The downside of living in the cache

Way back when my server was up, then down, then back and such I was "living in the cache." This means that OneNote was letting me edit my notebooks while in "offline" mode and would keep track of my changes while the server was gone. I wrote a little about what this means and how we test it back in January. This gives me great flexibility to keep working and upload my changes when the server comes back.

But that configuration is not without its own risks. Had my hard drive with my cache completely died, or my cache gotten deleted or otherwise corrupted, I would have lost some of my work. This could also happen if I choose to delete the cache. I figured I would publish the list and add the "safety net" OneNote employs to help with this.

First, the list:

  1. Outbound changes
    • This means any of my changes that I had typed and waiting to get sent to the notebook on the server.
  2. Misplaced Sections & Real Time Collaboration Sections
  3. Notebook renamed names
    • If I had renamed a notebook so it shows a different name in the navigation bar, that new name would be gone. I actually do this quite a bit to shorten the names to fit more in the UI. For instance, our "Test Team Notebook" becomes "ttn" in my navigation bar.
  4. Order of which notebooks appear on the notebook navigation bar
  5. Your state of where you were in a notebook/section
    • This is the page you go to automatically when you click a notebook. It should be the most recent page you were on - you just go back to where you last were.

Items 3-5 are certainly nice to have, but I'm willing to live with the risk of losing that level of detail in the event of a hardware failure or crash corruption on my end. It would take only a few seconds for me to reconstruct the information if it were to disappear.
1 and 2 are more important. Looking at 1, I lose any information that exists only in the cache (changes I haven't been able to send to the server since the server is not there while I'm offline). If I'm not comfortable with this risk, the "safety net" I mentioned earlier can help me. OneNote makes backups for me automatically to files outside of the cache. You can see them in File \ Open Backup. This backup gets run once per day by default, but you can control that by clicking Tools | Options | Backup:


If I'm really worried, I can set the backup to happen every minute. And I can obviously click the button to force a backup whenever I want. This operation will take all the changes that exist only in OneNote's cache and apply them to the .ONE files on my machine.
Fortunately for me, despite losing three hard drives at once, my drive that holds my cache (and the cache itself) have survived unscathed.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

Comments (2)

  1. Ape says:

    I’ve been using microsoft synctoy to keep my files syncronized between my netbook and my main desktop.  I’ve created a link on the desktop that fires off the "Run all" via command line, and it automatically pushes the changes back and forth.

     It takes some discipline to maintain that there are no conflicts, but you can merrily edit different sections entirely without stepping on toes.  I run it before I leave in the morning, and when i get home at night… using my main machine when i’m in the house, and netbook when i’m out and about.

    I also have a non-run all routine that backs up the whole thing to a thumb-drive just in case.

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