Friday, May 02, 2008

Recovering from a crash

Over the years, there have been several times where I wished I could back data up to something that would never loose my data. But this dream is probably the dream of every engineer or programmer on the face of the earth. Of course, this dream is probably the biggest dream there is. Unfortunately, a recent database crash caused the dream to come back again.

In this day and age with free storage online and the availability of big hard drives cheap, the problem of hard disks failing is becoming more prevalent. Which leads to other failures.

Is this problem leading us into an era in which we truly are going to loose everything? If we were to suffer a magnetic pulse on a large scale around the world, such as that caused by an asteroid hitting the earth, it would be foolish to think that anything of our data would be left other than that which is in print format.

Should we even be thinking about the paperless office that people have been trying to create since the 1980's, rather foolishly and unsuccessfully in reality. But what is the flip side of that thinking. If we go back to using just paper, things slow down, and also we use more natural resources that are already strained beyond belief.

So what to do? In the short term, I would say that if it is important, back it up on two different mediums. Use online as well as offline resources. If it is really important, print it out. And if it is even more important that that (imperative to your life), put a physical and a media copy in a safe deposit box.

Luckily I dont have much that is in the final category but I keep thinking how many web sites would become my only copy of items I have created should I loose my hard drives.