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Versioning Over Time Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:59 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Versioning Over Time






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Post #617585
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:54 AM
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I was working at a company which shall remain nameless and our voice mail server crashed. It was running on OS2 (only 2 years ago) and we had a backup of the database (Sybase SQL Anywhere) but we couldn't get it to restore. So I asked the head user guy, "When do you think this was installed and was it ever upgraded?" He thought it was 1998 or 1999 and it had never been upgraded. I was able to find old media for SQLAnywhere 3 or 4 (I think it was Watcom then). and got it to restore. We were currently on version 9!

What amazed the user though, was I was able to break into the database w/o a password. Seems that no one ever disabled the original admin account......

We got a new server configured and up in three days, but were not able to upgrade, because we still had to run on OS2. I don't know why, it's not like this company didn't have any money, but apparently if we couldn't bill it to a client, we couldn't buy it. (the "new" server was an O L D desktop machine). I was glad that there was a packrat in the organization who had the old media, although he had no idea that it was still in use.

Post #617858
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:50 AM


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Ya, basically:

1) Don't make assumptions
2) Be organized

This applies to many situations including this one here.
Good reminder Steve, but not very controversial or juicy.


Mia

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Post #617922
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:53 AM


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Post #617928
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:18 AM


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Just a few years ago I got a phone call from a client I had not spoken to for over 18 years. Indeed, he was client of a company I worked for that is now (and for many years has been) out of business! The guy went to great lengths to track down any of us who had worked for that company. He found me on LinkedIn and tracked me down from there.

Why? He was moving his manufacturing facility and needed a copy of... Are you ready? DOS 6.2, and our application for that operating system. I asked him why DOS? We had released a Windows version... His response? "Why would I switch to Windows when I have something that has worked for almost two decades without a hiccup!"

Though I have cleaned my basement quite a few times over the years, sure enough, there in a dust covered box I still had floppy disk copies of both. The trick was finding a machine with a floppy drive to make copies for him!

On the one hand I would say, never throw anything away because you never know... But on the other hand, every time I go down to my basement and see the pile of 2400 baud modems, ancient network cards, and miles of RS232 cables I really do wonder what the heck I am saving those for...


There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #617951
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:25 AM


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Steve Jones - Editor (12/11/2008)
Hey, I can't cause trouble every day.


Focus, Steve. It's all about priorities. ;)


Mia

I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
-- David M. Ogilvy
Post #617964
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:49 AM
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Great reminder, Steve. Mia is right that it isn't very controversial, but it is timeless. ;)

Dan


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Post #617997
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:56 AM


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blandry (12/11/2008)
...on the other hand, every time I go down to my basement and see the pile of 2400 baud modems, ancient network cards, and miles of RS232 cables I really do wonder what the heck I am saving those for...


Hehe - just a few months ago I let DH take the peripherals over 5 years old down to the recycling center. Good bye 1400 modem, dot matrix printer, Cat scanner... However, I hang onto my old HP tower with the floppy and 4x cd drive in it, and all the software to boot. We kept Win95 on there and used it for kids' software for a long time. When my mom passed and we couldn't find her will, I became the hero because I could load her old legal software and pull up the documents. Of course the soft copy was not legally binding, but it was a great help to my siblings & I. My pack-rattiness saved the day again, much to my darling husband's chagrin.

So the lesson may also apply to home life.

PS I don't recommend that everyone keep everything forever, just saying that I do.



Kate The Great
If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where will you find time to do it again?
Post #618063
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 10:38 AM
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Steve, you did not actually get a raise for "saving the day", did you?

I have packrat tendencies. Indeed, I still have a shrink-wrapped copy of Win 3.1, DOS 6 something, and other thinks both hardware and software, small and great. And office furniture... and office supplies... and cables-a-plenty of nearly every type.

However, recently I have started to "clean house". I no longer see much value in keeping that stuff; I see only the space it takes from me year after year.

There has to be a sunset clause on stuff. 7 years seems long enough to me. If it is older than that, then legally, it would be hard to find fault with in a court of law.

The world will not stop spinning. There will be alternate routes of action and progress.

Not controversial? This is a touchy topic with some... especially when you start trying to throw away the trinkets saved for a decade or more.

Yeah, I still miss my old Atari 800 XL (on-board BASIC) with it's whopping 64kb RAM, with it's twin Indus GT 500 external 5 1/4 floppy drives that each weigh more than my laptop, and the 15 in. wide Star Gemini 15X Dot Matrx printer (still in use by some banking operations), and the 500 or so floppy disks of games and software of questionable ownership (before I understood and upheld copyright laws).

I miss these old relics almost as much as my first car, a Datsun 710 4D Sedan; orange. Yeah! It had been grandfathers' car. I last saw it in a heap-o-metal of a 4-car pile-up in the middle of an intersection, that I was blessed to walk away from. The back tire, still attached to the axle, was in the middle of the car, and the engine was still running until we yanked the ignition wires.

But it all now lives in the land of nostalgia. I'd rather have the bigger-better-faster, than the dust-collecting compendium of the past. The only trinket of the past I strive to maintain is the wisdom and lessons learned.
Post #618090
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:16 PM


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The problem you describe in your editorial describes every company I have ever worked for. Management seldom considers the issue you described. Of course there is another solution to this problem, which a previous company I worked for folllowed, and that was to not keep any backup for more than 14 days (this was the maximum amount of data they could store on their backup system). This way, they never have to restore to an older system. Of course, should they ever get audited or get involved in a lawsuit, heads will roll. I'm glad I don't work there anymore.

Brad M. McGehee
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Post #618167
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