Loss of data

Does it really occur?

Disappearing data
As a writer, first, then astrologer, or astrology writer, I’m not sure, chicken-egg question, but as a writer and ultimately, the architect of my information palace, this was a concern, the disappearing data.

Towards that end, from its inception as an online source, in 1993, through the year Y2K, I kept organized files in directories, on the site.

For the “double-aughts,” I had a careful system in place, I moved, at some point during that time, to a different server, same URL, just different host. At the time, there was a limit on the size and number of files, but the original files were all small text files, not more than 3,000 words, which, to a computer, isn’t much in ASCII.

Pictures burn bandwidth, not words.

What’s happened, though, as the architecture changed again, and most of what I do goes from a word processor program on either an iPad or computer, straight into the MySQL database backend, and from there, the material gets called up as need be.

There is still almost two whole decades of material, all filed and in order, stored on the site. The complete archives are accessible. In totality.

Or, as one would say, “Totally.”


As an author, I’m far from being in love with my words, but there’s a precious sanctity to the collection, the canon of work.

This web-journal, kramerwetzel.com is 13 years and 11 months old now. It’s spawned three books — so far — collections of sorts.

See astrofish.net/books for details.

All the archives and when I first started, there was no “blog engine,” and CMS sounded like a country music station, so I built a structure — still in place — to handle production and file the archives in manner that was ordered, accessible, and (most important) easy to maintain.

First came Grey Matter, then the early form of Expression Engine, which allowed importing old Grey Matter files, and finally, I moved it all to self-hosted WordPress.

The horoscopes themselves went from “hand-rolled” to a small piece of code to just popping them into WordPress.

It’s just easier this way.

From word processor to web, one, easy step.

The architecture is sound. I have backups of backups of backups, and there are even some CDs with whole years burned onto the CD, supposedly an incorruptible medium.

How safe is the information? This site, it’s backed up three different ways, locally, the cloud, the server. An F-5 tornado could rip through downtown Dallas(2) and the data would still be secure. San Antonio(1) can get a hurricane, and the data would still be safe.

As I’ve built this site over the years, I’ve had one eye on longevity. Less about what’s hot right now in web design and more about what works long term.

    (1) We’ve already survived one earthquake in the South Texas area.

    (2) Data Center is currently hosted in Dallas, see here