My, my, has this been a week of techno-struggle.

Just before Bellerophon was to be overworked by the results of the post-blackout linkfest (palpably demonstrating the value of getting there fustest with the mostest) I embarked on my occasional quixotic quest to retrofit an aging Mac (Athena, a 9500 with a G3 upgrade card, for the propeller-heads out there) into a dual-boot backup server, so that I can swap between Bel and the 9500 in the event of untimely misfortune.

Athena has long been outfitted with a suite of OS9 backup services – SIMS for email and the venerable QuidProQuo providing the web server – but as I’ve become further ensconced in the land of OS X, the setup has gotten less similar to what I run currently.

Step one was to finally acquire an absurdly large outboard firewire drive to – gasp – actually store backups. I ordered it this weekend, just as the blackout was ending.

As I watched the stats climb earlier this week, I figured booting Athena in case of a Bellerophon crash made sense. I began thinking about how to mirror Bellerophon to Athena, dug out an old jaz drive, and started tinkering. So it was a good thing that I’d been poking around thinking about how to do backups and so forth when the crash occurred.

A day later, and I have updated backups for Bellerophon and the traffic has subsided. But what’s this? Sobig.F floods the internet and I’m puzzling over my mailserver logs on both platforms to make sure I’m not actually contributing accidentally. Thankfully, both servers were secure but I sure did get a whole bunch of “message bounced” notes indicating that some hassled large-scale IT staff will pretty much not believe this.

So anyway, it’s been a heck of a week, the giant backup drive has arrived, and – yes – I have been able to boot the 9500 into OS X from the jaz, although not entirely to my satisfaction. The key tools have been charlessoft‘s BootCD, which enables a bootable OS X volume of under 2 gb; the indispensable Carbon Copy Cloner, from Mike Bombich (although not for working with BootCD, which requires special handling of its’ disc images; I had to dupe to the Jaz using “ditto -rsrcFork”); and the woefully supported but boy-am-I-glad-it’s-there XPostFacto from Ryan Stempel and available at OWC.

There are still significant sloggeries to be inflicted but I do see the light at then end of the tunnel, probably without automated failover but very possibly with autmated backups.