Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lessons Learned

I have a friend who works for a major software manufacturer. He told me once that they were working towards having a truly paperless society. Everything would be stored on servers somewhere - your calendar, bank records, business documentation, personal records - everything. I told him I could never go for something like that because it gives control of these important items to someone else. What would happen if something went wrong? If a server was down, would my information be unavailable to me when I needed it most? Could I potentially lose it all?

As of yesterday morning sometime, my journals were restored to Hometown and my FTP space seems to be fixed. However, this issue and what happened to Armandt was a wake up call to heed my own intuitive advice and not rely on something or someone "out there" to maintain my information without having a back up plan. By doing so I give up control, and no one cares about your personal data as much as you do. Some probably think, "What's the big deal? It's just a journal." But, this is a record of my life over the past year and a half. It's an artistic endeavor in some respects. I had pictures in my FTP space that I had deleted from my hard drive and hadn't saved anywhere else because I reasoned they were safe and accessible. If you ask someone if his or her house were ravaged by a fire, besides loved ones, what would the person try to save? The answer is usually the same, pictures and momentos of their life. My journal and the pictures I've shared here have the same importance to me. I would be heart broken if it were all lost.

As such, I went through my journal yesterday and copied all of my pictures to my hard drive. I will now burn them to a CD. A while ago I set up a site on Blogger to create a mirror of my journal here. I've been lax in transferring my entries over there. I have renewed my efforts to get my old entries transferred and will post my current entries there as well as here as I post them. Pam found a free program that will create a mirror site on your hard drive. As time permits, I will investigate that option as well.

So what have I learned?
  1. No one cares about my personal data as much as I do. My email to FTPMaster has still not been read.
  2. Check the archived entries from time to time. I had entries in which the pictures were loaded through "Add Pictures from Hometown" that were not appearing and had to be reinserted.
  3. Our data on the 'net, specifically here on AOL, is not safe from being lost or corrupted. Back up your data!

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