Message #680

From: Melinda Green <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] The School of Hard Knocks
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 23:47:00 -0700

OMG, that story simply breaks my heart! Are you sure there are no copies
anywhere? Was an intermediate copy ever emailed to work account or to a
friend? Maybe a computer profession can extract it from
delete-but-not-erased space on the hard drive? I know that if it were
me, I’d be trying everything to recover an earlier version of that file
so long as there was any chance at all.

When I’ve lost a couple of hours of creative work in the past I’d been
extremely upset. I can’t begin to imagine how I’d feel about a lost of
this size. My small losses were enough to make me as paranoid as Roice
and now I try to keep careful backups, but there’s always room for
error. It’s funny but because of my paranoia I never rely on software
auto backups, prefering to manage that by saving early and often and in
multiple locations including off-site in case of fire or other complete

My sincere condolences on your user’s loss. That is a very tragic story.

Roice Nelson wrote:
> Dear All,
> I got a stomach sinking email today from a member who accidentally
> overwrote an almost completed solution in Magic120Cell. 17000 moves
> had been done. MC5D and Magic120Cell do not make any automatic
> backups of log files (something I now plan to change). When using
> MC4D, I’ve always made copies of my log files at milestone points from
> paranoia, and I think this is a good habit when investing so much
> effort in a solution.
> As with many programs, be aware that using "Save" instead of "Save
> As…" can be dangerous if you are not making log file backups
> yourself. What happened in this case was that the puzzle type was
> switched to investigate something (which reset the state in the older
> version of the program being run), then "Save" was used. In the
> version that has been online since September, you’d have to go more
> out of your way for an accidental overwrite like this because changing
> the puzzle type no longer resets the state. You’d have to manually
> reset the state from the options menu, then save. That behavior is
> perhaps reasonable, but I will also make the program more defensive by
> making "Save" do a "Save As…" if the puzzle has been reset.
> Thoughts on other ways to improve the defensiveness are welcome, but I
> wanted to send out this notice to help avoid this happening (I really
> hope to avoid this kind of grief again). I also encourage people to
> make sure they have the latest versions if they are actively working
> on solutions.