Lost Backups

Today someone asked if I’ve got Backups of every piece of code i’d wrote. Intimidating question and of course not. I’m sure I’ve got zipped backups of the last sources for some older ones but in most cases a backup of the VCS for the important projects. Somewhere the CVS for the ugly LaTeX things called Diploma thesis too.

I know only two cases were i really regret not having a backup.

The first one is a project I’ve done for a company ten years ago. There was a SVN repo on an USB stick which should be somewhere in my desk. All these years the delivered product seemed to run flawlessly and I had no contact to the company. Ten years later the call came in. They are still happy ‘nice to hear btw‘ but there are new requirements and ideas to extend. Damn it, where is the stick with the old source and docs? Didn’t found it yet. Ten years… Good time to write a new version from scratch 😂


The second case is a programm I’d wrote in high school times. I’ve got a backup on a floppy disk (you know these 3,5 ” plastic things from ancient times?). As kid I started coding with Logo and BASIC. Later I’ve got into Pascal and this programm marks my personal step from procedural to object-orientated paradigm… Big step for a kid though. The small programm could calculate or simulate a throw under perfect conditions and with respect to form, size and drag of the thrown object including a representation of the ballistic curve. I remember that I’ve presented this in physics and not in CompSci. Got a grade on it… best one. A year ago I thought it would be a good idea to copy the sources into my repository. At first it was hard to find a working floppy drive, fingers crossed that the disk is still readable. I’ve found one but -damn it- the only files on the disk were the binary executable and some compiled libs. Additionally this wasn’t executable on a modern environment anymore. Decompiling would work (maybe) but it wouldn’t be the same as the original written things. So everything left now are the nice memories, a floppy disk and the 1990s version of a start into a comp sciences career.