I am just the embodiment of “PEBCAK errors” this week. I’d blame it on Indonesian, Russian, and British hackers, but that would be a half-truth, at best; in a fit of security-mindedness reminiscent of the time I locked myself and my PC out of my PC (a neat trick, but you’ll end up on an IT poster peppered with dart holes if you try it) I deleted It’s All a Matter of Perspective. The idea was to keep hackers from exploiting old, unused, unmonitored WordPress installations. I just forgot that I’d manually cross-linked multiple blogs to one database. Whoops. Unfortunately, the databases in question were larger than what’s covered by Hostgator’s backup policy, so… no backup on the server side. Seventy-two hours later, I concluded that this is not entirely a bad thing.
Over the last year, I’ve watched my friend James David Audlin struggle with visions of losing his life’s work due to computer failures, and I have watched him discover the importance of triple-redundant backups. The lessons have not been lost on me, either. I have backups. Unfortunately, even backups sometimes fail. It was disconcerting to realize that I had no posts from 2012 – just a couple of xml files from WordPress exports containing error messages. And then it hit me: I was smart to syndicate the full text of each post and to subscribe to my own feed by email. Sometimes, a sloppy inbox is a blessing in disguise.
Then again, reading over the last year’s worth of posts, I wonder if any of them are worth re-publishing. They’re not all easily restored, but that just makes me think more carefully about whether they’re still relevant and worth restoring. That’s not some negative, self-denigrating bit of “woe is me.” Editing is work, and laziness is one of the reasons I started A Fresh Perspective in the first place. I was tired of looking at all the garbled characters peppering the pre-2009 posts – caused by a database change last time I broke my blog. There’s something refreshing and invigorating about starting with a clean slate, provided it doesn’t stay clean for long.
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