Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's in a Name, Mozy?

Back in the mid 1980s, my novel The Infinity Link first saw print. The main character, a young woman named Mozy, had her complete mind and personality uploaded to a spacecraft that was going to investigate alien visitors in the solar system. (Side note: The novel took me five and a half years to write, a record I hoped never to match. I just exceeded it, with Sunborn.)

The other day, I was reading in the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly an article about computer backup systems. One of them is called Mozy. Writer James Fallows says, "Mozy mirrors your computer’s data not on a detachable drive or another machine but somewhere in the galactic cloud of Internet storage." Now, that coincidence struck me as being pretty cool. If it's not a coincidence, that would be even more cool. I emailed the company and asked them where their name came from. I'll let you know what they say.



At 8:40 AM, Blogger VictoriaB said...

I knew Jim Fallows much many years ago when he was Jimmy Carter's #1 speechwriter. He's one of those people who reads EVERYTHING; he may well have vacuumed up The Infinity Link along the way.

I didn't realize you'd surpassed your writing-duration record -- uh, congratulations? Heh.

See you Tuesday.


At 5:46 PM, Blogger Charlza said...

I really doubt that's a coincidence :) That's mostly because I don't believe in them, hehe.

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

Well, a representative of the company emailed back to say he didn't know where the name came from. Hm. I hope they don't think I was angling for a lawsuit. I wasn't.

You knew James Fallows, Victoria? He's written tons of great stuff for The Atlantic. However, I wasn't wondering if Fallows had read The Infinity Link; I was wondering if the founder(s) of this software company had.

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Vargold said...

Mr. Carver,

You may not be angling for a lawsuit,
but some of the people trying to get their files restored from "the galactic cloud" are.


At 9:50 PM, Blogger Vargold said...


Mr. Carver,

I notice that the comments are noted dated along with the time. The only date on this page is that of your original post on February 15--six months ago!

May I suggest that you ask your commenters to plainly indicate the date at the beginning of their postings.


At 9:52 PM, Blogger Vargold said...


Sorry for the typo: should be "comments are NOT dated along with the time."


At 11:08 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

Hi Vargold -- I haven't kept up with the Mozy stuff, so I'm not sure what you're referring to. I take it the backup service has proven unreliable? Or did they go out of business?

Trying to get folk who post comments to date their remarks is, well, an unlikely proposition. It should be part of the Blogger interface; maybe they'll add it someday.


At 6:52 AM, Blogger Vargold said...

Hi Jeff,

I disagree with you regarding having people dating their comments; if they're in too much haste to just type in a date, they're less likely to give much thought to what they're writing. But then, you're in a better position to size this up than I. Blogger should get on this, though.

Mozy is still in business, but if it continues as it is it's doomed. There are reports on the web corresponding to my own very recent experience, to wit: After installing a new hard drive, I was told by Mozy that it had only 9kb of my data! I had hundreds, if not thousands of important document files that had supposedly been backed up, and I had without any doubt whatsoever configured Mozy to to save them. I told Brian at Mozy that I would continue with the service provided he refunded my payment in full, and that I would be verifying backups (i.e., with periodic restores) from now on, to which he agreed. I have not yet decided whether to consult an attorney regarding a class action suit against the company. I am extremely busy and don't need this hassle. I'm open to suggestions, though... Thanks for your response, Jeff.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

You might as well herd cats as try to get blog readers to follow a certain format when replying. Even if I posted a request like that, it would scroll down and be forgotten in a week. I wouldn't remember to do it myself.

Sorry about your troubles with Mozy. I guess I would regard a system like that as a "backup of a backup" -- something I'd rely on if, for example, my house burned down and my regular backups were destroyed.

If I were uncertain about the reliability of a backup system, I might test it by periodically restoring to a safe third location; but I certainly wouldn't restore over known good files.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Vargold said...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks again for your response.

Don't worry, after my experience with Mozy I have no intention of restoring over existing files! By the way, I'm thinking also of trying out a flash drive. The new Kingston U3 DataTraveller takes up to 2 gig and can apparently be had for as little as $75 (See review:,1895,1948452,00.asp)
If anyone out there has experience with external backup methods and would care to enlighten me on the better prospects, I'm all ears.
By the way, I should just mention that I tried AT&T's Online Vault before I went to Mozy, and though they didn't lose my files, it took literally weeks of hassle before they could find and restore them! (No love lost between me and the fascist AT&T, that's for sure). Wishing you and yours a very free weekend...


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