ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2006-02 > 1140040056
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Losing Data
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 16:47:36 EST
My husband just had his "tower" harddrive crash BEFORE he had a chance to
back it up. I think I got all my stuff backed up into a CD back in December,
but had made some changes to a file or two for my high school reunion mailing
list. I usually make a print out of this mailing list and file it away with
the reunion stuff when the reunion is completed. We just had one in
September and was in the process of inputting address changes that came after the
reunion. Needless to say, I'm not sure if I did it before I backed it up, or
Now his "tower" harddrive decided to take a dive in January - both of them!
We quickly went out and bought a Seagate 300 and he finally backed up both
our laptop computers. His took very little time to do - maybe he didn't have
as many large files as mine, but my initial backup took almost 4 hours to
transfer. One of these days we're going to find some computer geek to look at
his two harddrives on his "tower" to see if any data can be recovered, though
we aren't hopeful.
Someone just wrote about the rest of the media that can crash and I agree.
Anyone of them can do it. I just listened to a music tape of one of my
favorite pieces of music that I bought in China back in 1984. A portion of it was
played on the local classical station and I thought about buying it in a CD
version. Exploring this possibility has been hard because it appears that
most of the "current" versions only play one part of the concerto and not the
entire concerto. I decided to play the tape last night on my car radio and
discovered that I had inadvertently pressed the record button the last time I
played it, so am missing about 10 minutes of the concerto on side B. Now I'm
frantic to find a CD version of the entire piece. Will probably have to
return to China to get the entire concerto. So if we can "crash" our computers,
we can also crash the old cassettes too.
As for websites - one thing I always make a practice of is to print out the
information from the website and put those copies into my files. I now have
paper copies because I have learned that websites come and websites go. In
my database when I have entered this source I type in the _http://URL_
(http://URL) address and then put "as of whatever the date was I found it" following
so that if a future researcher looks at my information and then can't find
the same website that they know that on that particular date it did exist.
That's what makes it so hard to use the Internet as a source and then try to go
back and repeat what you found one time way back when.
The only time I don't make copies of the websites for my records is when it
is a transcript of a known printed source such as "The Register" or "The
Mayflower Quarterly" or TAG or some vital record that I know is located at a
local library in my area. But if it is someone's genealogy, or anything else, I
take and make the time to print it off for my personal records.
As for the possibility of a fire or a flood? Food, no worry - everything is
on the second floor. Fire - well, if that happens, I'll probably just quit
doing genealogy because most of the records will probably be destroyed, wet,
smoke damaged, ruined and I've got too many years invested in my family
genealogy to make it worth my while to go back and start all over. True, I could
put it onto floppys as far as the computer stuff goes, but I've also got two
4-drawer laterals full of research, about 60 photo albums and about 15 of the
old LDS Book of Remembrances that are all handwritten that I could probably
begin anew if I had to, but at this point in my life, I'm getting close to
retiring, I've got no children to pass it along to, and only one cousin who is
interested in genealogy and might want all my research.
So, the whole point of this tale is to say that you need to think about why
you are doing this wonderful hobby and is it all worth it? If the answer is
to pass along to your children, you are doing it for yourself to learn about
your roots, then by all means make sure your information is secure. For me,
at this point, it has become a hobby and nothing more. On my main lines, I
have gone back about as far as I can go. I've found my Mayflower ancestors
on my mom's side. I've followed my dad's roots back to 1650 in Sweden and
England to about 1700. There are a few holes left to fill, but mostly I'm now
working on all the collateral lines and bringing them down to the present.
I'm going back and documenting a lot of the names I've found in printed
genealogies to verify the information found to be accurate by locating the names and
dates in the locations where the source has said the were and citing the VRs.
If I were to print out my hard drive of data I would, at a minimum be
printing out over 60,000 pages, which equates to 120 reams of paper or 12 cases of
paper which amounts to about $300 if each case of paper only costs $20. That
would mean at least one page per name; however, I know that many of them
have more than one page of information either as a listing of sources or as
notes that I have copied, so this would add up. How many inkjet cartridges I
would use to pursue this printout project, heaven only knows. But at $50-$60
for each set of cartridges that would probably only print a case of paper, it
would be a costly project.
At one point I used to print out my records and put them in binders. But 4
binders later and only about a third of the names I had at that time
(probably less than 1,000), I gave up on that idea!
Printing books? I printed out a "short one" when I went back to Plymouth,
MA last Sept and did my direct line only as an Anatafel and it was almost 200
pages. Can you imagine if I did one of just one of my more prolific lines as
a descendants - with collaterals? My mind can't fathom that one.
So bottom line - everything is relative to what you want to have happen to
your research and all the hard work you put into gathering your family data.
How important is it?