Monday, November 15, 2004

Over the last several moves, a few hard drives have followed thanklessly in the bottom of miscellaneous-computer-part crates. Most notable among these is a SCSI drive: the collected works of (later, my personal server in college and a machine of minor infamy. As an important part of my data-past, I've thought periodically of that drive, and occasionally even installed it to explore the contents. I never, however, bothered to back up the data on it. This weekend, I became determined to finally do so.

The first obstacle was its SCSI-ness. Not one of my personal machines has SCSI any more. I dug through the aforementioned crates and found a very dusty ISA SCSI card. After much wrangling, including dozens of reboots of a half-working headless server and an actual interrupt conflict (remember those?), the drive mounted happily. Despite my years of neglect, the drive offered up its wares intact, with no complaint.

That semi-precious data now resides on several forms of modern media, and so the old drive is no longer needed. I feel like I should bury it in a tender ceremony or something.

Meanwhile, I now have easy access to everybody's trout home directories. If you were one of the lucky forty-or-so with accounts, contact me and I'll send a tarball your way.

Also among the data is trout's web site, last updated Nov 14, 1995--nine years ago yesterday. For nostalgia's sake, I have a copy of that site up here. Nearly all off-site links are now dead--how's that for permanence of the web? I've also crippled all the cgi-bin script links, since they no longer work.

I also found a prototype version of the site that I apparently never deployed. It's cute but unfinished and almost entirely devoid of content. The PerkWare page does have a cute motto, though.

Both sites make mention of "The UnfortuNet", a pun that I was very happy with at the time. It appears that somebody else came up with a similar idea ( a year later, according to whois.

For me, the most important aspect of trout's data resurrection is the mail archives. The resurrection was actually part of my current obsession: collecting all of my old mail archives--from every account I've had since I started using email (1993 or so)--into a single IMAP account. Those archives were scattered across several machines and ancient hard drives, and Trout's hard drive formed the last piece of the puzzle. My IMAP account is now huge.

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