Absolument Disparu, Like Mother’s Mink

The title today being a quotation from Nigel Molesworth’s serious and worthwhile autobiographies, which you either know or you don’t.

The guys over at Penny Arcade experience the Lesson About Backups that hits us all, eventually.  I’ve long believed that there’s an axiom of computing (of the practise, not the theory) that states:

You will only truly understand how important backups are when you realise that you don’t have one, and that because you don’t, you have lost something now irretrievable.

At that moment, one becomes enlightened, though it is probably not nirvana that you reach.  However, experience, it is said, is cheap at any price and doubly so when someone else is paying.  So I took a quarter of an hour to quickly run through the many and varied backup systems here and at the office, verifying that they’re working as they should.  Conveniently enough, there’s a gap of ninety miles between the two; sufficiently large that any natural disaster capable of affecting both would leave me with other priorities than recovering backups, like basic survival in a post-holocaust wilderness, for example.  Thus backups run between the two sites, overnight, replicating all critical data.  That’s in addition to the suite of tape drives in the office, and the Linux mirrored array that holds duplicates of the family photos and digital documents from the working PCs here.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a genuine geek say that backup system is too redundant.  At least, nobody who’s been through their own Lesson About Backups.