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(New Jersey 101.5)   Desperate doctoral student offers laptop thief $1,000 for return of thesis folder containing five years worth of research   (nj1015.com) divider line 267
    More: Sad, Rutgers University, students  
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9797 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Apr 2013 at 7:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-24 08:36:02 PM
Jesus and Satan have a discussion as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they come to an agreement to hold a contest, with God as the judge.

They sit themselves at their computers and begin. They type furiously, lines of code streaming up the screen, for several hours straight. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over.

He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out."

"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."

Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers. Satan is astonished.

He stutters, "B-b-but how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact. How did he do it?"

God smiled all-knowingly, "Jesus saves."
 
2013-04-24 08:36:10 PM
Mega is free. She won't make this mistake again.
 
2013-04-24 08:36:23 PM

Lego_Addict: No reason why you can't have a backup these days. A 32GB drive the size of my thumbnail costs under $30 these days. In most cases, that's more than enough for documents.


Which will likely be kept with what you are backing up and lost with it. Use offsite backup, it is cheap and easy now.
 
2013-04-24 08:37:19 PM
I kept my dissertation in 7 locations: Work Desktop, Home Desktop, Laptop, Thumbdrive, Gmail, Carbonite, and a PC in the student lounge in my dept. I called them my horcruxes.

This guy is an idiot.
 
2013-04-24 08:37:57 PM

Gyrfalcon: AniX: About a month or two again, my friend knocked my external hard drive off the desk and onto the floor. On it was every academic work I had written, every picture I downloaded, every song I have, every half-assed writing project I began.

I had to switch to my back-up hard drive, which was about from November. I felt like a complete idiot for having not done backed up for over 3 months. It was inexcusable on my part.

This person would be an idiot if the research was only backed up a year ago. This person deserves everything that happens if you don't think "I should save this in another place" once in five years, especially as a grad student. I get nervous when I don't save a file onto my laptop and my hard drive immediately if it is important.

If you have not done backed up, you are indeed an idiot.


Simultaneously trying to write the same thing two different ways at the same time (here "done a back-up" and "backed up"), my one weakness!
 
2013-04-24 08:37:58 PM
kidshealth.org
 
2013-04-24 08:40:28 PM

Dwayne Bansey: I kept my dissertation in 7 locations: Work Desktop, Home Desktop, Laptop, Thumbdrive, Gmail, Carbonite, and a PC in the student lounge in my dept. I called them my horcruxes.

This guy is an idiot.


It's like no one even plays D&D anymore. Thanks harry potter.
/ phylacterys be phylacterin'
 
2013-04-24 08:41:15 PM
Start a cloud storage company with a name made especially to appeal to masters and doctoral students and advertisement targeted especially like them.
 
2013-04-24 08:42:54 PM

Tio_Holtzmann: 1. fark everyone else, fark em. If they aren't doing something for you, fark em.

2. Is what you're working on right now for your thesis? No? Then fark it. If it isn't earning a favor from someone important, fark it. If you were expressly ordered to do bullshiat, switch advisors, take a TA, fark that shiat.

3. Write as you go. Get whatever you can published, yeah, but at least write it up so you don't forget what the fark you did and so you can paste it in later. The writing process will also show things missing in your research or.thinking.

4. If your advisor is a piece of shiat, strongly consider switching. Just...don't stick around for that.


My current boss in my postdoc refuses to acknowledge that, having only one year left on my contract, I am looking for a job now, and will leave for the first good full-time permanent position that I find.  Bear in mind, being paid off of a grant means I have no unemployment insurance.  He's hired postbacs and made me responsible for training them, and he keeps raising the bar on what he wants for my next publication, meaning more experiments and time.

My point is that your philosophy holds true for the rest of your career, not just grad school.  Also that the graduate University system is full of shiat, and doesn't prepare  students for what they really need to know (which might jeopardize their jobs). but just to be bench biatches.  Always look out for yourself.
 
2013-04-24 08:43:10 PM
Just got an upgrade

www.blogcdn.com
 
2013-04-24 08:44:59 PM
So no one here thought that the guy should have backed up his data?
 
2013-04-24 08:45:28 PM

ideamaster: Jesus and Satan have a discussion as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they come to an agreement to hold a contest, with God as the judge.

They sit themselves at their computers and begin. They type furiously, lines of code streaming up the screen, for several hours straight. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over.

He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out."

"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."

Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers. Satan is astonished.

He stutters, "B-b-but how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact. How did he do it?"

God smiled all-knowingly, "Jesus saves."


OK but which one wins a golden fiddle playing contest?
 
2013-04-24 08:46:41 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: always back up your research!!


^This times a gazillion.
 
2013-04-24 08:48:49 PM
I know this is how the thread opened, but what's sad is that a doctoral student with five years of research was too stupid to backup their information.
 
2013-04-24 08:49:58 PM
Certainly no excuse for not backing up simple documents. Those things are tiny, you could stash 100s of copies all over the place without using up any noticeable room at all.

The problem comes in when your research involves things other than documents. I've got a truly disturbing amount of raw FITS format astronomical image files stored on my advisor's server. Those things are into the several hundreds of GB already and we've barely started that particular part of this project; there's going to be a fair number of TB of them before we're done. You can still back that up, but it's starting to get into the realm of being inconvenient, especially if you want multiple backups. Thankfully it's not irreplaceable stuff - it's catalog data, and we could redownload it from the various surveys if we needed to, though it'd certainly be annoying. I don't envy people who have that much data that *is* irreplaceable, for sure!
 
2013-04-24 08:51:17 PM

xria: You do sort of wonder if this is just a modern update of "The dog ate my homework"


I once had my backpack stolen during finals week.  Not only did I lose my own homework (and a TI-89 calculator and my wallet and...) but I lost the homework for about 70+ students.

(In case you're wondering, I was a grader for an undergrad astronomy class.  The prof was *not* pleased.)
 
2013-04-24 08:51:59 PM

ultraholland: I know this is how the thread opened, but what's sad is that a doctoral student with five years of research was too stupid to backup their information.


Obviously not a CS doctoral student.
 
2013-04-24 08:52:01 PM
BumpInTheNight: I'm thinking its the WD trio there, trans, full and inc are code for category. Maybe the questionable 76GB of 'images' too ;)

Sorry but Images (now Photos) is just as mundane as it sounds.

www.lordargent.com
shiatloads of RAW camera files, jpgs from the point and shoot cameras (one is waterproof), shots from the smartphone. Going back to 2000. There's also some drum scans in there as well and a minimal amount of video from the previously mentioned cameras/phone.

I used to store processed JPGs as well, but I got rid of them for older pics (because I needed the space). I also don't store the panoramas either, because Hugin is such a sweet tool that I can just easily recreate them.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

And (as someone pointed out in another thread), I don't store any adjusted photos (like horizon leveling, color corrections etc)..

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

All of that stuff is easy enough to reproduce given the source images, and when the tsunami sent drive prices into the stratosphere I kinda got stuck (didn't want to pay a huge price premium for drives, but I was running out of space). Now that drive prices are back to normal, I've got some building to do.

// all photo processing takes place on /dump as well :P
 
2013-04-24 08:52:04 PM

ultraholland: I know this is how the thread opened, but what's sad is that a doctoral student with five years of research was too stupid to backup their information.


I think that should be grounds for dismissal from the program.

I had all of my thesis data backed up...on about a 2-foot high stack of punch cards.
 
2013-04-24 08:52:26 PM
Is this some sort of nationwide prank? Just this morning I saw a similar type notice

"Please return my stolen laptop, $5000, no questions asked, please please please please. Was in a yellow backpack"  ... not an exact quote, though.
 
2013-04-24 08:52:52 PM
Why do you people keep calling it "research"? All you'e doing is plagiarizing other written works, one sentence at a time and putting them together in a way that it's impossible to tell.
 
2013-04-24 08:53:14 PM
When my girlfriend started grad school I made her setup remote and local storage solutions for her data. It's on multiple computers that we have physical access to that are in different locations, cloud services, external hard drives, etc. Losing that data would either require the world's most incredible coincidence for everything to fail at once or a natural disaster major enough that the data would no longer be a concern because we'd likely be dead.

Unless your research involves a lot of video data, high quality images, or audio recordings, there are a dozen free cloud services that will each likely hold it all for free. There's no excuse not to take 10 minutes to set one or more up.
 
2013-04-24 08:53:21 PM

lordargent: Gone to Plaid: If that's your porn stash, you are one sick bastard...NTTAWWT

Dump is the one partition that isn't backed up.

Dump ... does have porn on it.

Dump also has feature films, television shows, etc.

It's basically a generic dump site for transient files.

If I'm compiling something and need space, it goes to dump. If I'm building a 1GB panoramic image, I build it on dump. If I'm editing video files, I edit them on dump.

[lordargent.com image 850x344]


I figured...I just wanted to make a joke about porn and 'dump' made me think about a woman pooping on a guys chest.

/what the hell is wrong with me?
//the guy is supposed to do the pooping
 
2013-04-24 08:54:14 PM

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: When I worked tech support for a computer company, every 'finals' season I would get at least one call, always from a young woman, whose hard drive had crashed and they lost their critical docs.


www.j-walk.com
 
2013-04-24 08:54:39 PM

Salmon: Just got an upgrade

[www.blogcdn.com image 440x233]


Except for the whole leak into your brain and kill you part
 
2013-04-24 08:54:51 PM
Late to the thread, has anyone suggested she's stupid for not having a backup?  Anyone suggested one or more ways she could have been backing her shiat up?
 
2013-04-24 08:55:18 PM

Albert911emt: Use a USB drive....they're cheap and easy to carry.


Quick question: Is there a source for a USB drive that's not made in China?
 
2013-04-24 08:56:07 PM

Tio_Holtzmann: Lego_Addict: No reason why you can't have a backup these days. A 32GB drive the size of my thumbnail costs under $30 these days. In most cases, that's more than enough for documents.

Except for...well, every single grad student doing laser imaging, high speed video, etc. I could burn through 32GB in a farking day of taking high speed video. As someone upthread mentioned, it is extremely annoying backing up massive amounts of data like that. RAID array is nice, but I have never seen one in a laptop, and then its still physically together. One fire or flood and game over.

You have to keep at it consistently when dealing with that much shiat. Then again, even if you only backup once a week...you only lose a week! Derp. Not five farking years.


If the data was small enough to fit on his laptop it is small enough to backup to cloud storage. If he had separate external hard drives that were stolen he'd be asking for those.
 
2013-04-24 08:57:59 PM
My PhD thesis was not only backed up daily on dropbox and the university cloud and a usp it was also a new file every day so by the time I finished I had 29 different versions in case there were any mistakes or corrupt files.

/also PhD in Chemistry but from Purdue
 
2013-04-24 08:59:08 PM

doglover: meyerkev: Dropbox
Github
Farking Dropbox
Skydrive
Google Docs
A TB backup drive.
Hell, if it's THAT important, AWS S3.

/Or my personal favorite, A local git repo contained in a dropbox.  Perfect backup across multiple machines coupled with local revision history so you can blow away 6 hours of fail in 3 seconds.

Say that last bit again, but in English.


Dropbox is automatic backups.  It takes any file you give it and puts it in the cloud and copies it silently to every machine your dropbox is on.

Git is this wonderful thing for keeping "revision history".  It's what programmers use when everyone is working on a project because it lets me edit my bit of the project and you edit your bit of the project (up to and including different lines of the same file) and it just magically merges them.  Basically, it stores every single change that you have ever made to the file that you bothered to commit to the repo.  One of the really nice things that this lets you do is:

Find bug.
Screw around for 6 hours failing to fix bug and in the process screwing the rest of your code.
Immediately revert back to point in time where you found bug, thus blowing away the 6 hours of fail.

So putting a Git repo in a Dropbox lets you magically and automatically have all of your revision history silently and magically backed up to the cloud.  It's not perfect (Namely, it's fairly trivial to absolutely screw up your local repo, and being able to blow it away and pull a good copy from the cloud is useful), but when I heard about this 5 years ago, I thought it was really elegant.
 
2013-04-24 08:59:23 PM
If I had the 'shop skills I would mod that one 'I'm behind 6 proxies" jpg...

"Good luck!  I'm backed up on 6 NAS devices!"
 
2013-04-24 09:00:00 PM
dahmers love zombie:

It's called Dropbox.  It's free.  Look into it.

How can Dropbox be free? Do they have lots of ads when you go to use it? Or do they sell your data to 3rd parties? Or both?

Free Accounts Dropbox allows you to store up to 2 GB free of charge. Dropbox reserves the right to terminate Free Accounts at any time, with or without notice. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, if a Free Account is inactive for ninety (90) days, then Dropbox may delete any or all of Your Files without providing additional notice.

For further information regarding your Dropbox Premium or Free Account, please see the Dropbox Terms of Service.


Only 2 GBs. Or, as the front page says, up to 18 GBs, 500 MB per referral (for Business or Personal?), which they can terminate at any time and they'll delete your shiat if you don't log in for 90 days (say if you get hit by a bus).


I'd rather have a few redundant USB drives myself. Or mail the important parts to my Gmail account and let Google keep it safe. (They're good at that: not too long ago I found Usenet posts of mine from 1996.)

Dropbox?

Kids today are so easily impressed.
 
2013-04-24 09:02:35 PM

Carth: Tio_Holtzmann: Lego_Addict: No reason why you can't have a backup these days. A 32GB drive the size of my thumbnail costs under $30 these days. In most cases, that's more than enough for documents.

Except for...well, every single grad student doing laser imaging, high speed video, etc. I could burn through 32GB in a farking day of taking high speed video. As someone upthread mentioned, it is extremely annoying backing up massive amounts of data like that. RAID array is nice, but I have never seen one in a laptop, and then its still physically together. One fire or flood and game over.


Most students don't use 32gb a day. If this student had years' worth of data on a LENOVO 420 she certainly didn't fit into the edge case described above.  (I had a Lenovo 420, it's seriously low rent. It's a webbrowsing and email-typing machine, not much more.)
 
2013-04-24 09:03:18 PM
It's nice having a life where all my backup worries can sit on a 32GB jumpdrive.

Remember back in the past when we thought a jumpdrive would be how we'd travel the stars. Now we have them and all their good for is power point presentations and passing kiddie porn.

/You're a bunch of digital hoarders.
 
2013-04-24 09:04:19 PM
StopLurkListen: Most students don't use 32gb a day. If this student had years' worth of data on a LENOVO 420 she certainly didn't fit into the edge case described above. (I had a Lenovo 420, it's seriously low rent.

So what you're saying is that for the amount of this reward ($1000) she could have bought a whole other LENOVO 420 to back the data up onto, and still had money left over for pot?
 
2013-04-24 09:06:20 PM
There are so many cloud storage options these days, there is simply no excuse.

ALL of my work is backed up on two cloud services, plus flash drives twice a month.
 
2013-04-24 09:06:57 PM

FizixJunkee: Albert911emt:

Use a USB drive....they're cheap and easy to carry.

Quick question: Is there a source for a USB drive that's not made in China?


Why "not made in China?" Are you someone I should buddy up to and slip a roofie so I can record your pill talk and sell it to China for enough money to keep both myself and Madonna's brother drunk for the next 20 years?

Seriously, are those drives hacked before you open the damn package? Or what?
 
2013-04-24 09:07:58 PM
The data loss has been covered repeatedly here, but perhaps someone should mention that if she had PREY installed on her laptop, there would be the smallest chance that she might have been able to get her data, if not her laptop back.

If nothing else, the person that stole it would be alerted to the fact she would give them $1000 for the data, and if it was pawned, the pawnshop would be made aware it was hot.  She might have been alerted to where the laptop was and who was using it (if her laptop came with a built in camera).

It's installed on all my laptops.  Not that I foresee my laptops being stolen but then I don't foresee losing a hard drive to a crash either (but I do backups anyway).

http://preyproject.com/
 
2013-04-24 09:08:25 PM

The One True TheDavid: I'd rather have a few redundant USB drives myself. Or mail the important parts to my Gmail account and let Google keep it safe. (They're good at that: not too long ago I found Usenet posts of mine from 1996.)

Dropbox?

Kids today are so easily impressed.


What people like is the seamlessness of sharing on multiple machines, not just the backing up. You put a file in the dropbox folder on your computer, and *boom* it's automatically uploaded. Or when a file changes in Dropbox, it also automatically updates on your computer.

You can also share with multiple users. I've worked on some multiple-contributor projects with Dropbox. (I wouldn't recommended for larger groups, though)
 
2013-04-24 09:09:00 PM

Coastalgrl: Thanks guys for a summary of the different storage options out there

Just starting my doctoral research and have roughly 10 TB of data from previous work. The sheer volume means I'm looking at multiple offsite storage options.

If anyone has any favorites let me know. Also leading up consolidating 25 years of research to develop in house database for research group.


Assuming that the people who you're doing the research for don't also provide/pay for backup space (and I'd personally be SCREAMING), and also assuming that you can't get around the upload problem (ie: You can HAVE 10TB in the cloud, but you can't GET 10 TB to/from the cloud in any reasonable amount of time (where reasonable is defined in single-digit days)), have you considered rolling your own NAS?  It'll be hellishly expensive (~$500 per box plus $50/TB of disk, which probably works out to $75-100/TB of data because of RAID), but how much is your data worth?

I recently bought a 6-bay Netgear and 6 3 TB WD Red drives.  Stuck that in a RAID 10, and got 9 TB of space for my media collection.  If I need to move small files, it's on the wifi.  If I need to move large files, I have GigE, and I can move a TB every 3 hours or so.  Cost about $1700, and I could probably have gotten that lower if I had gone with a FreeNAS build and built my own box.  Since I only have 4-5 TB of data to begin with, I don't care.

So build an 6-bay box now with 6*3 TB Reds in RAID 6 for 12 TB of storage for $1.5K as a backup.  Then this fall, when Western Digital brings out 5 TB Reds, upgrade to 6*5 TB as the secondary backup.
 
2013-04-24 09:10:12 PM
I'm sure I'll the first person here to say that I backed up my thesis on:

1) My e-mail account
2) My school e-mail account
3) A USB drive
4) Another USB drive
5) My girlfriend's computer
6) Hard copies

/worst case scenario - I'd have lost an hour's worth of work - never happened
 
2013-04-24 09:12:39 PM

leevis: This link has inspired me to back up my music again. I've loaded more than 1,000 songs onto itunes since the last time.


That's what Spotify is for.
 
2013-04-24 09:13:00 PM
Have you seen this man?

assets.rollingstone.com
 
2013-04-24 09:16:11 PM

Coastalgrl: Thanks guys for a summary of the different storage options out there

Just starting my doctoral research and have roughly 10 TB of data from previous work. The sheer volume means I'm looking at multiple offsite storage options.

If anyone has any favorites let me know. Also leading up consolidating 25 years of research to develop in house database for research group.


Here's a heads up - if you've got a Windows 7 machine, you'll have trouble running the built-in Windows backup to an external disk larger than 2 TB. If you want to just copy files to it, you can do so without a problem. I found this out the hard way with a 3 terabyte hard drive. This is only relevant if you want an image of your computer which you can recover if the hard drive fails.

Reference 1 - Western Digital customer support.

Reference 2 - Microsoft support.


RAIDs are designed to stay on all the time. Learn the different flavors of RAIDs (mirroring versus data striping across multiple disks). I didn't want a device that was designed to stay on all the time for personal use. YMMV. Here's a list of RAIDs that could hold all your data in one device.

Here's the lowdown on the NAS.

Also, redundancy. Minimal backup means the data is in two places at one time.

Finally, try to find some reviews (Amazon and the like) for your hard drive. Some vendors/brands are total junk.
 
2013-04-24 09:18:11 PM
Hate to say it but i am willing to bet that laptop has been wiped and his thesis research is gone.
 
2013-04-24 09:18:52 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: always back up your research!!

Watched a guy try to fight his way into a burning building to try to save his research.


This. How can you make it all the way up to a PhD program and not back up your sh*t?
 
2013-04-24 09:20:15 PM

bonkmeist: I'm gonna call shenanigans.  This dude hasn't been working on his thesis, and found a great(retarded) excuse for why he doesn't have it done.

/no backups? really?
//really!?


There are no excuses or explanations as to why a thesis is not done.
 
2013-04-24 09:20:17 PM
I post backup copies of all my important stuff under Red-Lit threads on Fark.

Only costs $5 bucks a month.

/Thanks, Drew!
 
2013-04-24 09:21:53 PM

FriarReb98: nmrsnr: Well, now every future employer knows how well he plans for future contingencies.

That too.  I see "20-year lab tech" in this person's future.  Maybe even "person who pours the chemicals in the vat at the plant" if they fail that hard.


Shhh I was a 20 year old lab tech. Once. Haaaaated it. Scientists are the most farked up people. Everyone just sat around getting drunk friday afternoons because they were all farked up and depressed.
 
2013-04-24 09:22:41 PM
StopLurkListen: 

(I had a Lenovo 420, it's seriously low rent. It's a webbrowsing and email-typing machine, not much more.)


You mean a Thinkpad T420?

Lucky you. Today's comments have been posted from a Dell Vostro 1000, the newest & most high-powered machine I have. Of course Farking around like this is pretty much all I do these days so this is more than enough, but still.
 
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