APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed

Every Single One

© July 2003 Tony Lawrence
July 2003

Way back in the days before IBM and Microsoft took over computing, Tandy Radio Shack Model 16 computers running Xenix were quite popular with small business users. Laughably underpowered by todays standards, and costing a pretty fair penny too, they were still very cheap and quite powerful enough to handle a small office.

One such "office" was The Medical Missionaries of Mary. I don't recall how I got the job, but I did OS support and some Filepro programming for them. When I initially visited their offices, I was introduced to the Sister who would be in charge of the computers. One of the first things I explained to her was the necessity of doing regular backups. I though perhaps that she might insist that a higher power would prevent need for such, but she was actually quite pragmatic and listened carefully as I explained how to insert the first of several eight inch floppy diskettes that would be used for backup. I told her that I hoped that she would be very conscientious, because although I might never need to restore data, the day might come where I would need to ask her for the previous day's backup. She assured me that she would indeed be very conscientious.

Well, time went by, and I worked on their programs (just a little database to help them with contributions and solicitations). It was at least several years later when they called me with terrible news. The Tandy 16 had crashed and died, a service man had installed a new hard drive, but all their precious data was lost. I came out as soon as I could and, upon meeting the Sister in the hall, explained to her that this was the day when I would need yesterdays backup. "I have that for you", she said, leading me to a large walk-in closet. This was a room probably ten feet long, six wide, with floor to ceiling shelves. The content of the shelves struck me as odd: row after row of Tandy Eight Inch Diskette boxes - there must have been several hundred boxes. "I have them all", she said, "every single one".

And indeed she did. Apparently I neglected to explain that diskettes were reusable: she had a backup set carefully labeled for every single day since the very first set I had shown her how to make. Day after day, week after week, month after month: she had "every single one".

At that moment I didn't have the heart to explain the misconception. I just accepted yesterday's set, restored the data, and left them happily pecking away. I did write a nice letter later that day explaining that while it was good to have "deep" backup, several years worth was really too much.

Publish your articles, comments, book reviews or opinions here!

© July 2003 Tony Lawrence All rights reserved

Got something to add? Send me email.

(OLDER)    <- More Stuff -> (NEWER)    (NEWEST)   

Printer Friendly Version

-> Every Single One

Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Take Control of Parallels Desktop 12

Take Control of IOS 11

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Pages

More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

Printer Friendly Version

Have you tried Searching this site?

This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more.

Contact us

Printer Friendly Version

Unlike info, pinfo does not display anything if it has nothing. I've been forever irritated by info coming up with its default page when it has nothing to tell me. (Tony Lawrence)

Linux posts

Troubleshooting posts

This post tagged:


Unix/Linux Consultants

Skills Tests

Unix/Linux Book Reviews

My Unix/Linux Troubleshooting Book

This site runs on Linode