[AccessD] Late Lessons from 9/11

Arthur Fuller fuller.artful at gmail.com
Fri Jan 21 13:57:56 CST 2022

"The 9/11 destruction of the Twin Trade Towers caused Morgan Stanley to
lose the source code of their flagship financial application written in
Visual Age Smalltalk (VAST)."

In the age of Cloud computing, this is not much of a problem. Surely every
developer, whether an individual or a a firm as large as Accenture, stores
everything off-premises, on Google Drive or OneDrive or something similar.
I am a one-person operation, but I manage to store everything of
consequence (basically meaning code and documents of various types) on
Google Drive, OneDrive and locally, on a 128GB thumb drive, so I can move
it between computers with no effort beyond plugging it in.
Incidentally, it took a few guys a few weeks to write a decompiler for
Morgan Stanley, and they managed to recover a bunch of the original code,
but the names of variables proved more problematic.
Anyway, I just wanted to state the obvious: hope for the best but plan for
the worst. Keep your source code and even compiled apps in a place you can
get to from anywhere else. Nothing crucial should be stored locally only.
To put it another way, Murphy was an optimist.


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