Re: Tech writing data storage pet peeve

Subject: Re: Tech writing data storage pet peeve
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- XCERT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:28:18 -0800

This discussion takes me back a few years, when
I took on a two-month contract to write a user guide
for an edutainment CD-ROM product.

The employer asked me to work off the server, so I
did ... I wrote, designed, and PDFd thinking that the
files would be backed up nightly, or at least weekly.
[You can guess where this is going...]

For some reason I had to copy the files to another
computer on the network one weekend. I forgot about
the copy ... until the day I came in, started working on
the files, and the Macintosh "bomb" appeared on the
screen. The server had failed, and the company had
no recovery plan or backup tapes. They lost all of their
accounting records, a lot of important correspondence,
and all of my files. Thankfully I only had to re-enter
about a week's worth of work. I don't know how long
it took them to recover their accounting information.

In my current job, I called in sick the day that some
materials needed to be rushed to the printer. I had
completed all of the work and checked it in to source
control so I was certain my coworker could access
the files ... except that I had forgotten to check in the
files. To make matters worse, she could not find them
on my hard drive because they were not saved to an
obvious location. Even source control can be thwarted
by human error.

Cheers, Rowena

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rowena Hart Technical Writer

Xcert International Inc.
1001-701 West Georgia Street Phone: 1 (604) 640-6210
Vancouver, BC, Canada V7Y 1C6 Fax: 1 (604) 640-6220
Web: http://www.xcert.com E-mail: rhart -at- xcert -dot- com

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