How the Grinch stole my backup?

Hello everyone! Recently I’ve participated in quite a few discussions regarding version control systems. I’ve noticed that not so many people rely on good old “copy – paste” backup. I still do, and this is why!

Version control systems

Great thing for both backups as well as for versioning your software. Whoever uses / has used SVN, CVS or Git knows what I’m talking about. Although backup isn’t their primary function, you can easily pull some old version, and start over if some things got too corrupted to fix.

Manual backup (“copy – paste” backup)

Some will for sure say that I’m a dinosaur just for mention it. But if you read this article so far, please read on. You won’t have one click / one command to get your version from lets say – last Tuesday. You’ll have to do at least 4 clicks to do so. And if you don’t think of some “naming convention”, you’ll most probably end up searching for your file for at least an hour, again unlike VCS solutions.

Well, since I still haven’t wrote down single reason why should anyone use manual backup over VCS, here it is:

Real life example

Personally i use Git as primary version control system, just to be clear. But also I create manual backups on daily basis (at least 1 week of versions, and after that I keep general versions). Recently there was a problem with Git merging of branches – it got corrupted. So a full time week of work of both my colleague and me (cca 80 hrs).

I took my manually created copy from day before, and replaced my local version of project on git. Did some Git’s HEAD modifications, and committed as last version. Combined with great IDE which has local version control system of its own, I’ve managed to get my branch working as it was when it got corrupted in 45 minutes.


Some of you will perhaps still say that I could do this or that, but I disagree. Mainly because I work in a company that bills per hour, and this would mean that either the client would get billed 8 hours more for same amount of functionality (from business side – impossible) or in my bosses head I’ve cost him 8 billable hours (this would have happen). And if I had to recreate a week of work – I cant even imagine that.

I hope you now understand the importance of manually created backup copies. And I hope at least some of you will make a practice of this.


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1 comment

  1. I myself often do manual backups, particularly when i’m expecting to make big changes – I do use SVN as well however, which is useful till thing’s start breaking with it..

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