Off the keyboard of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on June 21, 2015
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Did you ever spend a few hours typing up an email reply or a message on the net, hit the SUBMIT button and have the post disappear into the ether, lost forever in the sea of digibits floating around the internet? Or go to open up a file you were working on saved on your own computer, but when you try to open it up, you get a "FILE CORRUPT" error message?
Or, God Forbid, one day you try to turn on your laptop, only to get the Blue Screen of Death?
Just losing one email you spent a lot of time writing is pretty frustrating. It's a lot worse when you lose your entire hard drive, but usually in that case you can bring it over to the local Computer Renaissance and the geeks can extract the data off of it. It's usually still intact, just the drive motor gave out or the computer motherboard quit etc.
Still, it's a sinking feeling if you don't have that Magical Wand called BACKUP.
Now, take this feeling and imagine you run a website where you have spent 1000s of hours over 3 years writing, and not just you writing for it either. Dozens of other people also writing and contributing to the data stored on your website. Then one day you awaken, and you find your website is down, and you don't have a backup.
IT'S GONE, GONE, BABY IT'S ALL GONE. IT'S OVER FOR ME AND IT'S OVER FOR YOU.
Now, similar to bringing your hard drive in for the Geek Squad to extract your data, Web Hosts have a thing called "Tech Support". These Pros From Dover most of the time can fix up your site and recover your data.
Not always though, and sometimes the backup copies they have don't work either, or the backup copy is stored on the same server as your original live version and the whole server goes down, not just your website if you are on a shared server, which most Blogs except the very biggest like Zero Hedge are on.
Such was the case with the most recent crash of the Diner, besides internal problems we were having with the WordPress Blog, a couple of sticks of RAM went bad on the server, the MySQL which controls all the databases got screwed up, and the Diner and some other nonsense in French got jumbled together, all in all a major CLUSTERFUCK.
By day 3 of the CRASH I was giving up all Hopium that the Diner would ever be recovered. 3 years and thousands of hours of work, all GONE in the blink of an eye!
At the height of the crash, I wrote the following message on the Diner "Beta" Forum, a Forum on Create-a-Forum I created in a prior Diner Crash:
« on: June 04, 2015, 05:46:24 am »
It is Thursday Morning June 4, 2015, 2AM AK Time.
As of right now, all the material on the Doomstead Diner, thousands of pages put up by myself and other Diners is currently lost and inaccessible on the web.
There is apparently now a problem with MySQL on our server host the Code Jockeys are working to fix, and hopefully they will succeed.
Doomer Support took a backup copy of the Diner yesterday, so hopefully the material will all be retrieved at some future date on some server.
However, I have always known this is all time limited, and really about nobody goes back and looks at archives in a Blog anyhow. What you write on a Blog only lasts a few days to a month before nobody ever reads it again.
So if it all is gone for good, so be it. Some people read the stuff when it was fresh and first came off my keyboard. That is good enough.
In terms of keeping the Doomstead Diner going, I will give it a week or so, and if the Code Jockeys at ASO and Doomer Support cannot resurect the Diner, then I will simply start over, first here and then with a Blogspot or free WP Blog, and point the DoomsteadDiner.net and DoomsteadDiner.com that way.
I'm not going to quit writing about collapse on the net until I croak. I'm not going to quit ranting either, and at least last I checked Diner Soundcoud was still running. If/When it collapses, I'll find other free cloud storage for mp3s and drop them on there.
Today's project will be setting up a new Doomstead Diner Beta Blog on Blogspot or WordPress. I won't switch the URL pointer to that for at least a week or so. I think Doomer Support and the Code Jockeys at ASO will get this fixed here, so I'm not going to prematurely jump the gun and flip the switch over on the URL yet.
No matter what occurs here, the Doomstead Diner has been a Great Adventure for me over these last few years, and I do know that what I wrote reached many people. That is good enough. The internet will not last forever, probably not more than another 20 years IMHO. About Nobody goes back to read the old stuff anyhow. What I wrote, what I thought does exist somewhere, and will for all eternity. It cannot be destroyed, it cannot be hacked.
Tomorrow is another day I will carry on here, and spend my day chatting with support to fix the Diner. I am not worried about this though one way or the other. I will keep writing and ranting no matter what until I Buy My Ticket to the Great BeyondTM.
As Philosophical and Stiff Upper Lip as I was trying to be with that post, I was really feeling quite devastated at the time. The Diner was supposed to be my LEGACY.
: something that is received from someone who has died
Although I am quite aware of the truth that few people will go back and read my old articles after I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM, it's my hope that at least a few will, and also that the Diner Community and the SUN Project will continue onward as well for a while longer too.
I also know that what is up on the internet is not going to be up for reading forever also. The Energy requirements to keep it running, the personal technology of laptops for everyone to be able to access it, and the poor economics of it eventually will take it offline. I'd give it maybe 20 more years of general accessibility, although the main servers and cached information may remain on Google servers longer than that, accessible to a few Illuminati. Even that though eventually will go down, maybe 50 years for that.
Not a real long time in the grand scheme of things, matched up against some text written on paper or papyrus, there's still some Legacy material floating around now that goes back around 4000 years for that stuff. The oldest known writing comes on the Dispilio Stone Tablet and dates back around 7000 years.
If you go to the area of Cave Wall Paintings as conveyors of Legacy Information, the oldest ones of those go back around 40,000 years
Cave paintings are paintings found on cave walls and ceilings, and especially those of prehistoric origin, which date back to some 40,000 years ago in both Asia and Europe. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known. Evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are also often located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, while other theories ascribe a religious or ceremonial purpose to them. The paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall.
The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old, at Maros on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, according to datings announced in 2014. Previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest figurative paintings in Europe date back to the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000 to 32,000 years ago, and are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, and in the Coliboaia Cave in Romania. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, the date given both to a disk in the El Castillo cave in Cantabria, Spain and a hand stencil in Sulawesi. There are similar later paintings in Africa, Australia and South America, continuing until recent times in some places, though there is a worldwide tendency for open air rock art to succeed paintings deep in caves.
The oldest known Sculpture is around the same age as the Cave Wall art, at around 40,000 years also.
So in comparison to the artists who who did those Paintings and Sculpture, even a 50 year Legacy is pretty small potatoes, if you can even manage that.
Small potatoes or not though, now that I got the Diner BACK, thanks to Tech Support at ASO and Doomer Support of the Database Cavalry From California TM, I'm on a Mission From God to make the Diner as resilient as I can, and try to make sure it stays up on the web until the Internet Goes Dark TM.
The first part of the plan I hatched with my good friend Doomer Support. He has already done two major Stick Saves of the Diner, we had another problem back in 2013 on my old server which he was able to fix, and that's when I moved over to join him at ASO.
Both of us upgraded our separate hosting packages to Virtual Private Servers, or VPS. We're both taking backups of the sites we host on each other's server, and creating an automated backup system between the two servers. So if any website on the server crashes, or even if the whole fucking server crashes, we still have working copies of up to date material dropped on the databases. This is pretty close to BULLETPROOF as far as backup is concerned.
However, in terms of making the material LAST for the full 50 years maybe possible here, this isn't the only problem you have. The other problem is MONEY.
This server space isn't all that expensive in the grand scheme of things (I spend more money on Beer in a month than on my Hosting package), but obviously once I am DEAD I won't be paying the bills on the server. So I did go ahead and pay up a full year in advance on the hosting Package, and 5 years in advance on the URL registration, but that still only gets 5 years if I cough up 4 more years advance payment, which now is getting into a significant sum of money. Still just 5 years though, not 50.
Now, assuming the Diner Community hangs together here, maybe they will continue to pay Diner Bills in order to keep it running, that would be GREAT!
Still unlikely they will keep paying the bills for the next 50 years though. 😦
The only chance to keep all the material up until the Internet Goes Dark TM is to get the Diner up onto FREE Internet Blog space on the WordPress website, where nobody has bills to pay on it.
In order to do this, I created the new DoomsteadDinerBeta blog. The actual address of Diner Beta is
To create this Beta version, I used a fresh version of WP without all the Plugins and Widgets myself and others have installed here on the main Diner. Such plugins can cause havoc with your database if you don't keep them all updated, along with updates to WP itself, so Beta gets nothing but the bare bones of a WP site, with a stock theme as well.
To transfer the database, I'm not doing a wholesale copy and trying to import it over there (not even sure you can do that, I don't see a utility for it on WP and I don't have access to their cPanel either), I am going article by article and just pasting over the HTML. I'm also not copying EVERY article on the Diner, just those written by Native Diners, not the Cross Posted articles from other Blogs. If those folks want to try to create a Legacy Blog, they can do that themselves. As it is, just copying Native Diner articles is a long and tedious process, I'm only about halfway through it now, up to July of 2013 or so after several days and numerous hours at this task, which is cutting into my writing and ranting time. 😦 However, it's important to me to have this backup copy up on the web, so I am slogging my way through it.
As far as the Diner Forum here is concerned, there is a whole lot more material in the SMF database than on the WP Blog database for the Blog, and the Diner Beta Forum works the same, but it doesn't have any of the data from this one in it, and I doubt it ever will. I also don't see any means of importing databases to Create-a-Forum, and copy/pasting all the posts here over there is out of the question. So the current Forum is likely to be lost when the main Diner goes down for good. The material MAY be cached on Google servers though, they have spiders crawling through the database all the time.
I have tons of other material up on the web I am going to try and move to free space over time, like all the Rants and Interviews currently up on Diner Soundcloud, which also has a yearly fee for the Pro Package. I will update on that when I get to it, but the priority right now is the main Diner Blog, which will probably take another week or two to get finished in transfer.
Diner TV is already up on Free You Tube space, so that needs no changes to stay up as long as Google does, which is until the Internet Goes Dark TM.
Beyond all that are the Yahoo Groups like Reverse Engineering I ran over the years. This material is on free space, the problem is these were all Restricted Groups for Members Only. So if you don't have a User ID & Password, you can't read the material in the database. You can't change the group setting to Public anymore either. I'm still trying to work out a reasonable automated means of capturing that material to make it public in Blog form. If I can't do that, I will make a User Name and Password anyone can use to go read there.
So, all in all, if I can finish the Diner Archiving Project TM before I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM, I should be about the most resilient Doomer on the net, with multiple backups and cyber-redundancy.
I WILL NOT LOSE THE DINER!
I will not live forever, but the Diner will LIVE until the INTERNET GOES DARK TM.
My LEGACY as an internet writer and forum moderator for a Quarter Century will not disappear the day I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM.
LONG LIVE THE DOOMSTEAD DINER