The importance of data backup…

I’ve been pretty aggressive about backing up data, labelling things and having off-site backup etc. Unfortunately it looks like I lost a load of work I did on a flash 3d renderer that I wrote in 2007. The harddrive went down and it looks like somehow I didn’t back up any of it, possibly down to some brain glitch as I was working on the flash script. It looks like everything I did around the same time, including a mix cd that I did some scratching on has vapourised (although a mate of mine Karch might have a copy still, so I should be able to get it back off him…)

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You appear to be liquidating your stock, perhaps you would like to…

After attending post-mortems for various projects and raking over the grist of tasks complete and not so complete, it was easy to see that seemingly obvious problems in hindsight were missed when in the thick of things. After experiencing this a few times it came as no surprise that Game are doing rather badly at the moment considering the rather large Elephants that have taken up residence there, the least of which may be the internet slowly devouring their sales margins with fava beans and a nice Chianti. If I was running Game I would have probably done things differently. So I emailed the CEO, Ian Shepherd, my suggestions for running his large multi-million (at the current time of writing) company… what harm could it do?

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Any home as long as its borked

Our current ConLib government appears to have been smoking ju-ju grass again after creating a fund which will indemnify a 95% mortgage as long as the house is a new build from one of a range of accredited agents including the likely lads otherwise known as Persimmon. After spending a few moments with the matter a number of minor flaws leapt out and cudgelled some unsuspecting innocent bystanders…

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Movements In My Musical Life: Squarepusher

It might be valid to say that I spent a great deal of my teens and twenties obsessed with music. During this time I’ve had the great fortune to fall into discoveries that formatted my brain to make it a much more interesting engine than perhaps it would have been without the exposure. There was something alien about music growing up which turned it into a puzzle I had to solve (I had an idea as a teen of using a computer to automatically generate Stock-Aitken and Waterman singles, without the wherewithal to accomplish it, which in hindsight is probably a good thing…) My dad brought one of these bad boys, the Music 5000 system for the BBC Model B, home from work, and at the time it was like seeing the future delivered on a golden chariot to your front door. One of the great regrets of my life was not being able to really play with it to record anything, I was too young at the time to even begin to understand what could be done with it. Years later my degree choice was to some extent a sublimated desire to recreate something I’d encountered as a child, and drove me to a lifetime of interfacing with machines to pull some meaningful output from the experience.

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Setting up Hg on a Windows machine… Part 2

I thought I’d look at securing Hg through Abyss, turning on pushing and pulling through security and what it takes to sort out a backup.  I wanted to look at CVS and SVN which I’ll leave for another time.

This post is the second part, to see the first part go here.

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Setting up Hg on a Windows machine… Part 1

Like most programmers I have a workflow that allows me to type code at one end, and a seamless, bugfree application will pop out of the other ;).  Some part of the workflow invariably involves the use of Source Control Software, which at a minimum allows me to store away a versioned list of work so if something untoward should happen to my workstation my code and resources are at least retrievable in one form or another.

Over the years I have used many Source Control systems, the most recent CVS/SVN, and have issues with most of them (a subject of another blog…) but in 2010 a tool forced its way into my workflow… Mercurial (Hg).  This is part one of my adventure in getting this running on windows.

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A blog like any other…

My broken website has been taunting me like the unloved child of a mucus ridden tar fairy for some time now.  Finally, after realising that I am unlikely to have the energy to give the site my full attention, I decided upon a course of action.  Where once was a database and code fashioned from my hands containing effluvial mind ramblings made withered by time, now sits a shiny new 3rd party blog site ready to accept the various ejecta pulled from the wrinkled grey matter riding around in this human’s skull.

Whilst typing this, I’m sitting in the accreted shell of a twenty something’s journey through various musical and computing experiments, with strange etchings looming over me insisting on completion.  A list sits ready, and since there is no time like the present, it looks like something to enumerate and accomplish:

  • Complete first issue of “FastFoodCyberNation” comic.
  • Complete iPhone Rhythm Action proof-of-concept.
  • Complete Newton Scale iPhone app.
  • Complete ShapeJam iPhone/iPad app.
  • Complete editing and animation on “Sorry”.
  • Learn Russian.
  • Complete reading Sci-Fi Masterworks series.
  • Get Black Belt in JKD.
  • Complete DVD and Vinyl back-up (my procrastination task for the previous 6 months…)

This is my TaskFactory class for life, as an exercise I want to see how many of these I can drill through before the end of the year.