Tao Of Backup Wailing Wall Story

Time to make a master...

This is an old story, but it may still apply if you use removable media.

A long time ago I had an Amiga 1200 with no hard drive. Everything was done with floppy disks, which were notoriously unreliable, of course. I was working on some graphics for a game for several days when I figured I should make a backup.

I had a particular labeling system for my disks, and I chose the color blue for my game files. Unfortunately, I used the same colored labels and similar wording on both my master and backup disks, and ended up copying my backup onto the master instead of the other way around! I only lost a few days of work for a non-commercial project, but I was banging my head over that bout of stupidity for years.

Since then I've always been much more careful, and in the last ten years have probably lost no more than a few days of work in total, including accidental deletes and cases where applications crash while SAVING a file, thus corrupting the whole file.

The moral: don't use masters and backups that look the same. Human error is what causes the most data loss. Make multiple backups, and use different colored labels, mark them with Sharpies, or get a colored multipack of whatever medium you're using.

     Marc Leveille
    Bellingham, MA, Fri 27-Aug-2004 7:05am

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