Disaster Strikes

So my trusty MacBook has been on the way out for a week or so. While on vacation, I got the modern equivalent of a sad mac face, the question mark of doom.

Now, I do backup. Just not enough or often enough. When faced with the prospect of a failing hard drive, I realized there were several files where I backed up the .pdf and not the .tex version. And I had copies of the code, but not the data. The list goes on.

A professional was able to retrieve everything off my hard drive, but it was a close one, and I probably would have had to do about 100 hours of makeup work, recreating the lost files. So go back up your stuff. Today. I don’t care if you use an external, dropbox, or your department server.

There are many types of mathematical “disasters.” Someone beats you to the publication of a result, a counterexample to your hypothesis is found, or you lose all of your data. What’s your math disaster story?

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