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Part I: ... The Bad, and The Ugly - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
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January 23rd, 2005
06:42 am
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Part I: ... The Bad, and The Ugly
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.

So.

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.

Current Mood: gloomygloomy
Current Music: Ghetto Lee Lewis, "Lost in Time" OC Remix
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(12 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 23rd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)

notes for myself

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http://blog.glennf.com/mtarchives/003898.html
- and http://www.researchbuzz.org/archives/001757.shtml

Well, halfway there. Finding everything Google has cached from a site - still leaves a lot of work for the downloading and categorizing.

... and, hey, even if I were to shut down entirely, at least I'd be in good company. For some value of "good".
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From:elynne
Date:January 23rd, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
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Do I need to find and copy all my poetry pages, or are those backed up somewhere? And sending good thoughts and best wishes for recovery of data. :[ *hughughughugnuzzlehughug*
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From:baxil
Date:January 23rd, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure they are (backed up somewhere). :( Send me what archives you can; otherwise we can spider Google/archive.org and rebuild. I recall you had a pretty text-heavy site, which is perfect for that sort of recovery.
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From:baxil
Date:January 29th, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
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I did get poetry page backups, by the way. Yay! I'll try to get them online at my earliest convenience. (i.e., once I actually get some time to start trying to fix things ...)
[User Picture]
From:kistaro
Date:January 23rd, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC)
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(reposted to fix HTML)
First, some humor, courtesy of the Atom Smasher Error Generator:


I'd last been browsing Tomorrowlands about a month ago, wandering through your past journal entries and part of Chibi Jesus for a lack of anything better to do. It's likely to still be sitting in the cache, because I've got it set at Ungodly Large Number of Megabytes and I haven't cleared it for Way Too Long. I'm not sure how to scrape this out of Firefox's cache if it still exists, however.

Good luck getting things pieced back together.
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From:baxil
Date:January 23rd, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Google "recovering pages from Firefox cache" or something - or there may be a tool that does so. Would you be willing to make the effort to check? I'm being pulled out the door for the day.

Thank you.
[User Picture]
From:kistaro
Date:January 23rd, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)

about:cache

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Typing about:cache in the address bar gives me a hugemungous list of entries...

Dammit. I've got the thing set to expire cache entries after three days, so the massive list of entries reflects the massive number of web sites I tend to visit. No luck- they're gone.

People with more liberal cache policies might be able to help; have them try about:cache. That works in all Mozilla builds, and I saw references to Safari doing the same thing?

Sorry. No luck.
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From:kistaro
Date:January 23rd, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)

Chibi Jesus

(Link)
http://web.archive.org/web/20040322194332/www.tomorrowlands.org/art/chibijesus/index.html
It looks like what of Chibi Jesus made it to the Internets is safe and sound. My parents are informing me that it is time for dinner, and I am too hungry to object, so I can't copy everything down for you right now- anybody else is welcome to do so.

I've saved the basic nav images and logo for your site, but I suspect you've already done this.
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From:baxil
Date:January 24th, 2005 05:14 am (UTC)

Re: Chibi Jesus

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It didn't get the images, just the thumbnails. The images are the major dilemma.
[User Picture]
From:kistaro
Date:January 24th, 2005 05:51 am (UTC)

Re: Chibi Jesus

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The version I linked to had all but one of the actual images. I've got them stashed on my computer, but you'd probably have as easy a time getting them from my link.

Want proof? Here's one.
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From:baxil
Date:January 23rd, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and thank you for the image. Did make me laugh. :)
From:tropism
Date:January 24th, 2005 02:04 am (UTC)
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Urgh. *hugs* Didn't whoever was administering it make back-ups, at all?
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