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The Moon Fell On Me Returns (Wounded)

Post #1687 • April 25, 2014, 1::5 AM • 1 Comment

Unlike in the recovery of the Walter Darby Bannard Archive, the Wayback Machine was no help. It didn't preserve the images or the CSS, so I ended up restoring the site from the backup files on my desktop.


I don't have all of them, it turns out. I'm missing the first three comics, which may have been on a MacBook Pro dating from 2005 which boots, as it happens, but it has long been wiped. (Would anyone like to have a superannuated 10-inch MacBook? I'll make you a great deal.) I have the original work on paper for "Somehow Snow" and "Solace of Ripe Plums" and maybe one day I'll re-scan them and rebuild them but not right now. The art for "Goodnight" was digital and is lost.

Also, in addition to the losses already described here another couple occurred to me. Taichung Diary, which showcased some of the work I did at my 2005 residency in Taichung, Taiwan was on that server as well. To be honest I didn't do that great of a job documenting this in the first place and I still have all of the original drawings, so I could rebuild this with some effort, and am on the fence as to whether I will. The painful thing would have been to lose the place names in the titles, and Wayback has preserved them. Also for whatever reason it got the front page whole and the About page.

The other was The Sunburn. This was my first foray into blogging circa 2002-2003. It has been offline for a long time but I've entertained the idea of cleaning it up (I've learned a thing or two about building websites over the last decade, suffice it to say) and reposting it somewhere for my records. Those files are gone. Wayback has preserved chunks of it—here's one in its blistering glory—and that may be enough.

This rotten experience has forced me to think about what kind of legacy I'm going to leave one day, a consideration I would have deemed too pretentious to undertake until now. At the moment my thoughts about it are inchoate and a little overly morbid, so I'll spare you them, but I mention it because if you back up your files properly, that is, to a degree that anticipates everything up to smaller asteroid strikes, you won't have such considerations rudely thrust upon you with the bigger decisions made without your input. The voice of experience is speaking here.




April 25, 2014, 7:53 PM

I have just been asked to elaborate on what is meant by "properly," which is an excellent request. I'm taking advice from two people I've talked with about this. One is my brother.

I'm far from perfect, but I try to have a 3-2-1 strategy. Three copies (original and two back-ups), two different media (so not on the same hard drive), and one copy offsite. We back up our computers to a time capsule, as well as offsite using Crashplan. I don't know if I'd choose Crashplan again. It is adequate, but slow given the volume of data we generate (video and all). I'd consider Backblaze if I was starting over.

For our web sites, I use a Wordpress plug-in called Backup Buddy, to back up our sites from our host ( to Amazon S3. I think I have the sites set to get a weekly incremental backup and a monthly full backup. I do that for the four active sites we have. I suppose the one thing I could add would be to take an occasional snapshot of the sites and store them locally, but I don't.

I hacked this site myself so the Wordpress plugin would be of no use, but I leave it there for whom to it may apply. The other is John Link.

The best solution for permanence I have found is the M-Disc. LG's high level BD writers accommodate them, both capacities. I put one of the LG Bluray writers in a workstation I built last month for a friend and it works fine. He has not used any M-Discs with it yet. While I don't believe their 1000 year claim, I am confident M-Discs last longer than any other media, including WD hard drives. I think it is time for me to get one. After an M-Disc is written, it works in any DVD or BD reader. They don't come in a CD version, though, just DVD and BD sizes. Put an M-Disc or two in your safety deposit box, and you should be good to go, into the hereafter, I suppose.



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