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Saturday, 2 January 2016

THE ARCHIVE GAME: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

It's that time of the year again. Put the whole year's archive to bed, instead of keeping it in bits.
   What does that mean? Everything is backed the fuck up - for all time. Or until the rise of the Skynet computer replaces the human race with overly-muscled Austrian-accented killing machines.


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Putting the whole archive to bed isn't about backing everything up. (It is. Not JUST that, though.) Archive bedtime is about making sure all the material I backed up is...well, at the very worst...semi-organised.
   Unfortunately, I'm Jack Lemmon. Watch The China Syndrome. Jack talks about defence.
   In depth.
   This is the second time I've mentioned that in a blog post. See what I did, there? If you haven't read the earlier post, it's okay. You caught on to the idea here.
   Your back-up system has a back-up system, and so on.


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It's important for authors (and others) to save their work. The best form of backing a story up is still publication.



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What changed, this time around? I shuffled the deck before I dealt new cards in the archive game.
   The emergency reserve laptop was still the machine of record as far as the archive went. Content grew there. I copied that content over to the internet-linked computer via an external hard drive.
   And files crawled from there to cloud storage. Two computers. One external drive. The cloud. And the odd USB memory stick, for core files.
   Time passes. Data requirements balloon. The smaller computer is no longer the best place to run the digital archive from. Every year, the process shifts and changes.
   This year, most of the over-duplication problem was dealt with when I converted  to the latest version of Windows. I always create too many copies of vital files...
   Well, that's better than the alternative. Two folders, with different names, housing the same effing files? Well. Damn.
   Annual archiving, putting the whole thing to bed, involves killing off screeds of duplicate files - without killing off the WRONG files.
   I put that crap in order when I jumped to the new operating system in 2015. So this January's final final check was not-so-secretly prepared way back in misty September.
   And this brand new year, my double-check of a double-check of a double-check spotted...
   Two rogue files.
   An hour spent scouring folders, and I nailed the problem. Problem solved. As I type, I am halfway through loading the most recent update onto the cloud, replacing the earlier cloudy version.

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Always review how you archive things. Change for the sake of change is nothing special. But change dealing with a shifting tech situation beyond your control...at least you can dive in and have some input on what happens next.

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So. This year's lesson, at the last moment, is that I had a tail computer and a dog computer. Switching those labels around made more sense.

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On a separate point...
   I'm about to have coffee. Though that sustains me, it is unlikely to send me soaring back to the giddy heights of weekly blogging. I'll continue to blog monthly, if I can.
   Too soon to say, in cold grey January. But. I hope to have something worth blogging about in dreary February.

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Back up your work. Enjoy writing. Drink coffee. I think that about covers it. Except for all the other things I left out.

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