Archive for September, 2011


Back up your important data

Sep 22, 2011 by Steve Belt in General

This is a PSA from me, sponsored by me, intended for everyone:

Back up your important data!

Nearly 3 months ago, my primary computer for Echo Coffee started giving me some fits.  The symptom was that it didn’t like to boot up.  Often it would take several attempts before it succeeded in booting up.  As a result, I started to get picky about whether I would install updates or reboot the computer at all.  I figured either the power supply, memory card, or video card was on it’s last leg.

Two months ago, the thing absolutely refuses to boot up.  I bought a new video card, and that didn’t help.  So I took it home, and decided to start swapping parts until I had it working.  A few failed reconfigurations and many wasted hours later, I’m fed up with it, and resign to just read the important shit off the hard drive and build a new computer.

And then reality finally sets in.  The problem all along was a faulty boot hard drive.  “No problem,” I think, “it’s part of a software raid, the other boot drive will have all of my data.”  A few minutes later, “Oh, that’s right, I had disabled the software raid a few months ago, because it was using so damn much memory.  No worries, the server has all of my files backed up on it, right?”   “Ummmm, no sir.  Server backups were never even enabled when you switched from to a year ago.”  Doh!

So, here I sit with nary a backup in sight.  Normally anything important for my business is written to 5 drives.  Two on the raid on the PC.  Two more on the raid on the server.  And 1 more on the server’s nightly external backup drive.  How did I get myself into such a stupid setup?  Ugh!

So the drive in question went over to Data Doctors 3 weeks ago.  It’s had it’s read-write head replaced and has been on some fancy imaging device, working 24/7, to copy the data to a viable hard drive for over a week.  I don’t have much of an ETA for when I’ll get my data back, but I do know it’s going to cost me over a grand.  Yep, more than $1000.  Ouch!

So…learn from my mistake.  Figure out a viable backup solution for anything you hold dear, and put it to use.  If it’s a hassle, fix the hassle.  If it stops working, make it work immediately.  Don’t delay.

Hoping to Speak at Ignite Phoenix #11

Sep 19, 2011 by Steve Belt in Mountain Bike

I did it.  For real this time.  I submitted to be a speaker for the next Ignite Phoenix.

I submitted once before, but the name of the topic was rather lame: “Thank You”, and to be honest, I’m glad I wasn’t selected for it.  That topic wasn’t actually a true, deep-seeded passion of mine.  Instead, intermixed with 5 minutes of various ways, why’s, and how’s we should all be looking to say thank you in our every day lives, I was planning to sneak in the biggest, loudest, most sincere Thank You to the Ignite Phoenix crew for exposing me to my newest passion (fyi…it might be coffee related).  A passion that has literally changed the way I live.  Hallmark would have loved it.  But I don’t work for Hallmark, and to call the topic of saying “thank you” a passion would be stretch.

This time, however, I submitted to talk about what anyone that knows me even a little bit will likely understand and agree is indeed a true passion:  mountain bike riding.  Sure, I road ride as well, but it’s the mountain bike I can’t imagine living without.

The submission deadline for sharing your passion at Ignite Phoenix #11 is just a few days away.  If you’ve ever had the notion to submit and thus share, now’s the time to do it.  Hopefully, I get selected.  I wish I could say I have a leg up on the competition to speak, but the judges that now pick speakers are past speakers themselves, not the organizing crew, so there’s no gaurantee.  I do know they’ve had cycling related speakers before, so there’s a chance the topic may appear to be “old, tired, spents, etc.”.  I hope not.  But if I’m not picked, I’m not picked.  But I’d like to be.