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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Save Early, Save Often!

A few days ago, my hard drive crashed.

For several terrifying hours, I thought every piece of art I was working on recently was lost (even the work-in-progress renders I do frequently, as they were on the same drive).

Fortunately, after spending the last couple of days on it, I recovered everything, but it was a very scary feeling, believe me!

What made it worse is that I really felt like I'd been "caught with my pants down" (and not in a good way!), since I didn't have a recent backup of my Poser models and work. If I hadn't been able to recover my drive... well, it would have meant not just a significant loss of work, but having to reinstall Poser and around 70gb of models scattered over dozens of DVDs (which would take weeks, easily).

See, I backup most stuff (such as this blog) regularly, but Poser files are very big (external HDD backup size, not DVD size), and take a significant time to backup... and combine this with my unfortunate tendency to "do it later", and it turned out the last time I did a full backup was January 2011!

As a kid, I loved the video games made by Sierra, such as Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry (the latter occasionally providing some of my first exposure to femdom, outside of my own imagination).

Back then, video games were generally less forgiving on players (no regenerating health here!), so the company had a mantra in their manuals that players learned to adopt: "save early, save often".

I don't know about other gamers who grew up with those games from that era, but those experiences left a lasting impression on me. While other kids at school lost their essays when the computer lab had a power cut or their dad accidentally knocked the plug out at home, I always saved my work frequently. That continued into adult life, where many folks still consider me somewhat paranoid about saving frequently and keeping multiple copies of important files.

Still, despite all that, I nearly messed up big time. Getting caught out by this recent hard drive crash reminded me of just how important backups really are, especially when it comes to irreplaceable creative work of your own.

So shame (and spanks) on me, for so foolishly forgetting the Sacred Sierra Mantra:

An early "game girl" fantasy of mine: Thunderbird, a tough, aggressive and sexy
character from Leisure Suit Larry 6... who is later revealed to be a dominatrix!

Don't forget, fellow bloggers, artists and writers!

Still, thankfully everything turned out okay, and my only "punishment" was the loss of a few days restoring my computer system and files... and yes, making a new backup, too!


  1. I know losing all that work and data would have been punishment enough, but you do deserve a spanking for not backing up regularly, young man!

  2. According to Auntie Andrea, I don't deserve a spanking because I do back up regularly.

    I am glad that you didn't totally loose everrything. That happened to me a LONG time ago and it took ages to recover almost everything.

    Again thanks for all your work and sharing it with us mate.

  3. Wow! That brings a lot of memories and a bit of nostalgia. Looks like we grew up playing the same games. I save quite often and rarely lose any data, but I never thought I should be thankful to old PC games for that... There is probably some connection though.

    BTW - There was another dominatrix in LSL2, but older and ugly, so I preferred this one :-)

  4. Hi Banjo. Phew! I'm glad your crisis was just a near-miss and not a catastrophic loss. Fans of your art will be breathing a collective sigh of relief. Colin

  5. HD crashes really suck. I lost thousands of pictures and immediately bought an external which is set to auto backup when new files are in certain directories. Moving onto more fun topics; Ah yes, Leisure Suit Larry 6. I remember that one well yet it prompted a quick re-acquaintance on youtube. I can't believe I actually have the entire series in my closet.

  6. About six months ago my external drive started to die and I was faced with the possibility of losing everything. Not just misplacing or having to re-install - losing. I remember looking down and seeing that my hands were shaking with fear. Hundreds of irreplaceable scene files, tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of 3D props and figures, and every single piece of my art, maybe lost forever. Yikes! I ran out, bought two more one terabyte externals and managed to squeeze everything across as the main drive writhed in its death throes. If I had not managed to save my stuff, I might well have just walked away and never done another piece again. It was that bad. We must back-up our back-up, and then back that up! Glad to hear you survived Banjo...

  7. R.A.I.D "dedundant array of independent drives." Not hard to set up, and even terabyte HDDs are not outlandish in price anymore. If one drive fails, everything is automatically saved on several other drives - so you never loose it! When you are doing art in a professional way, it is the only way to go - no more panic attacks! I actually got a used 250GB HDD from a computer store for twenty dollars, and it worked great for a long time. I just told him I just wanted the drive - I would format it and all.
    I am very glad that you got your blog back!

  8. One more thought on something to watch: solid state memory. It is available from Crucial now, but is still a bit pricey. It has NO moving parts - so not head crashes. So when it becomes more reasonable, it might be good to save your most valuable stuff on. It is also much faster in data writing and retrieval than a HDD. On my next computer (this year) it will take the place of a HDD, and I will either backup online, to an HDD, a RAID, or some combo. New memory types are being worked on to fit more in a smaller place, make less heat, increase speed, and reduce the cost of storage - server farms are a major expense, and the air cooling is a large part of it.
    Worth it to keep checking!

  9. I recently lost my hard drive, but had done a backup in January so didn't lose much.

    I now have an external hard drive, and it backs up everything automagically.