Back Up Yo’ Shit

question disk

“Do you have a copy of that file?” is not a question you really ever want to be asking.

Mini post as I get ready for vacation next week! Between transatlantic flights and lots of trains, I should have plenty of time to keep the hopper full, but for this week, just a quick reminder that we all need to hear periodically! — jw

While on my “Hack retreat” detailed last week, I got derailed after a simple text message ended up spiraling into the realization that a bunch of assets for the first Short Story RPG adventure had been lost.

I texted my friend Charles who does the incredible illustrations you frequently find attached to my projects “Hey can you re-send those Wackiest Race illustrations when you get a chance?” I also included the (404-ing!) DropBox link he had originally shared to deliver them. Turns out he’d switched computers this summer, without migrating everything and had also hit his storage cap in DropBox, so he “cleared up some space” if you catch my meaning.

Now, I’m real big on running ‘blameless organizations’, so I never point fingers when things go wrong. Never point them outward, at least: Why the actual fuck didn’t I just download them when he sent over the finals? Why didn’t I attach the folder to my own DropBox for redundancy? Why didn’t I ask for the delivery in a different format, like zipped over email? I really screwed the pooch on this one.

Charles and I spent the next hour or so combing hard drives in the outside hope that maybe between the two of us we could reassemble the full set of files. In a bizarre twist of fate, we both had a few… but we each had exactly the same few as the other, gaining nothing 🙂 I even had a damned screenshot of the dropbox web interface with all the thumbnails. Seriously?

I filed a support ticket with DropBox, and sort of got blown off, so now we’re in the worst case scenario, and I’ve had to recommission the illustrations that were lost, which is super shitty to have to ask your artist to do, when he did such an awesome job the first time around.

So let this rare profanity-laced post serve as your periodic reminder to make sure that not only are your backup systems operational, but that you’re making redundant copies and anything you can to factor out your own human stupidity.