My Brush With Database Death

If you visited Noscope last night between 23:20 and 23:50, you’d see anguish and pain. Well, actually you’d see the body of every entry ever written simply say post_content, but the former more accurately represents what I saw.

In five seconds, everything I had written over the last 5 years was gone.

The story began with a simple wish on my part, to move some images and update the paths to these in WordPress. Hey, I figured. A quick MySQL search & replace will do the trick. While it could have worked, the result was quite terrifying. In five seconds, everything I had written over the last 5 years was gone. 572 entries of variable quality was reduced to binary rubble.

The story ends rather well, fortunately. Prior to performing said search & replace, I had backed up the lot. Twice. I had done so the week before, and the month before that. Even so, there could have been problems with the backups (MySQL exports), there could’ve been UTF-8 problems, this and that. The fact that this log remains unfazed by yesterdays tumultuous events seems a miracle.

The moral of the story is, of course: backup. Make copies of your stuff. Keep it in various places. Email it to your Gmail. Automatize it. Most importantly: do it now, or in the words of Mao Zedong: Get to work!

7 thoughts on “My Brush With Database Death”

  1. gareth says:

    Thanks for the warning, have not backed up for weeks :-

    here is a cautionary tale about not backing up:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/06/29/couchsurfing-deletes-itself-shuts-down/

    p.s, I love the quote style you are using. Is it sifr? what font is that?

  2. Joen says:

    here is a cautionary tale about not backing up:

    Ouch, that’s messed up!

    p.s, I love the quote style you are using. Is it sifr? what font is that?

    Yes, that’s SIFR — I’m still tweaking how it works, i.e. font sizes, margins, paddings and stuff… it’s a bit off right now. Especially if you resize the window to a smaller size. But I find it’s a good way to decorate an article just a bit.

  3. Joen says:

    what font is that?

    Forgot to answer this: it’s FF DIN

  4. gareth says:

    many thanks Joen.

  5. Here here, I’m a fanatic about backing up, even obsessive compulsive. I was working on the school’s literary magazine when the power went out whilst I was discussing the details for the cover. The other editor in the room flipped-out thinking that we had lost the evening’s worth of work, little did he know that I back up like every 5 minutes!!

  6. Joen says:

    The other editor in the room flipped-out thinking that we had lost the evening?s worth of work, little did he know that I back up like every 5 minutes!!

    Wow, nice. Seems to me like he owes you a bottle!

  7. Blake says:

    This is why I switched to Del.ico.us. I didn’t have my bookmarks backed up when my machine hard drive died.

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