While killing some time between sessions at WWDC, I saw that my mother-in-law was online so I thought “Hey! what a good time to back up her data.” So took but a moment to start a rsync backup that I do of her user directory on her machine to my system at home. To keep things from getting out-of-hand with regards to space, I use the –delete option which removes any files not in the source directory.
Like all mistakes, they happen because you don’t pay attention and that is exactly what happened to me. I was in the wrong destination directory and was syncing the files to ‘.’ (the current directory) so it happily started deleting files that weren’t in the source. Unfortunately, I was in my home directory at the time. Once I realized, my mistake, I stopped it but not before it had deleted my mail repository, my website, and my blog (this one).
Fortunately, regardless of my horribly rookie mistake, I also back up my user directory two different ways every day. A few restores later and I had all but a few hours of email restored and the entire website and blog.
Good for me, I guess, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Lesson learned, use explicit paths.