How Toy Story 2 Almost Got Deleted… Except That One Person Made A Home Backup
from the did-it-break-the-rules? dept
Here’s a random story, found via Kottke, highlighting how Pixar came very close to losing a very large portion of Toy Story 2, because someone did an rm * (non geek: “remove all” command). And that’s when they realized that their backups hadn’t been working for a month. Then, the technical director of the film noted that, because she wanted to see her family and kids, she had been making copies of the entire film and transferring it to her home computer. After a careful trip from the Pixar offices to her home and back, they discovered that, indeed, most of the film was saved:
Now, mostly, this is just an amusing little anecdote, but two things struck me:
- How in the world do they not have more “official” backups of something as major as Toy Story 2. In the clip they admit that it was potentially 20 to 30 man-years of work that may have been lost. It makes no sense to me that this would include a single backup system.
- I wonder if the copy, made by technical director Galyn Susman, was outside of corporate policy. You would have to imagine that at a place like Pixar, there were significant concerns about things “getting out,” and so the policy likely wouldn’t have looked all that kindly on copies being used on home computers.
The Mythbusters folks wonder if this story was a little over-dramatized, and others have wondered how the technical director would have “multiple terabytes of source material” on her home computer back in 1999. That resulted in an explanation from someone who was there that what was deleted was actually the database containing the master copies of the characters, sets, animation, etc. rather than the movie itself. Of course, once again, that makes you wonder how it is that no one else had a simple backup. You’d think such a thing would be backed up in dozens of places around the globe for safe keeping…