Let’s talk for a moment about Data-loss. Its the digital equivalent of having the dog eat your homework, or misplacing a briefcase, or being unable to find what you are looking for in files full of complete crap. Over the years I have lost my fair share of hard drives to data loss. It seems to strike when you need it to the least, usually when you’re about to finish something which has taken a long time or a lot of effort to complete. Backing up important files and hard drives is a vital part of protection against data loss, but ‘how far do you go?’ becomes the ‘chicken or the egg’ question. How many backups do I require? Do I back up the back up? – what if that fails too? Do I need to utilise off-site backups, in the cloud perhaps? – Sure, the ‘ideal’ solution, in a limitless money / bandwidth / storage space situation. As computer people we like to tell others to be sure to ‘backup their data and important files’ on USB sticks and pen drives. But to be fair, these are simply hard drives too, and are vulnerable to to same kind of data loss as internal hdd and ssd drives. So the question remains ‘do I backup the backup?’
Personally I have had now two massive instances of data loss. The first was a few years back in which a mechanical hard drive simply stopped being recognized by Windows. Ironically I was backing up the drive in question at the time that it failed. I tried everything I knew of to recover this data, and the hard disk went to several data recovery experts before ending up at a data recovery specialist who wanted £1600 to recover the data from the drive. It just wasn’t a financial option at that time. It still isn’t. But I still have the drive, in the hope that someday either I can afford the recovery cost on the disk, and in the vain hope that it has remembered some of the data that was stored on it. To get back anything from that disk at this point would be a dream outcome.
The second instance of data loss came just a few weeks ago where I lost the remaining files and folders from the original failed backup of the original data loss. I can only describe it as more or less the same experience as the first, although this time I have not bothered to go through the expense of getting experts to look at the drive. I have written off that data now. The data in question was basically any remnants of my past involvement in any Creative activity that doesn’t revolve around ‘Gaming’. So any original Creative through or involvement in projects over the years… Gone. – That’s sad in itself as now all that remains are the memories which are few and far between, and the low-quality uploads that actually made it to YouTube. So I am feeling, to this end that it is probably time to close the chapter on that first period of Creativity in my lifetime. From my University years and the thirteen or so years that followed it, up to around 2017, that period of Creativity I feel is now over and closed, and the worst part of it all really is not the loss of the data, but the fact that I have nothing to show of any worth from that period of Creativity in my lifetime. I never wanted to ‘close’ any chapters in my book of Creativity, but I feel now is the right time to do so.
What has survived from that period of data loss, is the ideas that I wrote down. First of all, I keep physical copies of ideas that I have. I find writing things out manually, old fashionedly helps me to define and curate projects from being simply ideas, to concepts and then further on to become actual ‘projects’. Secondly I have curated a collection of these ideas to a website I host. So this website in itself IS a backup platform. – But ‘do I backup the backup platform?’… Of course I should! – Where? – On the cloud? On a hard drive? Locally or Remotely? – ‘Do I backup the backup of the backup?’. Never. Ending. Cycle. In the end it comes down to the equation of ‘how much the data is worth to you’ vs ‘how much you can afford to spend to keep it safe’. Which is a sad realisation in itself.
And so to this end, I am closing the first chapter of creativity in my lifetime. So that I can start afresh and begin to feel like I can create once more. – What I create will probably be very personal to me and most of it is frankly unlikely to see life outside of these four walls, but you never know when something is going to pop, and I am a firm believer that creatives should create for themselves first and foremost. Having created something that nobody will ever see should not be a reason not to create it, but a reason to create as much as you want. There are so many limitations to life as it is, choosing not to do something because it might fail, is in itself, the biggest failure creatives can make.
Thanks for reading this wall of text. Apparently that was important enough for me to get off my chest.