Saturday, January 15, 2011

KISS - Keep It Short Silly on Sorting Saturday

Photo adapted from original by ImageLink

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum. Part of my monthly backup plan includes automating the backup process on MyBookWorld. Previously I've been doing it manually which works fine as long as you remember to do it. After doing my first automatic backup, I reviewed the error report. Most of the errors had to do with the file or the pathnames being too long. It looks like I've been busted by the filename police.

Out of curiosity, I checked Backblaze, the online backup service I use, and noticed that those same files are not backed up there. I don't seem to be able to find any kind of an error report on that however. So I’m not sure how I would ever discover a problem if I don’t go looking for one. Now I'm going through the process of shortening the problematic filenames and paths.

However, another challenge has arisen. While Backblaze is picking up these new filenames, MyBookWorld backup is not. Once I get these names corrected, I may just end up redoing the MyBookWorld backup.

There is a lesson learned in this: Keep It Short Silly. I knew that. But somewhere along the way, I fell off the wagon. Now I'm wondering what other files have fallen off the wagon along the trail because their names were too long.

Oh yeah, there’s the other lesson here too. Don’t just assume because you’ve “automatically” backed up “everything” that it’s being done properly the way you want. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.


  1. Good post Michelle and good reminder to us all. It's actually not the filename itself that's too long but the entire path. The limit is 255 characters.


  2. Thank you. I had no idea there was a limit on the length of a filename or path. Some of my genealogy files have names that are probably way too long. Off to investigate. Also, would you share a bit more about My BookWorld?

  3. Hi Scrappy, MyBookWorld is an external hard drive. Mine is 1 terabyte but you can get larger now for pretty cheap. Once installed on your home network you can access it from any of your computers making it easy to share files (and use it as a backup as I have).

    Mine also came with backup software which automates the process.

    I love mine but with anything there is a little bit of learning.

  4. Good tip, Michelle. I never thought about this. I'll have to check Mozy and make sure it is picking up all my files.