I'm just posting to let people know that I'm still around, and still hanging in there. I've got lots of upheaval in my life right now, on just about every front. Eventually I think (hope!) things will be good, but right now they're pretty rough. On the creative front, I've moved to a new box, which is great. Unfortunately the bare bones USB case I was using to port files from my old hard drive overheated one of my old drives. I got a whole bunch of stuff off of it before it died, but not my main Poser install. Which would have been OK had it not been home to _all_ my new Essential Materials _and_ the script that generated them. And I hadn't backed it up because I'm just not in the habit of backing up my apps. I have a copy of the materials from September, which only has 36 of the 48 materials, and not the most recent version of those. My most recent copy of the script itself is from 2013.
Ironically, if I'd just left the drive alone, it would have been fine. It was copying it that killed it.
In some ways it's been educational and inspiring because I decided that yes, it is worth the hundreds of dollars to have my data resurrected. I had been taking _way_ too long on the set, for the simple reason that it was taking me at least 2 to 3 days and up to a week to generate all the images for each manual entry. And materials are always a moving target, since renderers advance and new renderers come out all the time. So I'd been questioning whether my work was worth anything at all to me. But I use these materials for _everything_ I do. All my products use them. All my material knowledge is in that script, both in code and in comments. So even if I never make them into their own a product, they're worth the money to get them back.
So. For now I'm still reinstalling apps and utilities and getting this box up and running. And I'm thinking about a backup system just for my main Poser runtime. My new system has a whole bunch of external runtimes, including PP 2014, set up on a set of simple redundant drives (RAID 1) with the rest of my content/data, and my apps and OS's set up on SSD drives that aren't redundant largely because SSD drives almost never fail in ways that don't involve the entire system being fried (meaning it generally doesn't help to make them internally redundant). We've also set up a NAS
(I want to name it Illmatic) to hold our digital library (music, video, comics, articles and tutorials we've come across, photos, textures, installers for apps, etc.- everything we read, watch, and use for creativity, knowledge, and fun) that's running RAID 5. I've also got both Dropbox and Google Drive accounts. So I've got places to put it. I just need to find something to do the dirty work of actually maintaining backups so I don't have to think about it.
Because the problem wasn't that I wasn't careful in general. The problem was that I just didn't think about the (very important) exceptions to the rule of copy data, reinstall apps. And then I compounded that mistake by not cooling my case (which I did _after_ that drive died- ice packs worked perfectly) the moment I realized it ran hot. My dad, engineer that he is, just told me to back up that work in the future. In short, to change my behavior and not make a mistake again. Me, I'm from usability and design. I know that the problem is that the system relied on me remembering to make a special effort to backup specific content in the first place. I'm human. I'm _going_ to make mistakes. The best thing for me to do is to come up with a system that accounts for me making mistakes. That means setting up automatic backups where I need them.
So if anyone knows of a tool for either versioning scripts, backing up files, or both for chosen directories, please let me know. I'm doing my own research into it, but it's always better to hear from actual users.
And if you can send some positive energy my way, please do. I really need it right now. Losing about 2 years of coding in one fell swoop is only one of many problems that have come up recently, and it's the smallest, least expensive and difficult to address, and the only one I could have prevented.