Monday, April 19, 2010

Triplicate Backing up of Files does not always Pay

I watch movies where the nasty boss (almost always a government official) demands his workers to document in triplicates. "So inefficient", I would murmur, pinning this down as the reason why there are often long queues at the service counter.

The joke is on me now.

Initially when I first got my computer, a cumbersome laptop I named "Delli the Bitch" in honor of her creator, I was contented to cram all the movies and shows I downloaded from my university network into its now tiny 5GB harddisk. Later, driven desperate by the rapidly decreasing storage, I diversified into CDROMs which I would endeavor to categorise by different colors and designs (I am fussy that way). Ironically this drove my mother and I insane, staring at the piles of dusty CD cases in my room. It was one thing to have your daughter turn rapidly from a nerd to a computer geek, but it was another to accept that she was becoming a OCD hoarder as well.

So I increased my hard disk space by the 1000 times every other year, and double every year, especially now when I am armed with the monetary benefit from work. It wouldn't be so bad, having so many hdds, except my reckless nature has destroyed at least three harddisks (two removable), one of which would be my internal 500GB harddisk which was used to back up every important piece of work I had, plus my favourite shows, like Hogan's Heroes.

Now that particular piece has been killed by my running the pc into death every day, and cruel stuffing of four hard disks into one casing with no other means of cooling in my Singapore (i.e. hot and humid) room. Every other day recently, I curse its early demise and my stupidity, whenever I recall some show that I have stored inside and was now gone for eternity (or until I go through the hassle of downloading it again in some fortunate cases).

Goodbye to my old templates, my old blog backups, Hogan's Heroes and my extensive music collection, as well as other stuff I am only starting to remember then mourn the loss of. Therefore I can only try to assuage my pain by backing up everything into three hard disks now, one internal, two external in the hopes that something will remain...

In one particular case, it has come back to bite me in the arse. Encouraged by my friends' getting different models of Android phones, I have returned to my coding, after much cursing at the SDK download problems I had. Restoring the workspace I had backed up, I wondered to myself why I suddenly encountered three nullpointerexceptions in the game in my development environment which I was sure was working fine in my phone.

After much cursing and swearing at deprecated functions, I sat down to read my code one day, and discovered that I had backed up the WRONG WORKSPACE. As if a farmer digging for the tiny ears of unripe corn in a ravaged field already pillaged by hungry crows, I dug through all my backups of my project (turns out there were four, including that fucking hard disk) to discover I had unwittingly backed up four copies of the same wrong workspaces.

I almost chucked all the hard disks out the window.

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