Advice: Back Up Your Web Recipes   1 comment

Three years ago this month, there was a major outage at work. We had teams working more or less around the clock trying to first catch the issue as it was happening, then resolving it. It was not something in my area of responsibility, but my boss at the time wanted a member of his executive team on the call overnight. I drew two back-to-back near-overnight shifts.

The morning after the second shift, my last day before taking some PTO, I checked in with my boss as soon as I got into the office. He was British, and just returned from a trip to the UK. He offered me a piece of shortbread he brought back, which I gladly accepted–I was starving! I gave him my briefing, as well as some transition items for my PTO. He offered me another piece. “I was planning on it,” I said, as I took the cookie.

For that odd reason, I always tie the winter holidays to shortbread. The next year, a food blog I follow followed, “I Really Like Food,” published a recipe for chocolate chip shortbread. It entered the Christmas goody rotation, along with pralines and other goodies. We’ve started to make a variety of treats to give to teachers, our offices, and family. I started that process this weekend. since they don’t have nuts, I wanted to make sure to make the shortbread.

I had forgotten that “I Really Like Food” is no more.

New Shortbread CookiesThis happened with the peppered queen, but, between having it in my head and Google cache, I could recreate my version of it. All I had was blog post where I listed the ingredients. Google cache was no help, and it wasn’t in the Wayback Machine. I looked at recipes for shortbread until I found one that had the same list of ingredients. they seem to be as good, though there may be too many chocolate chips in them. Yes, there is such a thing.

I texted my wife about the situation. She texted back to make sure I had captured the Word War Two Oatmeal Molasses Cookies, which are our new favorite. I had just finished typing it in the format I like.

“Print it out & put it in your

binder, just in case your hard drive dies.” She takes cookies very seriously.

That’s the key lesson. The internet is a great source of all sorts of information, and it’s a great place to store you material. On two occassions, I’ve blogged about the risks of storing things in the cloud. I suppose a related risk and lesson, is to assume may be true of any information in the cloud. If it’s something that’s important to you–be it a recipe, a manual to a device, or something else, grabbing a local copy is wise. You may not be able to get it back.

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Posted 2013-12-16 by Mr. Guilt in computers, food, Internet, IT Opinion, rant

One response to “Advice: Back Up Your Web Recipes

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  1. Wise advice. About ten years ago there was a blog written by an Indian woman living in the UK. She used to publish her recipes for a number of Indian dishes, including a very simple but delicious one for chana masala (curried chickpeas). I had it bookmarked on my browser, but then two disasters occurred: the motherboard on my old desktop died, and I couldn’t recover my bookmarks; then the blogger abruptly yanked her blog from the internet. I’ve Googled it and checked to see if any other blogs had picked up the recipe. Nada! I may have a paper printout—somewhere, but I’ve lost a number of things in two moves. I’ve tried other recipes, but none of them are as good as the old one I used to use. This is why I don’t think the Cloud will ever replace cookbooks and the old standby, the recipe file box. :)

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