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"Has anyone ever had to actually access an outdated version?"
Yes, but it isn't very easy unless you have a library of hard copies for
each revision. And nobody wants to pay for the space or the upkeep --
especially at large companies with hundreds of books. So, there are at
least a couple answers:
The easy answer is, you won't have to access an old version until *after*
you throw it away, so cross that bridge when you come to it.
The harder answer is to only save backed-up electronic versions; then when
someone says they want to see an old copy you can hem and haw about how
difficult it is to find on the backup tape. Your electronic files probably
wouldn't work with newer versions of the software very well either, so you'd
be able to threaten that you have to re-load the old application. That might
make them go away.
You might require the printer to keep the paper masters on hand, and
off-load the storage headache onto them.
The worst part of Michael's question is usually that the client who
requested the information is never one of your big accounts. Still, the good
news is that you aren't trying to juggle multiple versions simultaneously --
we were shipping three different versions of one of our software products
before we did a giant upgrade release to clean the mess up.
I used to back files up to floppies and box them up in a filing cabinet, but
now I just keep all the old files on our network, since they don't take up
all that much space. If they did, I could use PKZIP or something. Hard
drives are so cheap nowadays, server space isn't an issue like it was. And
floppy reliability seems to be inversely related to how important the file
gromaine -at- radisys -dot- com
"First the silver run out of the Santa Rio,
Then the people run out,
Then the whiskey, and
Then the beer run out.
Well, no matter. Good to see a high roller wander through."