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Backup To CDR Burner


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

The Roxio (née Adaptec) Easy CD (Compact Disc) Creator is not suitable for routine backup because it makes you respecify the list of files to backup every time. If you use their layout save, it won’t capture new file in the directories you back up and it complains about any deleted files.

What you want is a back that works by taking either:

Now how do you take this list of files and get it them on CD? If you wanted to write your backup at a lower level, there are several things to consider:
  1. Backing up and restoring the platform dependent file attributes, e.g. owner, read-only, create-date, last-accessed-date…
  2. Making sure you have exclusive access to the files during backup so nobody changes them while you are in the process of backing them up. You want to guarantee a consistent set of files on restore.
  3. Spanning. If every thing won’t fit on one CD, DVD (Digital Video Disc), floppy, tape etc, how do you split files over the boundary and put them back together on restore.
  4. Creating an index to the backup, so that you don’t have to scan the entire backup from beginning to end just to restore one file.

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