Earn money through your website, join Affiliate Window

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Paranoid Thinking of a Postgrad Student

There is a phase when a postgraduate student is very scared of one thing related to their project, namely losing all works they have been doing for the last couple of years, due to a problem in their computer system. The problem can be caused by a hard disk failure, or perhaps a software f*ck up and a more extreme one, somehow fire burn down the building where they have been working days and nights, due to electricity short circuit from one computer in the building. I know it sounds funny and this clearly is an extreme paranoid thinking of the student, but to be honest, it does come up in my mind.

I thought it was funny when I read the "Tales from the Road" comics of Jorge Cham (Jorge = Whor Hé), in which he revealed that one of his fans in Kansas University (if I remember correctly) always has her project back up around her neck, i.e. she wears her USB disk - containing the back up of her project - as a necklace. This sounds like taking the caution to the very extreme - I for one will not do it, however it is understandable if students do not want to lose any bit of their works especially when they are approaching the end of their project.

I myself have burnt more DVDs in the last couple of weeks than I ever burn in a year during the second year of my candidature. I usually back up my project every 3 months in the first year. I used to trust the computer system very much. I always think they are reliable and they don't often have any problem anyway.

One day, there was a leak from the plumbing system of the university, the computer where I had project was affected, it was flooded by water and needed to be shutdown, but afterward it cannot be restarted. I could not work on my project for a month. I was still lucky to be able to get the data and my project out of the computer, no data loss at all. It is unimaginable if something worse had happened. I don't want to take any gamble since then, better safe then sorry, I do my back up every month.

In the last couple of weeks, I have this strange thought of all sorts of possibilities that can make my project folder under threat. Starting from a failure in my PC, my lab mate mistakenly bin my stuffs to the university building on fire. It then makes me think that I need a way to save my data/analysis results. So I burn 3-4 DVDs in a week, while having a back up of my project folder in a USB and also another back up in an external hard disk. So, I have 3 back ups and one original folder. As if this is still not enough, I am always extra cautious when I want to cross a road, making sure I can pass safely to the other side of the road and just in case if a driver didn't see.................oh dear, terrible!

No comments: