Well, it SEEMS like a month already

It's the first day back after a holiday weekend when this pilot fish gets an e-mail from a user who can't open the program used to track equipment calibration.

"I took the short walk to his desk and discovered he was getting a 'data file not found' message when he tried to open the program," says fish. "I opened the sample data so I could determine the name and location of the file the program needed."

Turns out the data files are on the network drive, which is backed up daily, so fish asks when the user was in this program last.

"About a month ago," he says.

Fish has already swapped the tape in for the nightly backup, so she checks to see if the two-week-old tape already in the drive has the file. Sure enough, it's there, and fish restores the file and returns to the user's desk -- and now he can open the program and see his data.

Then he asks, "While you're here, can you help me with something in this program? I'm trying to export data and I got too much data when I did it earlier."

As fish watches, user sets a filter on the data that fish has just restored, then explains that he only wants to export the data he can see there. Fish works through the process with him until he has what he's looking for.

"Thanks," user says when they're finished. "You know, I may have been the one to delete that file. This morning when I tried this export, I got too much data and I deleted the file I created. I wonder if I accidentally deleted the wrong file."

So you had this program open this morning? fish asks.

"Oh, yeah, I did," user replies. "And I made changes to the data last week."

Sighs fish, "Fortunately, I hadn't sent the prior night's backup tape off-site yet, because I had to restore the file again. Thirty days, thirty minutes -- who's counting?"

Sharky's counting on you to send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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