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Old 08-11-2018, 01:46 AM   #31
DNSB
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In other words, your author values her/his work so little that s/he didn't even have a backup???!!!

Seriously? I have my book files backed up to a standalone disk, a local server, and have a third copy in the cloud. And the local server is separately backed up to the cloud AND a local backup disk. Are you kidding? This is my intellectual property, and there is NO F***ing way I'm not covering my posterior every which way but Sunday. I started writing books in 1990 or 1991, and I have every book file I've ever created. Now the fun part would be to come up with an application to READ those files these days. (First word processor was PCWrite, followed by Word Imperfect, and then when forced by circumstance and the publishers, Word.) The WP files could probably be read and mangled by Word, but recovery of the PCWrite files would be a good deal more annoying. The main files were ASCII text, but there were embedded control characters for some formatting features that would be a bit work to have to sort.
Converting formats was the way I paid for my hobby for quite a few years. One that really sticks in my mind involved 8" floppy disks from a late 1970s era word processor from ADDS. That was a fun conversion job since just reading the floppies called for writing a routine that could read the disk, display the directory and save files to to another disk -- who needs a standard format when we can invent our own? Old IBM EBCDIC 8" floppies and you no longer had the original system and need the content on 5.25" MSDOS floppies? Northstar hard sectored 5.25" floppies with content created by NorthWord that you now need on 3.5" floppies for your Compaq?

Speaking from the years I've spent in IT and electronics before that, very few people will do backups until they learn the hard way. It's just too much bother for no real payback until the first time your computer goes "Hard drive? I don't see no stinkin' hard drive". That seems to be motivation needed to convince most people to start using proper backups.
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:22 AM   #32
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Well, let's just say that I wrote the backup chapter of every book we wrote. That's a lot of reinforcement of good practice!! (That's more than 3 dozen books, but probably only 2 dozen of them had a backup chapter.)

Also, the only person I ever actually fired was for not doing backups. And lying about it.

Besides all that, this is my intellectual property. That's worth a bit of care and caution!
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:13 AM   #33
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Well, let's just say that I wrote the backup chapter of every book we wrote. That's a lot of reinforcement of good practice!! (That's more than 3 dozen books, but probably only 2 dozen of them had a backup chapter.)

Also, the only person I ever actually fired was for not doing backups. And lying about it.

Besides all that, this is my intellectual property. That's worth a bit of care and caution!
Now comes the fun question: are you doing regular restore tests from your backups? As one friend of mine found out, just because the backups are happening doesn't mean any recoverable data is being written. In his case, their nice new LTO-6 backup tape library had a firmware glitch where all the data was being written to (and verified from) one tape instead of all tapes in the library. It was about 3 months later when they went to restore a file and found that it wasn't recoverable that the glitch was found. They were fortunate in that the missing file was not mission critical and a firmware update was available that corrected the issue. For me, the humour was that a notice about the firmware update marked critical had been received and filed by the IT manager about a week after the backup system went live. His mantra was if it ain't broke, don't fixpak it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:34 AM   #34
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Converting formats was the way I paid for my hobby for quite a few years. One that really sticks in my mind involved 8" floppy disks from a late 1970s era word processor from ADDS. That was a fun conversion job since just reading the floppies called for writing a routine that could read the disk, display the directory and save files to to another disk -- who needs a standard format when we can invent our own? Old IBM EBCDIC 8" floppies and you no longer had the original system and need the content on 5.25" MSDOS floppies? Northstar hard sectored 5.25" floppies with content created by NorthWord that you now need on 3.5" floppies for your Compaq?
There were Hard sectored 5.25" floppies? I knew about the 8" version, we built a paper tape emulator using the at TriData.
I remember the 5.25 floppies for the Apple Lisa that had 2 windows (the Lisa had 2 heads per side)
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:43 AM   #35
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As I have written many times--if you haven't tested the restore, you haven't done the backup.

While this was especially true with tape, it's still true today, regardless of the form your backup takes.
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:16 PM   #36
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There were Hard sectored 5.25" floppies? I knew about the 8" version, we built a paper tape emulator using the at TriData.
I remember the 5.25 floppies for the Apple Lisa that had 2 windows (the Lisa had 2 heads per side)
The 5.25" hard sectored floppies came in a choice of either 10 or 16 sectors. Northstar used the 10 sector version.

As for the Apple Lisa, I only got to play with one once but definitely a unique device. I remember wondering if the floppy disk was named after a waif-like model.
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:30 PM   #37
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I lost a bunch of newsletters I'd written about 20 years ago () because of a HDD failure - and I have absolutely no excuse because I worked in IT...on an IT Help Desk (which somehow makes things worse).

Although I had hard copies of the newsletters, I missed one. I've been over compensating ever since. I have two "cloud" backups, Time Machine, NAS drives (one of which has spudded out - just as well it's mirrored! I must replace the faulty one...), and the ubiquitous portable HDDs (which are stored in a 1940s safe that looks like a refugee from a Sam Spade movie - in case of fire).

I have everything I've done backed up since "The Great HD Disaster of 1999". Everything. Multiple times.

As for saving things in a format that can be read, I can remember something from the dim, dark past that PDF was touted as the archiver's choice. But, 1. You have to get "it" into PDF and 2. Is it really a suitable archiving format? It has been around for a long time but...shrug.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:04 PM   #38
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I lost a bunch of newsletters I'd written about 20 years ago () because of a HDD failure - and I have absolutely no excuse because I worked in IT...on an IT Help Desk (which somehow makes things worse).

Although I had hard copies of the newsletters, I missed one. I've been over compensating ever since. I have two "cloud" backups, Time Machine, NAS drives (one of which has spudded out - just as well it's mirrored! I must replace the faulty one...), and the ubiquitous portable HDDs (which are stored in a 1940s safe that looks like a refugee from a Sam Spade movie - in case of fire).

I have everything I've done backed up since "The Great HD Disaster of 1999". Everything. Multiple times.

As for saving things in a format that can be read, I can remember something from the dim, dark past that PDF was touted as the archiver's choice. But, 1. You have to get "it" into PDF and 2. Is it really a suitable archiving format? It has been around for a long time but...shrug.
I'm right there with you. I run:
  • Two SSHDs, in RAIDs, so that I'm always running a dupe disk;
  • All our data is in Dropboxes, so that deleted/lost files are recoverable;
  • A nightly incremental backup, and,
  • A weekly full backup to a 2T external RAID backup separate from the computer.


Suffice to say, I'm paranoid, lol.

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Old 08-12-2018, 04:30 AM   #39
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The most important thing about backups: WAY OFF SITE

Recent Fires here in CA wiped out blocks.
Floods, Tornadoes and Volcano's in other parts got other folk and businesses.

If you run OLD, Antique software that those files depend upon. Keep those off site (and the license key, too unless it uses a keygen, then you might be SOL if the company has folded)
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:12 PM   #40
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The most important thing about backups: WAY OFF SITE

Recent Fires here in CA wiped out blocks.
Floods, Tornadoes and Volcano's in other parts got other folk and businesses.

If you run OLD, Antique software that those files depend upon. Keep those off site (and the license key, too unless it uses a keygen, then you might be SOL if the company has folded)
Fortunately, the cloud has made that easier! And cheaper.
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