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The Institute for Backup Trauma 211

fief writes "John Cleese explains why tape based backup solutions will drive a manager insane in a viral marketing bit for Live Vault. (flash required) Produced by the Captains of Industry. Links provided via AdRants" Barely an ad, mostly just hilarious. Also contains Michael Dorn. Use as directed.
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The Institute for Backup Trauma

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  • I saw this when it was mentioned on the LangaList [] a few weeks ago. Very funny, in my opinion, and it's good to see that this company doesn't take itself *too* seriously.

    It's probably safe to say I'll remember them, so from a marketing point of view it would be a success.
  • by lw54 ( 73409 ) * <lance@wood[ ].com ['son' in gap]> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:30PM (#12332870)
    If only they had hired Ron Jeremy
  • by SYFer ( 617415 ) <(syfer) (at) (> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:31PM (#12332874) Homepage
    I mod this video -1 unfunny. Even though it is usually a pleasure to see Cleese, even he can't breath life into this clinker. The only positive thing I can say is that it had nice production values. I want my seven minutes back. That earlier story about electrically-assisted microbial fuel cells that can be used to produce hydrogen from organic material was a knee-slapper by comparison.

    • I think you're being a bit harsh. It wasn't laugh-out-loud funny, but it was amusing. The only point I take issue with is that they really are not clear about what the alternative is supposed to be. They just keep waxing on and on and on about how horrible tapes are. I kept waiting for them to say something about network storage or some new optical media. It's almost like they're afraid they'll make fun of the solution as well.

      P.S. Very Important! Do not click the third button! It will cause a blue screen
      • by SYFer ( 617415 ) <(syfer) (at) (> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:59PM (#12332990) Homepage
        What can I say? I'm a harsher judge of marketing pieces generally. Lines like the boss saying he'd "fire your family... and your ancestors" just seemed like flat writing to me. If you're gonna have a major comedic god like John Cleese in the mix, you should make sure the writing is up to it. I clicked in and absorbed the marketing message, so I've upheld my end and that's my opinion. Those who disagree can take solace in the fact that my harsh opinion has been modded safely out of view as a "troll."
        • Those who disagree can take solace in the fact that my harsh opinion has been modded safely out of view as a "troll."

          Well that's rather rude. Mods, please correct the great-grandparent's modding. "Troll" is only appropriate when someone is actually trolling. Same with "flamebait". Overrated may be used to bounce someone back to +1 if they yell too much, but it should never be used to push them below that. And if you just disagree with the poster, then you should just leave it alone.

          Thank you. :-)
          • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Monday April 25, 2005 @08:18AM (#12335318) Homepage Journal
            Hello. Let me welcome you to Slashdot - I can see you are new here.

            You see, you fatally misunderstand the meaning of the moderation values. It's an easy mistake for somebody new here to make, as the "guidelines" are misleading.

            The real meanings of the moderations are:
            "Him say things me not understand - him smart!"
            "Him put link in post!"
            "Me agree with him!"
            "Me agree with him, but me afraid of metamods!"
            "YOU RONG! YOU SUCK!"
            (see Troll)
            "Me not like your response to me post about thing not in story."
            "YOU RONG! but me afraid of metamods!"

            Remember, the rules here are very simple (as are most of the users):
            • Asking others to take responsibility for their actions is BAD and WRONG and TROLL!
            • Stealing from big business is GOOD and INSIGHTFUL.
            • Stealing from Free Software is BAD and WRONG and FLAMEBAIT.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          You do realize that the whole, "Fire your ancestors" thing was a gag based on Michael Dorn, aka Worf, delivering the line, doncha?

          It wasn't flat writing, you just didn't get the joke.
        • "Lines like the boss saying he'd "fire your family... and your ancestors" just seemed like flat writing to me."

          Hmm.. I'm a little split on that one. On the one hand, it is a little flat, on the other hand, I think a lot of us have had bosses like that.

          It's an advertisement first, comedy second. I think they should have had a little more fun with the "what's wrong with tape?" aspect of it. Could have nailed both points with that one me thinks. I'm sure most people who have worked with tape backups have
    • So I guess from watching this that tape backups do suck, if you don't store the backups in a secure location (if you can't afford Iron Mountain you can get a 23 cubic foot fire resistant safe from Costco for about $1,000.00) and if you don't occasionally verify that your backups work by restoring a sample filesystem and comparing the checksums of the files and if you are basically a fucking idiot. My biggest problem with tape backups is forgetting to load new media into the library.

  • by nxtr ( 813179 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:31PM (#12332877)
    If it's a credible institution, where's the machine that goes 'bing'?
  • Moderation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lordsilence ( 682367 ) * on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:34PM (#12332886) Homepage
    Moderation +4
    70% Funny
    20% Overrated
    10% Slashvertisment
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:41PM (#12332914) Homepage Journal
    I have an idea for his next sketch, and it involves a smoking server, that features a flash animation, and less than NASA-like bandwidth available to it...
  • Y'know, this file is taking forever to load. I only requested the dial-up edition, despite having a T1 line running in here. However, I'm still waiting for it to load about 10 minutes later.

    I begin to wonder about the minds that brought us this piece.
    • I think the problem lays more with the server than with your connection. The speed at which you download is limited to the slowest component of the network; if the server has been /.ed, regardless of your connection speed, you will download slowly.

      Mind you, you are probably right about the file being too big. If it weren't that big, the server might not have been overwhelmed.
    • "Y'know, this file is taking forever to load. I only requested the dial-up edition, despite having a T1 line running in here."

      I hear ya. My spedometer goes all the way up to 140 mph. I've never gotten it near that high, though.
    • I think the site is /.ed right now. Not much you can do since they insist on streaming video distribution. Good thing they aren't trying to advertise network distribution services!

      This is a job for BitTorrent Man!

      Seriously, this is a case where sharing the network resources of the people who want to see the file makes extremely good sense. And after all, the entire purpose of advertising is to get as many people to see it as possible. Copyright extremism ought not to be the issue here.

      Anyway, I don't

      • Seriously, this is a case where sharing the network resources of the people who want to see the file makes extremely good sense. And after all, the entire purpose of advertising is to get as many people to see it as possible. Copyright extremism ought not to be the issue here.

        Yup. And they need to resurrect a free version of using bittorrent. I'm assuming it was bandwidth charges (not copyright issues) that brought the site down and made it come back as a pay-site. But they haven't.

      • Alas, BitTorrent man isn't able to come to my rescue. University firewall and all that jazz.

        However, I did see the ad via a mirror. Thank you, cashing services!
  • by datafr0g ( 831498 ) <datafrog AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:47PM (#12332936) Homepage
    It's gotta involve spam.... spam... spam, spam, spam
  • It's Decent (Score:5, Funny)

    by Adrilla ( 830520 ) * on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:49PM (#12332945) Homepage
    But it'll never be as good as getting perpendicular []
  • Insanity (Score:5, Funny)

    by Indy Media Watch ( 823624 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:51PM (#12332949) Homepage
    John Cleese explains why tape based backup solutions will drive a manager insane

    In the next episode, he explains why Slashdotted marketing solutions will drive a network manager to suicide.
  • by PowerMacG4 ( 575064 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:52PM (#12332957)
    No joke. His previous company was called Fred and Ted Entertainment, which made similar videos that can be found at []

    Their whole skit about "Ambulatory Mortosis" is one of their funniest. []

    Congrats, Fred. You made Slashdot's front page. Now let's see if your servers can take the slashdotting...
  • *sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sn0wflake ( 592745 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @08:54PM (#12332965)
    Why's it streaming video *sigh*? I guess it's because of advertising and stuff but streaming video sucks! Can't stream properly when slashdottet, can't email to friends, can't save to harddisk. For all you (other) webmonkeys, here's a word of advice; make a non-streamable version so more people will enjoy this (perhaps) fine video.

    Your sincerely
    An unsatisfied 4 MB Internet user.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

      by erikharrison ( 633719 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @10:39PM (#12333376)
      ACtually, it doesn't appear to be a stream at all. Saving the FLV should give you the entire video. The video is embedded in a set of flash controls for said video, and like any other flash movie you've seen it can start before the download is complete, and moniter it's own download status.

      FLV is essentially MPEG-4 in a flash container, and the flash controls offer no signifigant overhead, so offering a "downloadable" version wouldn't even give you any real difference in terms of download size.
      • If only it were possible to extract the video from the SWF, because of the horrible audio-video sync issues with linux swf player...
        • Re:*sigh* SOLVED (Score:2, Informative)

          by Fussen ( 753791 )
          Here's a little tip I know.

          Now I'm on windows, but I use firefox so we should have a base to work with.

          if you go to the address bar and type "about:cache" AFTER you've visted the site with the flash movie, it will show up in your cache index.

          I've tried it, and not only did I find the SWF, but firefox also cached the link to the FLV file.

          Typing in the FLV or trying to "save as" didn't work initially, so I created a simple html doc with 1 href to the link, and now I'm downloading the 26 meg FLV.
  • by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:03PM (#12333008)
    . . . is when I open a website in a new tab, and the site resizes my whole FireFox window.

    All for a $@#% Flash site, too.

    At least it doesn't use frames, I guess.
  • For your convenience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kev Vance ( 833 ) <kvance&kvance,com> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:03PM (#12333009) Homepage
    A direct link to the movie: flv []
  • by rewinn ( 647614 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:05PM (#12333020) Homepage

    What I like about this is its appeal to non-technical staff, especially clueless decisionmakers who feel secure in their data because someone sold them a backup system ("Don't worry, it's fully automatic!")

    Yes, the video is an advertizement for a firm selling a product, but who else would be motivated to create something that is both educational and funny enough to let issues be discussed in a non-threatening way?

    No-one, especially PHBs, wants to admit that all the money they spent on a backup system can easily be brought to naught, so you have to ease them into the concept. This might help.

  • by iammaxus ( 683241 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:22PM (#12333074)
    John Cleese to do this video? I know the answer, money, but this is definitley strange. When was the last time you saw a celebrity like this involved in promoting some obscure IT product?
    • I saw John Cleese do a hilarious infomercial for some vacuum cleaner a couple of years ago. I want to say it was Sunbeam but I really don't remember. So I guess he enjoys the work. :)

    • by bscott ( 460706 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:16PM (#12333565)
      To quote (as best I can) Eric Idle:
      "John Cleese used to say he'd do anything for money, so I offered him a pound to shut up. He took it."

      At one time or another in his life, he's done just about everything - movies, TV, books, stage performances, the list goes on - brilliantly. As much as I'd like to see him chained to a desk and forced to write more of my favorite stuff, I think he's earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants for a quid... even crap movies like this [].
    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:45PM (#12333684)
      Actually, he's been known to do totally inside-audience industrial training videos, too. Stuff we'll never get to see. I think he just likes Being John Cleese, Explaining Stuff. I we love him when he does, so what's not to like.
    • How about Wayne Brady [] doing spots for Avaya []?

      I got the feeling that he didn't have a clue about what he was talking about.
    • I think he has a nice little side business doing this. Our president was a Brit and the company had british roots so it seemed to make sense to hire him when we went through a name change. The way its told is they cooked up the rough script and then had him come up from LA in the afternoon. He rolled in, meet everyone, and then sat down, looked at the script and told them its was (insert fav brit slang here). He asked if he could take it back to the hotel to work on it a bit. He then came back the next da
    • John Cleese to do this video? I know the answer, money, but this is definitley strange. When was the last time you saw a celebrity like this involved in promoting some obscure IT product?

      Tom Baker... Lalla Ward.... PR1ME computer commercials []. Before that I remember Bill Cosby [] on TV speaking for the TI-99/4a.

      And I don't pay that much attention. I'm sure it's more common than you think though these days it's far more common for celebrities to do voice overs than appearances.
    • He's done a lot non-entertainment-targeted work.

      Back in the 70's (or was it early 80's?) he did a series of accounting training videos with Ronnie Corbett and I'm sure there have been others.

  • by parking_god ( 191357 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:24PM (#12333079) Homepage
    Because I *am* the kind of person who annoys those around me by shouting out continuity errors in theaters, here's what was in the hidden frame of the Clockwork Orange-like training video:

    You have found the hidden frame. If you have time to look for things
    like this, you have way too much time on your hands. You are
    probably the kind of person who watches movies just to look for
    continuity issues, shouting out, "Hey, that guy in the background is
    wearing a different pair of cufflinks than he did two seconds ago!"
    - as if anyone else cares. You tend to dream up elaborate conspiracy
    theories that involve movie stars, politicians, and the logos of certain
    brands of cereal. You used to stuff grasshoppers into soda bottles
    and bury them in the playground during recess just to see how long
    they survived without oxygen. You should definitely seek professional
    help of some kind even before you check in to the
    Institute for Backup Trauma.
    • Clockwork Orange? (Score:3, Interesting)

      No, sir, that was a series of clips from a much more famous movie []. It's mostly famous within film geek circles, though, so I took it as something of an in-joke. You see the famous baby-carriage-falling-down-steps scene spoofed all over, like in The Untouchables and Brazil (directed by fellow Pythoner Terry Gilliam). And there's this one close-up of maggot-infested meat that reminds me of the high-resolution gross-out insets in old Ren & Stimpy cartoons. (There goes the rest of my hyphen allowance.)
  • by Basehart ( 633304 ) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:49PM (#12333191)
    I remember in the late 70's in England my Father coming back from some training course or other raving about the films they had been shown starring John Cleese, and he was always hyped on the fact that Cleese actually made people learn through laughter. I can't remember specifics but Dad worked for Thorne EMI who were in the Security business.
  • I watched the video and even signed up for the FREE poster they offered, which they NEVER sent me!!!! I wonder if my working for a competitor had something to do with that?
  • Our backup runs at 100%... ...It's the restores that are a little spotty.

    I'm not responsible for the backup solutions in our shop (we had CA, then Veritas) but really, how hard can it BE to put bits on tape?
  • Irony (Score:4, Funny)

    by TrippTDF ( 513419 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dnalih)> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @10:26PM (#12333327)
    I just realized that as I'm reading this thread, I'm sitting on two days worth of backup tapes.
  • Very Monty Python, so the choice of actor makes sense. I rank it up there with the BMW film series.

  • by menscher ( 597856 ) <menscher+slashdot&uiuc,edu> on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:01AM (#12334173) Homepage Journal
    Let's see... disks can be taken out by vibration, electric shock, or just by exceeding their shelf life. Failures can be from the drive electronics, the drive motor, a head crash, or simply getting unfiltered air in the drive. Life expectancy is 5 years if you get high-quality drives. They are typically kept online, which means they spend 100% of their lifetime vulnerable to threats from intruders, mistakes, and power surges.

    On the other hand, tape has NONE of these flaws. Even if your tape drive explodes in a fireball from a lightning strike, the tapes will be fine, and can be read in another drive.

    And yet here's a company trying to encourage people to migrate away from tape backups? Yes, they have a good offering -- remote backups. But that can (and should) be done with tape (possibly to disk first, but with a second copy on tape or other offline media).

    Sorry to make the only on-topic post in the entire story, but I just couldn't handle the FUD.

    • Of course there's this crazy little invention called RAID.
    • Tape works great if you are willing to make the investment in high-quality hardware, backup software that actually works, a well-designed process, testing, maintenance, and people. Unfortunately, that is rare. Most low-end tape drives are crap. You need multiple drives for reliability and interoperability. They need regular maintenance. Can the vendor support the drives with spare parts, repair and overhaul services, replacement drives, for the long term? Where are the tapes stored? How are they organized a
    • For a more fair comparison, what's the life of a tape if it's continuously online? Hard disk backups don't need to be online these days you know. With USB2 and firewire ATA enclosures there's really no reason that hard disks need to be 'fixed' disks.

      Remember that hard disks these days are byte for byte significantly cheaper and of course odrers of magnitde faster than tape. If they are less reliable, then you might only use them for short-lived backups like incrementals.

      Even if your USB cable explodes
    • Well, after reading your post I arranged for my tape drive to explode in a fireball from a lightning strike, and it did slightly destroy the tapes in the drive. Well, I suppose I might have been able to put them in my spare drive, but what with the bing on fire thing they were a little tricky to pick up.

      Never fear though, my lawsuit is in the post to you.
    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday April 25, 2005 @05:24AM (#12334728) Journal
      Let's see... disks can be taken out by vibration, electric shock, or just by exceeding their shelf life.

      When you "take out" a HDD by electric shock, you need to replace a component on it to get it working again. When you "take out" a tape by electric shock, the data is gone, and you might not be able to use the tape ever again. Tapes really should be enclosed in metal casings like drives are...

      Life expectancy is 5 years if you get high-quality drives.

      No, no, that is only the online life expectancy. Try re-writing a tape constantly for 5 years straight and see how long it lasts. If you store a hard drive like you store a tape, it can last a very long time.

      If you keep them online, the lifetime of an individual drive doesn't matter one damn bit, because when one goes bad, you swap it out, data is restored, and there's no problem... When an important tape goes bad, you're not in good shape.

      Hard drives are MUCH easier to check for problems (even if normally offline) which would alert you to data-loss much sooner.

      The biggest thing hard drives have going for them, IMHO, is price. No need to buy a $30000 drive, and the per-GB cost of hard drives is close to tape as well.
    • LiveVault also has products that backup off-site to tape. I used to work for them, they partner for Iron Mountain to store the data securely.

      The point of this product is that with off-site backups, they can do the disk storage correctly, with whatever kind of data protection is available; remote mirrors, encryption, etc, etc, and the backups are available instantly instead of waiting for the tapes to be fished out of cold storage.
  • Worked for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by legLess ( 127550 ) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:02AM (#12334178) Journal
    One of the scariest moments of my life was formatting my company's 150GB Netware server. It died early one Monday morning: power supply and two disks in the RAID just vaporized. The UPS, mysteriously, was fine. This was a 60-person architecture office; architecture's nearly all electronic these days, so that server *was* the company.

    I put in new drives and restored from the previous Friday's tape. One guy had done some work on Saturday, which he lost, but everything else was perfect. Numerous times I've gone back to a tape from months previously (grandfather-father-son scheme) to get one or two files, and I've never had one failure. So personally, I'm a big believer in tapes.
    • I would hope rather that that makes you a big believer of _backups_, rather than tape. It is nice to hear that you have successfully employed tape technology in your backup system.

  • industry's first disk-based online data backup and guaranteed recovery solution for small and medium businesses...

    One, this seems awfully expensive, and two, we've used Connected [] which has provided us with a reliable online data backup facility for a couple of years now. (And it's a fraction of the price). What's the difference?

    Methinks they should be spending less money on John Cleese, viral marketing and dodgy marketing tactics and a bit more time providing a proper service at a decent price.
  • Cleese is the new Q and all, but those 5 minutes of film don't pay the bills.

    Eric is doing broadway shows of Holy Grail, Michael made money on that PBS shit, Gilliam is a director... that leaves Jones, who I guess is the poor one then.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.