r. j. gordon

A Note on The State of This Blog - Database Loss

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I wrote dozens of blog posts in high school. They covered my weekly activities, my thoughts and goals, my tinkering and tribulations. Those posts are gone now.

This site has always been somewhat ephemeral. It has moved between servers, undergone multiple rewrites, had its database lost and restored, and had its contents wiped and renewed.

I look back at this now, 23, and it saddens me. I wish I had taken the time when I was younger to treat this site with more respect. I would like to go back and place myself in the shoes of that younger, awe-inspired, and naive version of me. But I can't.

I never implemented a proper backup system for the database that holds my blog posts. I always had a copy of the code for the site itself, but the database has always sat in forlorn isolation, the sole instance of itself in existence. So when my student plan on Digital Ocean or Azure inevitably ran out of credits, or my home server's hard drive eventually crashed, the database, and the memories it contained, would be lost.

When this would happen, I would scrape the cached pages of Google or the vault of the Wayback machine and restore what I could. I'd cobble together a new, temporary hosting solution, and slap the blog posts back in manually. Each time, losing a bit of what I had written in the process.

Only four posts remain from my time in high school, and one from shortly after I graduated. The ones that were luckily enough to be stored in the internet's archive. Everything after "Life After High School" is more recent essays or articles I've written, roughly dated to when I would have originally wrote them.

I feel it's appropriate to include this little footnote in the blog's archive, because today I find myself re-instantiating this blog for umpteenth time. This is the last time I will do this. This blog might very well never be read by anyone but myself, but nonetheless, it is my little timeline of personal history. I will put measures in place to ensure it is not lost again.

Tags: high school, reflection, blog, database