Let’s Backup a Minute!

Let’s Backup a Minute!

We recently enjoyed Bill Nye’s (‘The Science Guy’) new series on Netflix where Bill Nye Saves The World! In each episode he delves into a scientific subject and brings it alive with insightful explanations, demonstrations and discussions with an expert panel. In some episodes he likes to Take A Minute to make a passionate point about a topic. Subjects include climate change, alternative medicine, artificial intelligence, vaccinations and many more in the 13 part series. So it inspired us and we decided we should Take a Minute and discuss disaster recovery strategies for backing up and updating WordPress based websites. Lots to Think About In a nut shell you can adopt one of several backup strategies: Do nothing. Rely on your hosting ISP to have backups. Make a backup copy of everything before doing any updates. Routinely backup the site on a scheduled basis. If we decide backups are a good idea we then have to decide where to backup to. Options include: On the same ISP server account. To a cloud account like Dropbox. To a local machine, like your own desktop or office server. To an email account as an attachment. We also have to decide what to backup: WordPress core (not really necessary because WordPress keeps archive copies of all releases) Themes Plugins Customizations Database (WordPress always uses a database) And then we have to decide how to backup: Via FTP Using a plugin (there are several) Relying on an ISP process Some combination But there are other factors that need to be taken into account: How often do you update the site content? How often...
“Reverse Thinking”

“Reverse Thinking”

Reference If you haven’t, now take a look at the detailed proofs for the Monty Hall problem offered in the Wikipedia article. The ‘standard assumptions’ on host behavior apply as in the original article. The Monty Hall problem, based on a TV show, became famous in an ‘Ask Marilyn’ Parade column for confusing more than a 1000 readers with PhDs. It has been written about at length in Wikipedia (1) but we can show that it is easily figured out by using what we might call ‘reverse thinking’. Most explanations tend to be counterintuitive and long. First though, what is the problem? Suppose you’re on a game show and you’re given the choice of three doors to open. Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice? Many observers think that after the host has opened one door there remain just two doors each with a fifty-fifty chance of having the winning car. As a result, there appears to be no advantage in switching. Now that your are thinking about the probabilities of a winning solution, let’s stop and take another look. Note that at the outset everyone has a 2 in 3 chance of choosing the wrong door. After you have chosen either wrong door the host then has no choice but to show the other wrong door thus...