This is from a home server that runs Fedora 14, to which I have ssh access from my MacBook Pro.

1. I git clone'd this.

2. Then, as super-user, I called

wget -O - | python

as instructed here, to install the setuptools module.

3. Then, also as super-user, I called

python install

4. At this point, it was time to fill out the .glacier-cmd configuration file, as shown in the

5. Bookkeeping using Amazon SimpleDB requires setting up an Amazon SimpleDB domain (= database) first. You cannot do this through the AWS Management Console.

6. So I googled, and found official directions here.

7. Unfortunately, my Chrome wouldn't render properly the SimpleDB Scratchpad web app. That caused some unnecessary confusion. The solution was to just run Scratchpad in Safari.

8. Your computer has folders and files. Amazon Glacier has vaults and archives. One archive = one upload. This can be an individual file, but it's more practical to bundle individual files into tarballs first, so one archive = one tarball.

9. I'm in business: two large tarballs uploaded and showing up in my SimpleDB domain that keeps tabs on this particular vault, one on the way.

It looks like everything works, but I can't be sure until Amazon Glacier gets around to producing an inventory (this happens about once a day, it seems). I can then check SHA sums between what's on Glacier and what I thought I sent there. Next I will upload something small, then download it the next day.

Glacier is the digital equivalent of self-storage. You put stuff there that you don't really want anymore; you think you might, but you don't. It's a problem that comes with ease of acquiring such stuff in the first place. I don't think there's a big self-storage industry in Zambia, and I'm sure that storing old photos wasn't much of a problem back when you had to take them on film and you only had 32 frames in a roll.

I have no idea why we bother with digital self-storage. I guess simply deleting old pictures and a bunch of music we no longer listen to makes us feel like jerks. It's a total trap.