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Old 7th June 2006, 02:26 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 488

Through the 90's I was selling, building and training in the use of specialized systems for vertical markets. Most of my customers had never owned computers before and I spent several days showing them how to use the systems.

At first with floppies and then with tapes, I stressed daily backups using an A, B, C rotation of daily disks/tapes and forever copies of monthlys. I had installations in about 20 states, from NJ to AZ, and would get a call to restore a crashed system on a fairly regular basis. Hardly ever did they have a current backup. In fact, stopping to think about it, I recall a couple of accounts who paid me twice to get their systems back to work. It seems some people never learn.

One other thing that has not been mentioned is redundant hard drives. Either 2 in the same box, or even better, one in a seperate box on the network. I've installed systems with 2 indentical servers, one just sitting there "on standby". Rename a couple of drives and you're back in business.

Not good for a catastrophic loss, but you can be back in business in minutes should a component crash.

In the seventies, one of my first systems was a Control Data "HawK" that had a 17 inch hard drive, with a removable redundant disk, about the size of a large pizza and maybe 1 1/2 inches thick. Lift the top, remove the disk, set it in the carrying cover and walk out the door. An employee had that duty every night upon closing, just taking it for a ride in their car for the night, but it was off the premises.

Only trouble with that system was lightning coming in on the phone lines and frying the multiplexors and several cash receipt printers. Went all through the system and just zapped the last things downstream. No such thing as battery backups, surge protectors, etc. At least nothing anyone had ever heard of.

When the phone company went to put in my first leased line between two locations, they did not know what a modem was. Tried to wire up everything direct and were surprised when it didn't work. They had to go to the Newport News Shipyard and borrow a couple of modems to get the system working. Even charged me for the "site inspection" or whatever, where they were supposed to determine what was needed.

Times have changed, but people still don;t do backups as they should (myself included).

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