Re: Tech writing data storage pet peeve

Subject: Re: Tech writing data storage pet peeve
From: Rebecca Merck <Rebecca -dot- Merck -at- ONESOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:01:34 -0500

"some of you seem to be adamant about not using the server as a resource
to keep your work safe. Why is that?"

<answer>
I've got a very simple reason. We're making the logical assumption that
"server=safe; workstation=not safe" However, when I have counted on
servers to be backed up, when I have relied on another person's actions
to ensure the safety of my files, I have been let down more than once in
the past. Not necessarily HERE, not necessarily NOW, but it's happened
MUCH more often than I've been in, say, major airline disasters. In my
experience, it's much more likely that "server=unsafe;
workstation=safe." Especially when something goes wrong, and I relied
on someone else for my own safety.

When *I* take responsibility for the safety of my files, when *I* know
that *I* am the one whose b*tt is on the line if I forget to backup and
lose a week's work, at least I'm 100% that if I screw it up, I'm the one
to blame. It puts the responsibility frankly where I think it otta be
-- on me. And on me to make sure that others in my group know where to
find my files (or can find them readily) if I'm incapacitated.

When I rely on system administrators who don't have to retype or stay
all weekend recreating the work that was lost when the server goes down
and there isn't a recent backup of my work (of course they stay all
weekend doing other stuff!), I really don't feel like I'm doing due
diligence to ensure the safety of my files. So using a network server
as a resource is good, but to blindly rely on it to by definition mean
that I am absolved of responsibility for the safety of my work does seem
naive, especially given experiences I've had.
</answer>

<soapbox>
In the long run, I was hired to do a job -- create and deliver
documentation. They told me WHAT to do -- maybe I'm lucky, but they
didn't tell me HOW to do it. And I think we all have to assume unless
proven otherwise that everyone doing their job, be it writing
documentation, writing software, writing proposals, creating systems,
building hardware, etc., is taking responsibility for their work. We
could spend a lot of time second guessing why everyone does things the
way they do, chooses the tools they do, or makes ANY decision they do --
but it's really not necessary, and it becomes an all-consuming thing.

Am I doing my job? Yes. Is my data safe? Yes. Cool. Anything beyond
that, unless there's a good functional reason why someone else needs
access to the files, could be taken to extremes that border on just
plain being meddlesome.
<disclaimer>
Obviously if the files are shared, that needs to be factored into my
decisions. It doesn't necessitate use of one particular approach,
though.
</disclaimer>
</soapbox>

<query>
So I wonder -- what is it that causes us to be so concerned about where
other people store their files? I am truly, really, honestly and
sincerely interested in knowing what functional reason there could be
for where I store my files (and they're in both, so I'm not espousing
any particular camp) affecting anyone but me (assuming I do a good job
of organizing them and communicating their whereabouts) in the event of
an emergency?
</query>

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=




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