Friday, 14 January 2011

Panic over

Now that the dust has settled, and I know that I have all my business critical work secured I realise how close I came to losing something really important. That's my cycling spreadsheet, with a record of nearly three years of rides.

In the wee small hours of this morning I was worrying about the relatively trivial matter of re-entering a year's worth of book-keeping activity from the paper records in my little black box. Losing track of my Eddington number would have been a far more serious issue, and far more difficult to recover.

Many years ago I was a system programmer on mainframes. Screwing up the accounts database, along with the backup copy would mean that virtually an entire organisation would grind to a halt until it was sorted. More than thirty years on, I still remember a meeting with the Chief Accountant the morning after we did just that. You'd think I would have learned.

At times like this I repeat the little ditty that we used to recite in those days:

I hate this damn computer
I wish that they would sell it
It won't do what I want it to
Only what I tell it

It's my reminder that whether it's Linux, Windows, Mac OS, or the 1970's mainframe that we used to grapple with, there's not a lot of point blaming the software. The operating system didn't decide to over-write the back-up with corrupt data, or install the wrong version of a software package.

Anyway, I think we've got everything sorted now. Until it returns to normal the office is looking nice and tidy. I'm certainly going to to have another try at Linux, but I think I'll take a somewhat different approach next time. And I can go on working on my Eddington number, without having to reboot it.

1 comment:

townmouse said...

hehe. I seem to remember that the Puffin Club, of which I was a member in the 70s, had a computer nicknamed 'TOMCAT' (for totally obedient moron, cannot actually think). I've often wondered if the later web server application of that name was written by another puffin club alumnus...

Glad the spreadsheet survived. That would have been a blow indeed.