ScuzzBlog: Diaries May 2023

Entry 15th May 2023: Post 1: Backing up the 'Pensieve' - It's only a lifetime.

Backing up the 'Pensieve' - It's only a lifetime.

Decided to move over the Win10 machine onto the front line. The
Win7 machine is now 12 years old and the main 'T' drive [ don't
ask ] is all but full. I can literally hear the old girl groaning
with age. She has been a real trooper and the best computer I
have ever had. But time stands still for nobody and so it was
time to offer a helping hand.

I have purchased a mini HDMI to normal HDMI to plug into this
Samsung so I can flick between machines and start to familiarise
myself with the dreadful Win10 operating systems. But first it
was time to back up the 'pensieve' or my life on the computer.
I purchased a 6TB external USB drive and started the lengthy
process of backing up not only the 'T' drive but also the 'Q'
and the 'V' drive. In essence my life.

I have recorded my activities from a very early age and have
continued to maintain daily logs complete with images and other
media. The PC era contains the largest repository and is a
record of all that I have done since July 1996. Previous to
that the records are on other systems though I have transferred
most to the PC.

Pink Floyd wrote in their song 'The New Machine Part 2 ' that
'It was only a lifetime'.. repeating the line three times. The
words are very powerful, particularly the way they are sung. It
makes me reflect on the meaning of my life and how I have spent
my time. I have always valued the recording of what I do. From
a very early age I have used what ever I could lay my hands on
to record my world. This fascination with recording, initially led
me to the computer as a way of journalising my life. And  the
journey continues to this day. So when I say I am backing
up my hard drive, I am actually backing up my life. My very own
'Pensieve' if you know the workings of Dumbledore's memory storage

Storing data was always a tricky process which only became less
of an issue with the larger capacity hard drives post WindowsXP.
Up to then it was a rather time consuming and expensive process.
Here is what was involved up to the first CD writer that I

Obviously paper and pencil is where it started and I still have
my full log of the Apollo 11 moon landing written down word by
word as the event happened. Such was my love of recording the
events of my life.

I was gifted a tape recorder by my dad around the time of the
Apollo 14 moon landing and enjoyed very much writing plays and
performing them on the machine. I worked out how to bypass the
erase head so I could record multiple voices over the tape.

The smaller Philips tape recorder gave way to the big SONY reel
to reel and the ITT cassette. The SONY with the four tracks gave
me way more options and I was able to mix real time with recorded
data. By the eighties I was onto developing my own picture slides
and ultimately video, mixed with my own sound tracks. All the time
keeping a record of what I did.

In terms of data storage I had already gathered a vast library of
magazines and so I used a card index to catalogue where everything

With the ZX81 my very first challenge was to write my very own
data base. I guess this is where the PC storage of the 'Pensieve'
actually begins. Tapes, endless tapes. With the tape came additional
problems of accessing specific data. All this would be resolved
with the PCW9512 and the three inch compact disk.  Having the disk
just made life so much simpler. But I was soon filling up disks.

Onto the Amiga and my first 80MB hard drive. Yes that is megabyte.
I insisted on a hard drive when I bought the Amiga. In no time
at all I had filled the drive, and the next 350MB and the next
550mb. By the time I got to 1GB I was onto the Win95 PC and the
ZIP drive. Hundreds of ZIP disks.

The Amiga 'Pensieve' ultimately grew to 13000 disks and fills an
18GB hard drive on an Amiga 4000D machine I have in the workshop.
The data plus a much larger repository is networked across several
machines and sits on this Win7 machine.

Anyhoo... back to the story.

The brain of my life recorded on data files was now growing at an
exponential rate. So next I invested in a SWAP bay so I could
expand the drive at will. Again this started at 3.1GB and then
very quickly marched on to 6.1GB. I then added a CD-Writer which
I still have the 200 plus CDs nicely stacked and catalogued.

I needed more storage and a better way to access stuff. I invested
in a Win98 machine with a 27GB drive and then networked this is a
new WinXP machine with a 60GB hard drive and a NERO DVD burner. At
this point disk media basically dies in the form of CDs and floppies.
Networking machines was the way to go and so the drives just get
bigger and bigger.. 27 to 60 to 500 to 1TB and on. And the 'Pensieve'
just grows and grows.

To where I am today. I have a shelf full of external USB drives
and much of what I have is replicated on a number of machines. My
policy has always been to have two copies of everything plus a
working copy. This ensures there is never a break in the continuum.

There is only one issue that I can see that will cause a break in
my collected worth in terms of recording my life and for that I
will let Pink Floyd reflect ......

I will always be in here
I will always look out from behind these eyes
It's only a lifetime
It's only a lifetime
It's only a lifetime

Sadly the realisation is that the journal has to end sometime.

Backing up the 'Pensieve' - It's only a lifetime.

So why do I do it ?

So I never forget.

Seems like only yesterday.

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Last updated 15th May 2023

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
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