[lug] syncing deletes in backup (or picture workflows)

Rob Nagler nagler at bivio.biz
Tue Feb 1 18:10:48 MST 2011

Davide sez:
> I think what I need is pretty simple: a version-control-system-like
> thing which would do just the bookkeping (i.e. this picture must be
> deleted, this one has been renamed - uncommon, but happened: there was
> a name collision - , this other picture is missing from this drive,
> but must not be deleted from the backup).

My tool organizes like Tim Bray's  yyyy/mmdd/<dirs>, where dirs are:
small, medium, large, and movie.  The tool does the naming for you in
the order the pictures were taken, synchronizing by date from multiple
sources -- so you probably want your camera clocks reasonably in sync.

To get them into the system quickly, you can "cheat" by doing this:

1) plug in camera(s)
2) run program
3) At each prompt, enter a character (to pacify the length checker)
4) repeat step 3 until you've gone through all photos.

The point is to get the pictures sorted by date and named uniquely
(there are never collisions).  You can later edit the README (yes,
it's really named README and contains text which is parsed by the html
generator) and then gen the HTML.  You can later delete a specific
picture (rm */03.jpg) or whatever you like.  One thing I'd like to do
is add a feature to allow users to enter or correct the documentation,
but that's a rainy day project.

I used to name the pictures with clever names, and realized that this
was a waste of time.  Get the damn pictures off the camera and name
then sequentially so that programs bring them up in time-series order
(open *.jpg on the Mac does the right thing with Preview).  File names
are worthless for describing complex data like pictures.  That's what
the documentation is for -- but I've spoken about that enough already.

When I rsync, I use --delete so I can keep the archive clean.
However, as I said, about once a month, I make a permanent archive in
case --delete does the wrong thing.  I'd recommend you keeping a
rotating temporary archive for this purpose if you often go back and
edit your picture store.  This would allow for the "woops" factor if
you happen to delete too much and don't notice for a month or so.

Also, I use cheap SATA chassis ($10) and slow drives (<$50).  They are
self-powered.  By organizing by year, I can group easily to fit on
cheapest price-per-GB disks.

I'll be happy to dump my program on you, but it's definitely a
tinkerer's toy (enter "." deletes the picture instead of documenting
it, leading "+" rotates 90 degrees clockwise, etc.).  No tests either.


More information about the LUG mailing list