A Word to the Wise

There is such a thing as being too clever by half. It’s not easy, but you can at times find yourself in the embarrassing position of biting yourself right on the butt. I did that this morning. My normal practice when saving a file I’m working on is to save it to my hard drive, giving it the day’s date: filename07May2010.xxx. Then I access my online storage and save the file again.

Makes sense, right? Being a belt and suspenders kind of guy can save a fella tons of headaches, especially if your hard drive takes a dump. Well, a short time ago I upgraded to the latest and greatest version of MS Office and found that I could open a file direct from my online storage, edit it and then save it back to the online storage without bothering with my hard drive. I like that, a lot.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I do keep a copy on my local drive, but I don’t bother to save to that drive every time, or even every day, anymore.

This morning, after cleaning up the hard drive and running some tune-up utilities, I rebooted and opened my working file of Twisted Key, and went to the end of the file to start writing. It didn’t look like it should, and the page number was way lower than I remembered. Then I checked on my local drive for my backup copy, and while it had a bit of what should have been in the file from the online storage, it was still shorter than it should have been. Then I checked my trash can on the desktop, and it was clean as a whistle.

Because I had taken what I thought was redundant, old copies of the working file and deleted them before I ran the tune-up apps on the hard drive.

Somehow, I had ‘accidentally’ carried on writing in the file on my hard drive, forgetting that I had changed my working strategy to write direct from and to the online storage vault. I had, in fact, even forgotten to save the file to my online vault. Then, thinking of just how very clever I was, I had deleted the latest and greatest copy of Twisted Key and run my tune-up apps, permanently deleting my trash in the process.

Clever me.

So now it’s all been rewritten, and just to drive home the point, I’ve forced myself to write about six new pages. All of which are now safely stored on line.

I’ve worked with backup tapes, and backup CD’s and rewritable backup CD’s and I even have several flash drives (thumb drives, if you prefer). But no backup procedure is foolproof if it’s been designed by a fool…

Have a great weekend!


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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