Sometimes, things that you thought would never happen, do happen. Today, I learned it the hard way.
I'm a pretty paranoid developer. I always keep 4 copies of my work, as backups, in case something happens. In the worst case, only a few days or weeks of work can be lost. Unless.. fate decides otherwise.
When I waked up this morning, I had a bad surprise. My home computer's external USB drive, which I had for 3 years now, had died. I was storing all the Infinity source code and data files on it. Fortunately, I had a backup. Every few days I transfer that backup to my work computer, which is in a different physical location ( in case my appartment burns, or a horde of werewolfs invade it, or something.. ). My workplace is in Brussels too, but unless a nuclear bomb explodes on Brussels, that should be safe, isn't it ? So since I had many backups, I wasn't too worried. Except...
When I arrived at work this morning, I found that everybody was already here, and in a great panic. Apparently, during the night some thiefs broke in our offices, and since they weren't too tech-savy, they didn't steal the most expensive hardware, but they went directly for our work computers. The bastards! But the most funny thing is, during the night, the office concierge saw some suspicious movements and called the cops. They arrived soon after, and chased the thiefs in the woods. Those last ones probably couldn't escape with all the stolen material, so they threw it away over a fence, to run faster. I don't know if they were finally captured or not, but what I do know is that my computer, on which there was the backup, is badly broken. But fear not! I still have backups. So I still wasn't too worried ( although a bit confident than the first time. It really smelled fishy ). Except...
I also have a backup on my pocket USB drive. It's only 1 GB, so I don't backup as often as on my other computers. A few weeks of lost work, too bad, but not catastrophic either. So I looked in my appartment for the USB key, I was pretty sure I had it in hand a few days ago, but couldn't find it.. until I realized it stayed in my trousers. And I had just washed it yesterday. Guess what ? It didn't survive either.
By now, I was really in panic. But I still had one more chance. One last backup, a .zip archive of the whole project. The one I upload every once in a while on my US server.. in case of a problem ( asteroid fall ? ) in Brussels. So I was saved. The chance that the US server had died during the night was just.. zero.
And I found my file back ! Ouf. Saved. So I quickly copied it to one of my hard drives ( one that didn't burn ), and started to decompress it. A dialog popped in. Please enter the password. Ah, true, it was password protected, of course. But what was the damn password ? No way to remember it, I always choose passwords that are a random mix of weird symbols. But I had noted this password somewhere.. in a file. Where was that file again ?
Then I started to cry when I realized. You see it coming. The file was on my USB drive.
...Tomorrow will be another day, I'm sure it was a nightmare, and I'll wake up..