Thursday, August 13, 2009

Storing Your Data Everywhere...

Upon finishing the draft of my doctoral dissertation, my wife echoed the same advice that everyone I seemingly ever met had shared with me the previous few months... "Don't forget to make a backup copy in case you lose it!".

Once upon a time, this statement made a lot of sense. These days, the problem students and researchers have isn't forgetting to make a backup copy of their work; it's trying to make sense out of all their myriad of backups.

For instance, throughout my dissertation process, I've stored my assorted files at various times on my PC's hard drive, my laptop's hard drive, three different thumb drives, Hotmail and Gmail (emailing the files to myself), my school's network, XDrive.com, and have printed out so many hard copies that they fill an entire filing cabinet in my bedroom.

In the Digital Age, it's impossible to lose anything! In 150 years, my great-great-grandkids will likely be able to do a Google search (or the equivalent) and still find a good amount of my files in the cloud. This is to say nothing of finding my Facebook photos, YouTube videos, or blog posts; which I'm sure will all be around until the end of civilization as we know it.

So please, RELAX everyone! Rest assured, I do indeed have plenty of backup copies, so much so that my biggest problem when leafing through them all is figuring out which one is the most recent, up-to-date version. These days, as you're all aware, our problem isn't data scarcity; it's data gluttony.
  

2 Comments:

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long ago in another lifetime, there was once a program called SCCS – the Source Code Control System. The idea behind it was to keep track of versions of documents. And it would only save changes made to a document until you said make a new base. It saved lots of space, let you go back to nearly any revision, and if you wanted to start an entirely new branch (ie. go in a new direction) you could do that too.

I wonder how many people even think of such things these days!

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Rob Domanski said...

I know of similar types of programs out there now. But, again, they only create MORE stuff for me to filter through when looking for something specific.

 

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