My Entire Web Existence Was rm -r'ed Last Night

I'm too tired to explain the entire chain of events, but the gist is that the shared box that hosted and was shut down, and someone with root access deleted all the files. There were no backups.

Over the next few days and weeks I'll be trying to piece together my sites from what I exported from Movable Type earlier this month, files that are on my hard drive, CDs, and web archive sites. For a little while, EVERYTHING will be broken—and sadly, some things will stay that way.

I'm trying to think of this as an opportunity; since every link on both of my sites is currently broken, I might as well re-construct what I can more logically and not worry so much about existing bookmarks. This blog, for example, now uses MT's new-style archive links, so if you have links or bookmarks to individual posts, you should update them. The Ice Hockey Escapades will move back to avocado8 (where it started), and all the entries that are currently in static HTML files—entries I wrote in Dreamweaver before I knew about blogging tools (before some even existed)—will be moved into a Movable Type database.

I'm not sure if about town (san francisco) can be re-constructed. Ditto the book and movie reviews. Many images from The Ice Hockey Escapades are gone forever.

I'm relieved to report that I was able to salvage all the avocado8 blog posts between January 9 and January 26 from Google's cache, though I lost some of the comments (I'm especially sad that I lost three of the four comments on the Leaky post).

In any case, if you're just here for the blog, you're all set. If you're looking for something else on the site, you're out of luck for the moment. (You may have noticed that the entire "Also By Me" section in the sidebar is gone. It'll be returning—hopefully—a little at a time) Please bear with me while I switch to a new hosting provider and try to rebuild what was a large part of my identity while also keeping my real life going. My sites aren't the only things that are devastated.

Posted by Lori in the rm -r debacle at 2:37 PM on February 1, 2005


It looks like has a decent stock of your site up to 1/2004. Hopefully you'll be able to recover something out of there.

I can't even imagine how I'd be reacting if this happened to me.

(Ratphooey's husband)

Posted by: Lionel at February 1, 2005 5:43 PM

Thanks for the support (and the tip!), Lionel. I managed to get some of my old hockey blog entries from there this morning. Google was a better source for the more recent avocado8 postings, but you're right that is perfect for the older stuff (namely, the stuff that's been around so long I took it for granted :-/).

You'll be happy to know that I've moved to an ISP that does nightly backups!

Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 10:36 PM

Call me clueless, but...what does "rm -r'ed" mean?????

Posted by: Josie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 7, 2005 5:08 PM

I believe it's a Unix command to delete everything on a hard drive, if you execute it while in the root directory of the hard drive. (rm = remove, -r = recursive). Basically, it's as bad as formatting your hard drive.

Posted by: Clay at February 7, 2005 5:25 PM

Yep, Clay's right. I was saying that my entire web existence had been erased. Btw, under Unix, "root" is the term used to describe the person or persons who have access to everything, not just their own files. It's similar to Administrator under Windows, but more powerful in a bwahahahaha kind of way. To "have root" is to be all-powerful. As my friend Valerie remarked when she found out that this goober erased everything on the server, "people that stupid shouldn't have root."


Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 8, 2005 11:26 AM

So I know I mentioned that I'd planned to move The Ice Hockey Escapades ( back to avocado8, and the older entries into Movable Type. I spent about a week working on the latter... and once it was done, it just didn't feel right. Something about the original posts being in regular, flat-file HTML made them special -- and appropriate to the time frame in which they were written -- so I put everything back the way it was. I also left the blog at because that seems appropriate *now*, when the posts are as much about Al's hockey experiences as they are about mine. We're a team now, so to speak. :)

In the process of moving the old entries to Movable Type, I commented out all the broken photos -- but when I moved back to the flat files, that work was lost. I'm sad that all the broken image icons you see represent photos that are probably gone forever, but at the moment it's more work than I have time for to take them out. Besides, some of the text references these photos, and it would be even harder to find and remove all those references, too.

Hopefully the mix of old HTML posts and new MT ones won't throw anyone (and it'll probably help those who've got links to the old HTML files). Just thought I'd let you all know what happened there...


Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 2, 2005 10:08 PM

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