Practice What You Preach

As many longtime readers have known, I have posted several times on the need to preserve your digital files.  Well, it turns out I was not practicing what I preached.  Two weekends past, I was looking through my computer files and realized I had not backup up the content of my blog since October, 2013.  Massive fail.  Epic fail.  Massively epic fail.

40yearsstoragedevices

File storage devices have changed over the years. Remember to update these too before they become obsolete!

Each week as I downloaded the images I used to my computer to upload to WordPress I had saved those in a special folder.  However, as most of my typing was done directly in WordPress, I failed to have Word files of those posts.  This was a mistake.  What if all the online files were lost?  What would I have done?  All of that content would take days worth of work to try to recreate, if I could even manage to remember all I wrote about.  All I may have been able to save were those older posts and the book reviews, as pared down versions of those were also posted on Goodreads (usually sans any questions and some personal correlations).  The books reviewed from Blogging for Books would have also been saved as those are on that website.  But what about the rest of that content?

Therefore, after realizing this, I sat in front of my computer for several hours manually copying and pasting those blog posts into Word files.  Since I now have nearly 200 posts and over half needed to be saved, that was a long process.  I also had to reorganize my file folder to have subfolders for each year in addition to the existing one for images.  Otherwise, the files would have been too hard to search through (who wants to scroll through that many files to find the correct one?  And yes, I could use a file search, but what if I can’t remember the file name I used?  I visual scan of the files may prompt my memory).  This was a boring, tedious process.  Going forward, I am going to have to do a better job of remembering to save my posts as a Word document as well.

Making this error worse, my external hard drive no longer functions.  It needs to be replaced.  Somehow it turned mildewy while in my lockbox, which was not even stored in a location where it could get damp!  I’m not sure exactly what happened unless it was the lack of air circulation (anyone have other thoughts on how this occurred?).  Until that happens, I only have my flashdrive.

Moral of the story?  It all goes back to that old saying “You have to practice what you preach.”  Therefore, take this post as a lesson: even those with the best of intentions can make a mistake.  And consider reviewing those older posts where I wrote about digital preservation: “A Digital-Age New Year’s Resolution” and “More on Photo and Digital Preservation.” I admit I did wrong on this issue.

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8 thoughts on “Practice What You Preach

  1. I remember I took a 128MB USB stick (my first in life) in 2006’s summer and it costed around 950Rs. Hard to believe today such a time even existed as I have a 1TB hard for some time and still run short of memory while I remember I had an IBM PC in 2003 with just 3.1GB hard and even ran one with mere 1GB hard in 2004.

    Now if I come to your main point, I remember I was due sending Software patch to the customer (I am a developer) and because of my dad’s viral USB, 70% of my code washed and I was like I am seeing a horror dream but Alhamdulillah I got the peace, kept cool and done effort of ten days in 2 nights but lesson was learnt and now OneDrive and emailing the archives after every couple of days is must. Do you also use OneDrive?

    • With so many things going digital nowadays, it does not surprise me that we are going through more data storage space. And it’s nice that one can now buy more storage space for their money.

      Per your story, sorry you had that issue where you lost so much data! However, I’m glad you were able to recreate your work in record time. Regarding OneDrive, I use it more for creating documents on the go in conjunction with Office Apps Online than for data backup. The Office Apps are a useful, free tool for when I travel for work with one of their laptops or mobile devices.

      • Oh don’t be sorry madam! It was way back in 2011. Now I have learnt a lesson. It is sad to see OneDrive has reduced its storage now. You seem a more classical and paper/pen sort of person to me. Its so good as being a Computer person I have realized there comes a time when you start getting fed up of it and want to go out and feel fresh air – no wonder why I saw GoodReads mere in March this year and since then, its my most visited website. I enjoyed your other blog (A Discovery in the Attic)

        • Yes, I remember getting an e-mail about the reduced OneDrive storage. Though I had by far not used all the space I have, I did not like the idea of a reduction in case I needed more in the future. And you are correct about the paper and pen. I still handwrite notes and create outlines on paper before I convert them to digital files. And I’m glad you are still enjoying reading my blog posts!

          • I also used to be a paper and pen person (even when working in a Software house) but I have switched to a mini-whiteboard and markers and totally electronic-office as I am against the cutting of trees. As a teacher, I don’t give paper assignments or any such thing and thankful to technology for saving trees here. And what do you mean by still enjoying? 😀

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