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All right, listen close, now:
Electronic media fails. It fails regularly, predictably, and often … and a few other adverbial expansions too.
So, here’s what happened:
I’ve been porting my edited WIP back and forth with me everywhere I go on a USB flash drive. They have a limited life span, and when you write or erase to them, you shorten the life cycle. Running applications from them hurry that process along. If you’re interested in how they work, here’s a good summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive
Okay, all that said, I’ve been using my flash drive as a portable computer for about a year, maybe less, but I regularly run applications from it. Some apps, like the ones I’ve been using, are optimized to lessen the drain on the life of the flash drive. These are "portable applications" and have great uses in allowing you to port and mask computer use.
To the point: I had my WIP on my flash drive and used it. A lot.
Well, I knew I had to back it up. I decided on Friday, after several delays, I couldn’t wait any more. I backed the drive up to a ZIP file using the PortableApps back-up utility. I moved the file to the flash drive and came home.
Then, when I got home, the flash drive started to fail. I had stray files on it from a failed attempt to convert a piece I’d written to SWF format. I decided to format.