By now, many of you have probably seen the new, (hopefully) temporary front of Tomorrowlands. That it's up and running at all is thanks to inaki after the Big Server Meltdown Of 2005.
Thank goodness for webmasters. blackfyr downloaded a decent-sized chunk of the webspace when he got started working with me. I, being one of those fools who assumed that a RAID's redundancy meant it was exceedingly unlikely to burst into flames and eat my website, never did so. (In my partial defense, my home computer situation has been so unsettled in the last several years, and I've been going through so many transitions and hard drive shuffles, that having the extra data to sling around would have been a real extra headache. Nor do I have a working CD burner with which I could have made a hard backup. But I'm paying for my laziness now. Oh yes.)
If you haven't caught the implication yet -- yes. The server hard drive containing Tlands is out of commission for a long and indeterminate time, and I don't know whether data recovery will ultimately be possible or not. Many things on the server may be permanently gone.
My journal entries are largely already safe -- and the ones that aren't, should be saveable via Google cache or via archive.org. (It's only the ones since the Movable Type changeover that aren't already accounted for.) I had a few unposted "draft" journal entries -- gone, but no great loss I guess, since I can't even remember what they were about.
Most of the essays, stories, etc., on the site are recoverable -- again, Google and archive.org do a fine job at preserving plain text whether you want it preserved or not. Thank goodness I do.
Everything ever written on the forums -- both versions; the old YaBB and the new-but-short-lived phpBB -- is probably gone forever. (Edit: Holy crap, archive.org is more complete than I thought. Sadly, though, retrieving those on any more than a piecemeal basis would be an exercise in frustration.) The not-yet-actually-running TTU Wiki is dead dead dead; it hadn't been crawled by anything yet (by design) and even if the rest of the site was backed up that probably wouldn't have been.
Oddly enough, Chibi Jesus is probably going to be the single worst casualty of the server smitage. Most of the submissions came in by e-mail and never left the server. Text gets Googled and archive-dot-orged, but I don't know of any caching/archive services that keep the full-size, original images. No Chibi Jesus art, no Chibi Jesus page.
Oh, did I mention that a few years worth of e-mail is gone? So much for my mad dream of archiving everything I ever wrote or received. What's really hurting in the short term is losing my e-mail addressbook, but the e-mail archives will suck too, probably worse than I'm expecting.
O Tlands readers. A coupla requests. Please consider them at least semi-urgent, since caches fade over time.
(1) Do any of you know of a program (Mac, Windows, or otherwise) that will reconstruct a Web site from its Google cache or archive.org copy? I've seen a few that spider existing sites to create local backups, but haven't found any yet for reconstruction purposes. (n.b.: Freeware or cheapware is ideal, but pay software is OK too.)
(2) Were you doing any surfing of Tomorrowlands in the last few weeks? Do you still have Tlands images in your local Web cache? I've still got the basic image set (the stuff that goes in the headers and sidebars for every page), but if you have random pictures that only show up inline, PLEASE PLEASE YES zip them up and forward me a copy. This goes double if you happened to be skimming Chibi Jesus and have the full-size pics for it instead of just the thumbnails I saved out of my own cache. This is a decent tutorial on how to nab files from your web browser's local copies.
(3) Good thoughts for my lost data are also appreciated, especially good thoughts involving a stroke of luck that makes possible recovery. (No need to tell me about it, just think them.)
Anyway, I'll be trying to rebuild Tlands for a little while yet. My e-mail has shifted over to baxil at dreamchaos.net for the foreseeable future if you don't trust the @tomorrowlands.org address to get through (though they do, at this point, go to the same place). Web services will remain mostly down, but you can certainly try to access any of the old pages by entering the full URL instead of surfing to it from the site front -- worst that can happen is it'll 404 you back to the "smite" page.
Again, sorry for the inconvenience.