We may not be able to recover the data from the database backups, but since we have had Google Analytics installed from day one, Google has caches of some of the blogs. It may even have caches of all of them. Users can visit the tool provided by it exchange and input their URL to see the last date Google cached their site. If a cache date is returned then the user can go to Google and do a search for their site. Clicking on the Cached link will take the user to a cached version of their page from which they can copy their posts or which they can save using the Save Page As… option in Firefox. For example there is a cache of The Gothic Imagination which contains all of the posts from Aug 24 through Oct. 26. Users should feel free to contact a member of the Instructional Technology Department if they need help in recovering their posts from a Google cache. We are not sure how long the cached pages will remain. We are trying to save any class blogs we find and will help the faculty member with reentering the posts.
Some of you may have noticed that your site is missing posts. Others of you may notice that your blog is completely gone. Both are the result of a very unfortunate accident that occurred when the Systems Group tried to restore the Voices site to its state at 6 AM this morning.
As you know we were upgrading the software this morning. This afternoon it was discovered by Dr. Hayward that some users could not post to their blogs and we began investigating the issue. In the process it was decided that a reversion might be necessary. When the Systems Group restored the database containing all the user and post information, they discovered it was corrupt. As they looked for a clean backup they discovered that all backups after Sept. 10 were corrupt and so the earliest version they could restore to is Sept 10.
We are aware that roughly 40 users and hence 40 blogs were lost in this incident. Unfortunately it looks like there is no way to recover the lost users and blogs. It also means that all posts written between Sept. 10 and this morning are gone. We know that this means that several class assignments that were written as blog entries are also gone. We will continue to work with the Systems Group to try to recover as much data as possible, but be aware that it is not likely any more data will be recovered.
In the coming days we will be working with the Systems Group to develop procedures to ensure that such an accident does not occur in the future. Once these procedures have been determined we will post them to this site for the community’s benefit.
We have finally figured out what was causing uploaded avatars to not display. It turns out that some code (rewrite rules for the technically inclined) were not entered into the correct file on the server. Now that these rules have been added, it appears that people’s custom avatars and blog avatars are being displayed. I noticed an issue when trying to upload a PNG with a transparent background, but I am not sure if my PNG file was corrupt or if there is an issue with the image manipulation software on the server.
Also, three new plugins were added today. We added FlickrPress, Lightbox 2, and Lightbox Plus. FlickrPress allows you to include your Flickr photos in the sidebar (or other widget area) of your blog. Lightbox 2 allows your photos to be displayed as an overlay for the current page. Lightbox Plus adds some overlay gallery and slideshow capabilities for displaying your images. If you encounter any difficulties please let us know.
As you can tell, this landing page is still under construction. We’re trying to get the right mix of information being displayed to make the community more vibrant and inviting. In the mean time please feel free to create a blog or explore the blogs of other members.