Sunday, February 10, 2013

Data loss and other adventures

In my last blog post I looked at the decreasing frequency of my previous posts and extrapolated that my next posting would be when I'm 80 years old. I got that wrong however since it's only been a couple of months. If I do the same extrapolation trick again it will go in other direction and I'll need to start my next blog post later today. Furthermore if I extrapolate further, (and assuming I make a 'tick' sound when I click the submit button) the one's after that will sound like a geiger counter.

Anyway, what's been happening?

Well, the children survived the Christmas holiday. That's always a good thing. We were able to keep the kids alive over a contiguous 16 day period. My wife and I both work full time so it's reassuring to know that daycare isn't the only thing keeping them going. We have them on weekends and evenings but I always mused that perhaps they are strong enough to survive these periods. I think a 16 day period means however that we're capable of keeping two kids alive for 16 days straight.

Also over the Christmas holidays I migrated my personal web site ( from Yahoo to Amazon. I started a technical blog and I blogged about the process here. My site is basically a static site with integration with blogger (i.e this page). After the switch to AWS I'm paying about 10% of what I was paying before. I'll do some more technical blogging now that I've started it. I've got a bunch of things to yap about including programming, architecture and management.

Anyway, easily the most distressing thing that has happened recently was that I accidentally quick formatted my hard-drive. I have a 128GB flash stick formatted fat-32 which was (and still is) empty and 1.5TB drive which *had* everything on it. The sequence of events went something like this...
Me- Copy virtual machine to 128GB flash stick
PC- You can't because it's bigger than 4GB and fat-32doesn't like that
Me- OK, format drive NTFS
PC- You sure?
Me- Yup
PC- OK, done
Me- OK, copy virtual machine to 128GB flash stick. Find the virtual machine to copy again.
PC- Nothing here.
Me- Huh? Where did my VMs go. Actually, where did everything go? Is this E: drive?
Me- *Horrible sinking feeling*
Me- Did I just format the wrong drive? Right click 128GB flash drive (F: drive)
PC- I'm formatted fat-32
Me- *Really horrible sinking feeling*
Me- OMG, OMG, pacing around room
Me- Repeat check of both drives, OMG, OMG pace more
Me- What did I have on that drive?
Me- Oh no all my documents! My tax stuff!
Me- Oh no, all my virtual machines! All my programming!
Me- Oh no, my windows 98 VM with civilization 2 on it!
Me- Oh no a lot of my cool software
Me- On no, my game saves
Me- Oh no, a bunch of iPhone photos and videos of the kids
Me- Oh no, all my 'other data'

Anyway, It's been almost two weeks from the event and I'm the still in the process of recovering everything. I've used a couple of programs. One was good for general stuff and one was good for VMWare stuff. I have recovered most of my virtual machines. I can't seem to recover my windows 8 VM so I'll need to re-install Vista and upgrade it again (that was traumatic the first time). I can't seem to recover a vmdk file which has my 'other data' on it. It was split over a number of 2GB vmdk files and it recovered all but one of those files which seems to make all the others useless.

I seem to have everything else but I have to go through the arduous process of piecing back the directory structure and making sure the files are all OK. I needed to buy a separate 1.5TB drive to copy everything to. Never write to a drive that you're trying to recover from. It's effectively an empty read-only drive until I'm sure I've got everything back. So incredibly painful. I'll create a ritual for myself to perform before I format anything in future to make sure I don't do anything so incredibly dumb again.

I've been doing some programming in JavaFX lately. Ironically, I've been thinking of writing some back-up software. It's ironic because I had the idea well before I accidentally formatted my drive. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to give myself a little 'hurry up'. Only problem is I have to recover the source code first before I can continue it. I recently backed up most of my family photos and videos (basically everything except for what was on my E: drive) to Amazon S3. I used s3sync for that and I think I can do better on a UI front. It would be a client side application (running in the browser) and just hosted out of S3.

It's a shame that Oracle have basically screwed Java on the client side with their incessant security vulnerabilities. I had to update Java on 5 computers 3-4 times recently (i.e. 20x in total). Every single time I finished upgrading the set of 5 computers to the latest patch containing the latest security fixes another zero day security vulnerability would be found. It's a full time job. I need to write some puppet scripts to automate that stuff.

In more upbeat news, my boss and GM of Engineering is away on holidays for four weeks. I have the company credit card (from when I needed to organize some AWS work) so I decided to spice things up a bit. I bought 4x huge plasma TVs, 2x playstations, 2xXboxes, a bunch of games, a table tennis table, an eight ball table, some strippers, dancing poles and drugs and alcohol. Productivity has dropped somewhat but morale is sky high. The BRW "best place to work" surveyors came up to party for a bit *cough* I mean conduct their survey and they said our workplace made Google look like the Siberian salt mines. Anyway, if my boss is reading this I'M JOKING! Anyone else, I'M DEADLY SERIOUS!

On an unrelated note, here's a picture I photo-shopped of my daughter on the beach...

I did have some people ask 'is that real' so I guess if my software development work dries up I can always get a job doing propaganda for North Korea and/or China.

In other news, I got screwed by Webjet. I wanted to book a flight to Melbourne in order to go to my brother's wedding.

My wife said 'don't use Webjet, they will screw you'.

I laughed and said, 'don't be ridiculous'.

And then they screwed me. I used PayPal to buy the ticket and clicked 'OK' to pay and then Webjet's site goes 'server error'. I was about to put it through again when PayPal emailed me saying 'you've just paid for a flight from Webjet - here's your reference number'. But Webjet hadn't sent me anything nor confirmed anything. They just took the money. How is that possible that they don't have an atomic transaction around that? I had to wait on the phone for about an hour for them to concede they'd bill me and they needed to refund my money. Then it took another two weeks to get the money back. That seems like a good business model to me. They got bank interest on my money for two weeks. They should rename themselves to Dickjet I think.

I'm enjoying Sons of Anarchy at the moment. If you haven't seen it, it's quite a good TV show.

Between looking after kids, programming, blogging, recovering lost files, watching Sons of Anarchy and spending time with my wife, I've been playing the latest XCOM game. Here's the trailer. The graphics in the trailer are the same as the game (i.e. not a pre-rendered demo). It's a turn based strategy game and I'm really enjoying it.

Finally, I'm preparing for my son's fourth birthday party. Well, actually, my wife is doing all the preparation work. I'm just mentally preparing for it. Twenty 3-4 kids, all high on sugar, screaming and running around. I'll be taking some deep breaths before all of that I can tell you.


Anonymous Jeniffer said...

Ha ha ha what your wifesaid is absolutely right Kelcy

Tuesday, 13 May, 2014  

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