Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Mon 30 Apr 2007

Backing up basics - email from 24 Jan 1999

Category : mac and the internet

Found this when searching for an email for one of my prrojects. This was written to The Habitat Group, the group that preceeded the Raffles Museum Toddycats, on 24 January 1999.

In light of a recent discussion with Kevin & co., I was tickled how it still applies with the necceessary updates of course. We'll have problems fitting data into a 100MB ZIP disk these days.

--- In, "N. Sivasothi"

Hi people!

I got woken up in the wee hours by a PhD student in the final hours of his thesis. Years of work culminating in a pile full of printed text..and at the mercy of a computer. Needless to say, his relatively new 300MHz notebook running on Win95 failed him at his hour of need. And, he hadn't backed up for three days...

Happily enough, I managed resucitate the HD, find and transfer his various subdirectories. It was back to basics - I was using DOS and floppies. Nearly panicked when the special characters I needed for his truncated foldernames (DOS only accepts 8 characters) went AWOL. The letters were thankfully found residing on some other keys!

He had a Norton Disk Doctor CD, and had created a Rescue Disk - but couldn't find it. So we cannot attempt the fix. He's working on another machine now, and is thankful for that...

This is a relatively common occurence in NUS. I have had to do this many times. And I always have to go back to DOS to make fixes.

The lessons learnt were the usual, but are worth reiterating in the light of a few of you who recently lost data due to PC crashes. Ask yourself: Can I cope if lightning fries my PC right this instant?

1. Your PC is likely to crash/experience problems. The probability increases when subjected to intensive use, e. g. during final stages of writing your thesis.

2. Have an automated (not manual) backup running twice a day; get a ZIP drive and the backup will run in the background without you even knowing. E. g. I have autobackups running at 12.30pm and 10.30pm everyday. Note: even your email can be backed up.

3. During a project, if you are using the computer intensively, have it run backups every 6 hours. If you have made a lot of little corrections, back up immediately.

4. Install the Norton programme (can pre-empt crashes, make recoveries possible), and make a Norton Rescue Disk which is readily available.

5. Never leave your computer running for days without rebooting.

Even though I use the much more reliable Mac, I take precautions - those of you using PCs and running Windows are simply living on borrowed time. Don't rely on luck, make your system secure before calamity strikes.



--- End forwarded message ---

Posted at 3:39AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .