The Mystery of the Amazing Disappearing Data

Today the colleague with whom I’m working to update the Time Dollar database for the resource center informed me that several months of data from the database have gone missing.

Now, if I had actually been able to get anything done on the database, I’d be sweating bullets right now thinking I’d done something awful and erased nearly a year of data. But the thing is, due to a confluence of staff meetings and doctor’s appointments Thursday, I was poised on the brink of being able to do something, but ran out of time before I could. So instead, I’m just puzzled as hell.

And a bit worried. I mean, that’s almost a year’s worth of data just gone. I checked all possible options – there are a few different copies of the database in question on the various computers, an artifact of what appears to be a poorly coordinated movement of the program from one computer to the next, and I thought that maybe the program had simply gotten pointed to an older copy, but the newer data’s not on any of them. It’s just gone. *poof*

Time to bring in Scooby Do and the gang, I guess, ’cause this geek’s stumped. The only thing I can think of is maybe a compatibility issue between running a program with a built-in Access 97 Runtime infrastructure on a computer with Access 2003. But I don’t see how that would cause a solid chunk of data to just cease to exist. Which doesn’t forestall it from happening – with Microsoft, all things unfortunate are possible – I just don’t see why it would.

Anyway, I finally got the new update for the Time Dollar database downloaded, installed and all the shortcuts on the various computers pointing to the new, upgraded system (complete with ported data – what’s left of it – from the old database). Hopefully that will be the end of it, aside from a few frenzied weeks of data entry to replace the missing data from last year before the grant reporting deadlines come due.

Oh yeah, did I mention that all this missing data is required for state reporting? Wheeeee…

On a further note of potent portents of productivity potentially postponed, we’ve got 20-some-odd high-school kids (who’ve driven all the way from Mississippi to help us) rolling in tomorrow at around 10:30 for a three-day volunteering bender, which centers around giving our office building a much-needed new coat of paint, and it looks like rain all week. If that happens, I have to find 20 some-odd high-schoolers something to do for three days that doesn’t involve standing out in the rain, or standing around doing nothing, during a time when we have almost nothing going on (and certainly not 20 volunteers worth of something).

*head-keyboard*

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