or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk



Hello (again) World!

   June 18th, 2014

open for business signHi everybody. Swiss Army Librarian has been out of commission for a couple a months, but now is almost back to normal. I should be able to start with new posts again next week, but if you're interested in the details of what's happened since The Crash, read on.

In the middle of April, the server that hosts swissarmylibrarian.net crashed. It also turned out that the server had not been performing successful backups since August 2013. We had hoped that some of the August-April data would be recoverable, but it wasn't. Too bad.

My friend Chris, who runs the server, rebuilt with all new hardware, and now has gotten WordPress reinstalled along with all my posts from before August 2013. And happily, he found an alternate source for the posts since the last backup (his RSS reader's archive), but it was text only - no images. I'll work on adding those in as I can find them.

In the meantime, WordPress needs all the recent updates installed, and then I'll be back. I (really) enjoyed my two-month vacation from blogging, but I'm happy to be back too. Thanks to all the well-wishes and offers of support - I truly appreciate it.

And the moral of the story: just having a back-up service isn't enough - you need to make sure it's really backing everything up.




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7 Responses to “Hello (again) World!”

  1. Micah Says:

    Welcome back, Brian! That’s a very good point about backups. Backups are sort of a bore, so I guess a lot of people don’t worry too much. Your misfortune is all too common. I just read a news article today about some website that promised “proven backups” going out of business because all of their data and backups were destroyed.

    Anyhow, there might also be something to be said about relying on a friend whose backups don’t work and who takes two months to rebuild a machine, but that’s up to you. :)

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Micah: thanks Micah. Oh, and another good tip about backups: if you’re backing up to an external hard drive, make sure that hard drive doesn’t just sit right on the desk next to the server, but is actually take off-site for storage. That drives me crazy.

    As for my server support – I’ll take Chris over any ISP I’ve ever worked with ever. The backup thing happens, but the two month delay was all me. If I could have stretched my “vacation” longer I would have, but I was starting to feel bad.

  3. Chris Says:

    Brian is being kind. My server died during the middle of an intense work project and a lot of out of town travelling. The backup drive was disconnected from the server for an unknown period of time. This really ended up being a comedy of many things failing at once at the worst possible time. That doesn’t excuse the length it took me to get the data restored, but sometimes real life intrudes on virtual life.

  4. Jenne Says:

    Welcome back – you have been missed!

  5. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Jenne: thank you very much – it’s nice to be missed (except I feel I need to be extra interesting and entertaining to make up for my absence)

  6. Christina Getrost Says:

    Welcome back! We had missed your excellent (and amusing) insights into the library world. Glad it was only for technical reasons and not because you got truly tired of blogging or had health issues. I’ll take computer bugs over people bugs any day!

  7. Lesli M Says:

    Welcome back! I have your posts (with photos) via Feedly as far back as 4/24 (as of today)…if that helps any.