Paying the price of stupidity

Oh dear. I am really not having a good day today.

This site, and a few others I admin, is hosted on a Linux server and today I was SSH’d in doing some admin tasks. One of the advantages of it being on Linux is the crontab. Over the years, the crontab for this account has grown into a convoluted, long, interesting, useful but undocumented crontab. For non-*nix people, the crontab is a way of scheduling things and is great for setting up automated processes like backups, sitemap submissions and the like.

Today, I needed to copy a line out of the crontab and use it elsewhere. I logged on and tried to list the crontab. In my haste I typed:

crontab -;

(missing the “l” key by a few mm). Argh. This has had the unfortunate effect of killing the entire crontab. I could cry. I should kill myself as punishment for the sheer stupidity. Now when I send crontab -l, I get the dreaded “no crontab for [account name]” message as a response.

What a nightmare. I am stupid enough to have no backup of the data in the crontab, nor was it documented well enough to recreate it properly. I should be shot.

At the bare minimum, I hope this will act as a lesson, for myself if no one else, in the importance of documentation and backups.

[tags]idiot, linux, rant, site-admin, why-dont-you, whydontyou[/tags]