, etc. It can drive you nuts with something complicated you're trying to get work.

And it is just at that time --while experimenting or developing when you might mess up your system. It would be great to be able to back up again just one session earlier when something goes wrong, rather than start all over again with a pupsave file you manually backed up maybe at the beginning of the day.

A delta would mean the shut down and reboot process would be relatively quick, as compared with writing a new full pupsave every time. In fact, this is why you generally don't back up enough, in this kind of process. Takes too much time.

You know, I don't think that backups actually need to be automatic on shutdown.... If the desktop Shutdown Menu had the option to save with backup, or not, you could just choose either without being asked which you want (and having to wait for the question, or even answer a question at all). This would help when you had to bail out quickly (like when you're late leaving for an appointment, or the lights start browning out, or the baby starts climbing the stairs, or......).

I'd normally just pick out "Shut down with backup" , or "Reboot with backup".

Maybe establishing the backup location shouldn't also be a wizard question, but a system setting. The point of this would be to avoid a closing dialog and a need to sit by the computer and answer something after the bye-bye button was pushed.

If the location setting was null on the liveCD or first install then a question could be asked about where it should go. Otherwise, it goes where you specified. Until and unless you change that setting.
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan 2009, 19:01    Post_subject:  

Quote:
If the desktop Shutdown Menu had the option to save with backup, or not, you could just choose either without being asked which you want


That's what I meant. That having those two shutdown options would eliminate the need for any dialog. Probably didn't make that clear in that post above, as I was thinking while I was typing.

Quote:
Maybe establishing the backup location shouldn't also be a wizard question, but a system setting. The point of this would be to avoid a closing dialog and a need to sit by the computer and answer something after the bye-bye button was pushed.


Well, the question about backup location I was envisioning asking only once, in the first dialog when the pupsave is initially created. And it would only affect a variable assignment in PUPSTATE, which could be changed at any time later by the user.

I was not envisioning asking the location question on every shutdown. That would get annoying.

So bottom line, the shutdown would look just like it does now, except you have a couple extra options in the shutdown menu.

The only other thing, I was wondering how to generate more than one backup copy. In other words, having a ";-1" version, a ";-2" version, etc (if you are familiar with Vax VMS notation, heh). That would be an extra though, much less important than having a backup in the first place. Probably could be done at boot in rc.local using "nice" and keeping it in the background so you wouldn't notice the copy going on. I suppose you could use rsync there too to keep the thrashing down. But I don't want to get too greedy. If I have a backup option in the shutdown menu I will be very happy.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1172
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan 2009, 20:33    Post_subject:  

Well Paul, I was thinking that each "backup" was separate. Since it was only a diff, it would be small, relatively. To go back any distance in time you apply as many diffs back as you need to go in time. Basically like an undo list in a graphics program. You never overwrite any of them. These are located on hard media and are individually write-once. When the disk is full it gets a volume label and a new disk is asked for.

Here is also some interesting info on another somewhat similar backup method:

http://www.mikerubel.org/computers/rsync_snapshots/index.html

The main problem I see in his is that I believe he's mainly talking about backing up a Home directory, not an entire operating systyem. But I haven't read it carefully enough to be able to say for sure. The basic problem I'm guessing is how to save something while you are actively using it. I don't know if this is solved in this method or not. I do understand how during a shut-down, a low level process could save the OS without iself altering it while acting. But I wonder if this is possible at a higher level?
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan 2009, 01:01    Post_subject:  

From that article:
Code:
rm -rf backup.3
mv backup.2 backup.3
mv backup.1 backup.2
cp -al backup.0 backup.1
rsync -a --delete source_directory/  backup.0/

That's more or less what I was thinking of. I don't quite understand the details (that the latest copy is the "big" one and the others are just differences). I haven't used rsync before. Thanks for that link, by the way.

Quote:
The basic problem I'm guessing is how to save something while you are actively using it... But I wonder if this is possible at a higher level?


Well, I hadn't thought this through either. I did poke around in the rc.shutdown script but nothing jumped out at me. I was thinking of doing it not when the pupsave was being used, but after it had been umounted and disassociated from the loop device (if possible). Then just copy or rsync the file. Maybe copy the backup script into ramdisk first, so it is not inconvenienced by being inside the pupsave! Smile I'm pretty hazy about this as I don't know the shutdown process very well.
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