Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Even if you Backup your computer, it may not be enough.

Have you ever gotten so deep into a project that you got lost?

In my case this was trying to get something called Remote Desktop working on the main computer.

It showed me the errors of my ways. 

Hmm, seems like I need an Amen here, doesn't it?

See, I'm trying to set up a clean environment here.  One where I can work for a client without it getting all mixed up with "my" stuff. 

My stuff being Web Development, Video Authoring, Audio Authoring, and general nonsense and "futzing" around on the computer.

I have one machine that I use for almost everything "mine" called "moose".
I have another computer that I will use for the client work called "caribou".

Yes, everything here is named after moose.  Rudolph, Caribou, Moose, and "MoosePi".

It's all handmedown stuff.  The newest one is a year or two old, and my "big" laptop is older than five years old.

Linux installed on everything runs faster than you would expect.

Now there's a piece of software called "Remote Desktop" that should help - "xrdp".  The default behavior isn't what I want.  This exists on Linux, as well as Windows, and is a pay for option on the Mac just like everything on the Mac.

If you ever played with a Raspberry Pi, they're doing it right for what I need on that wee little computer. 

The Pi will have something called a VNC Server, and it even has a pleasant blue icon on the desktop control strip.  You tell it you want to be able to share the desktop, and you go to your other computer and can control it from the couch.  It presents what you were doing "over there" on it. 

It's presenting the "console session" to you.

However while doing support, there's a different program.  xrdp on Linux.  It works just like Remote Desktop on Windows.  It creates a fresh, clean session for you to work with.

I'm on the trail of figuring all that out.  Unfortunately, I bit myself with this one.

I want the "me" computer to present the console session.  xrdp doesn't do that.  It can be configured to do that.  I did it years ago on other software. 

As in back in the 1990s.  Yes, I've been using Linux since the mid 1990s.

So since the documentation for this product does not tell you how to do this "Remote Assistance" method, I tweaked.

And Tweaked.
And Tweaked "my" laptop.

You get the picture. 

Then I realized that I lost track of time.  Two and a Half weeks of Tweaks meant that I really should reboot the computer instead of hibernate.  See where I was at.

Got to the familiar login screen, hit enter.
Flashed a black screen and was placed

at the login screen - again.  I was in a login loop.  I had tweaked myself out of a working laptop.  I Had Killed Moose.

At least I had a good back up from 2 and a half weeks ago. 

Just copy "My stuff" from the current laptop drive to the back up and reboot.

Nah.  Didn't work quite right.  Other things got in the way, but my library of thousands of pictures, hundreds of which I took this year for my blog and for my own entertainment are safe.

Client work is safe.

Web stuff is safe.

But the machine itself is ... wobbly and needs some attention.

Want to know where I will be?  Sitting at my desk, grinding my gears, and growling.

Bottom line, folks - always do a back up. 

Luckily in my case, the backup is a full clone of the computer.  I think I botched it when I copied my "home directory" over and that introduced instability due to permissions.

We will see.  Doing a full reload of the computer is an afternoon affair.  Faster than you might expect so "fixing" this machine might be harder than starting over from scratch.

Still don't have Remote Assistance working, but Remote Desktop does.

Not that I want that, but you take the good with the bad.

*shrug*  I guess the gator got my shoe.

Back to the grind.  Stay Tuned.  Enough of this Naval Gazing!  I have work to do!

If I ever get things stable, I'll have to try again with this whole project.  Or not.  It's for convenience, not life or death.

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