GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2009-06 > 1245077287
From: "Jan" <>
Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] MA Vital records computer crash
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 07:48:07 -0700
On Sat., John Slaughter wrote to the people on the MA-VitalRecords message board about his computer crash but I don't know that the other MA boards heard about the crash (judging from some of the messages I saw).
We have "taken up a collection" which means you can click on the vital records URL
and send a donation to help John with the expenses of retrieving the vital information that was lost.
When John was asked how much money he would need, here's what he wrote on Sunday:
Good morning, everyone.
First, I want to thank all of you for your thoughts and the donations that have already come in to the PayPal account.
I'll try to answer all of the questions and suggestions that have come up.
The crash is a mechanical crash. It sounds like the spindle motor went out. This is not my C: drive. So, I still have my operating
system and internet access. The crashed drive has a number of things on it, such as all of our personal genealogies, the vital records
project, my programs for managing the project and some software that I opted to install on that drive rather than the C: drive. A mechanical problem precludes using software to recover the data at the home level.
I have begun checking into the costs. The minimum I've found is $259 just for the recovery. There is one company that offers a flat rate of $399 plus the new drive. If I can get a replacement drive for less than their cost, I can save a little money that way. Using them
would put the basic recovery cost at around $500.
A few of you have mentioned using online backups. That is a possibility. Another option is go use a method that I did years ago
when I worked as a computer operator in a commercial company. Every night I'd run backups of all the files that changed that day. Weekly backups were made for anything that changed during the week. Monthly
backups of the entire system were made. Copies of the tapes, yes, tapes like you've seen in old movies, were made of the weekly and monthly backups and those tapes went to a safe deposit box at the bank. What I can do is get two external drives. One will replace the bad drive and the second will be used to make backups just as I did in the past. We have a fire proof safe that the backup drive will be kept in except when in use.
Jodi and I were talking about getting the programs set so that she can use them. At the present, they are not compiled into a computer runnable form. This will also be a backup system. If something were to
happen to me, or my computer, she would be able to carry on the project. Right now, she is really busy with her RN studies. She is
currently taking a chemistry class and it is very difficult. She has two tests this week.
For those who don't use PayPal, you can send your donations to me at:
5441 W Delaware St
Spirit Lake, ID 83869
My phone number is (208) 623-2433
All donations received above what is needed to resolve this situation will go to making the project better, as they always have. My web host has offered an upgrade to unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth.
There are some towns that I will have to go to the library to copy. Especially Boston.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND:
For those who may not know, Jodi and I don't live anywhere near each other. She is in New Hampshire and I'm in Idaho. The two of us, with the help of our transcribers, put all of these online. I do the technical and she handles transcription management. We have discussed asking for a third volunteer that can help take some of the load off of Jodi. In some ways, she does more than I do.
The project began over 10 years ago when I decided to put the Ipswich VRs online. We now have over 150 towns completely transcribed or in progress. There are almost a million and a half records that are
transcribed. Even more are accessible via the images. The majority also have the images of the pages. We are working to get all images
that are available to us.
It is our firm hope to continue well beyond the published records.
Perhaps to include all of New England and as many records as we can get.
If you have any more questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate. The list is set up that clicking Reply goes back only to the sender. Reply all or Reply to List, if that is in your options, will send to the list.
Thanks to all of you for your concern and help. This project will continue and will always be free. Donations help, especially now, but
are never required.
John & Jodi
Massachusetts Vital Records Project Administrators