Dear reader: Having bared all in previous blogs, it’s time to move on. As you may expect, the most interesting backup and restore experiences have been provided by our clients over these many years. Of course, the names have been changed to protect the guilty, since no one is innocent.
In the early days before personal computers, there were minicomputers. They often came equipped with large, noisy and troublesome disk drive units as peripheral devices. Drive units could store anywhere from 2 to 80 megabytes of data! They held one or more fixed disk ‘platters’ inside and one removable platter that could be used for recording backups. The theory was that you would regularly make copies of your data onto the removable platters and then remove and store them in a safe place so that you could use them to restore your data if anything went wrong. Interesting
Fact: More than once at a client site, I discovered a cat sleeping on a drive unit, since they radiated heat. The removable platters, unlike the fixed platters, were not sealed. When they were removed, it was easy for them to attract dust, hair, etc. The contaminated platters could then crash the disk heads when they were placed back on the drive unit, often resulting in the fixed head(s) crashing as well. It was literally impossible to keep contaminants off these removable platters, and they worked remarkably well given these constraints. Thankfully, those days are behind us, and MTBF (mean time between failure) has become very large and we are rarely troubled by this scenario.
Homework: While you anticipate the next installment of C’mon Back, try to imagine all the things that people could do (or not do) in this environment.