Monday, December 07, 2009

Lacuna in the blog--or in my brain

After a friend of mine recently had trouble with a blog server, I decided that I should make myself a local backup copy of all the stuff I've posted here. I don't know that I'll ever need to do anything with it, but it represents a whole lot of time and effort, and I'd hate for it to go away because some dodo far away, out of my control, pressed the wrong button one day. Or, y'know, some exec at Google decides that the whole blogspot thing is a drag on the company's bottom line and pulls the plug on it.

So I'm going through the archives, saving each week's worth of posts as a separate HTML document on my external hard drive, when suddenly the archive jumps from 12/17/06 to 4/1/07, with nothing in between. I think it's maybe a browser problem, so I try a different browser, same result. Hmmm.

I wonder if it's a systemic problem with blogspot, so check some other people's blogs, and their archives are intact for those dates.

I check my "edit posts" page, where I should be able to get to every post in reverse chronological order, scroll back through, and the same gap emerges--no posts.

I try a Google search for "poker," searching only this domain name, get a bunch of hits. But then when I further constrain the search to that stretch of dates, nothing. It's obviously not a very complete search anyway, because using other three-month intervals finds only a handful of posts, but at least it finds something for other dates.

I try, the so-called "Wayback Machine" of the Internet. It doesn't acknowledge that even exists via the standard search page, though through a sort of backdoor approach I can locate about 50 posts, none of them in the time frame of interest, however. (Other blogs on blogspot seem to be similarly spotty.)

So the posts seem to have just vanished completely.

But here's the weirdest part: They may have never existed. It's possible that I stopped writing for a while, even though I currently have no memory of such a long gap in my blogging.

My best evidence for that possibility is this: I find the post I called #200--the first time I noted some sort of numerical milestone--on November 17, 2007. When I count backwards in time through the posts listed in my "edit posts" list, that really is the 200th one listed. So maybe I really did stop blogging for three months, and have subsequently blotted it out of memory. I hate to admit that possibility, but it's pretty hard to argue with a list of posts that exactly matches the number I claimed so soon afterward. But it's strange that I don't remember such a long pause, and it doesn't appear that I commented on it upon resuming writing, if that's what actually happened.

Questions: For those of you who have been with me from the beginning, do you remember me going silent for three months or so? For those of you with more technical chops than I have, can you suggest other ways of discovering what, if anything, might be missing? I'm leaning toward thinking that all that's missing is a chunk of my memory, but it would be nice to be more certain of that.


qdpsteve said...

Not sure if it helps Rakewell, but here's a blog I enjoy, by some friends of mine, that's been on blogspot for quite a while. Please note, their posts from your 'missing' timeframe of Dec06-Apr07 appear present and accounted for:

My recommendation: write the Scotts (tell 'em qdpsteve sent ya) and ask if they've noticed a similar gap in their archives. My hunch is that they'll be helpful.

nick said...

There has to be a way to backup your posts other than manually saving them all in html files.

nick said...

Just looked it up: If you go in Settings->Basic you should be able to "Export your Blog" into a single file that will allow you to restore it on blogspot or other blogging system should you decide to upgrade.

Anonymous said...

Now, resume wearing the tin foil hat.

Rakewell said...

Thanks, Nick. That should be helpful, but when I try it, it creates a 0 Kb XML document, and when I try to open it, get error message: "XML document must have a top level element. Error processing resource 'file:///G:/blog-12-08-2009.xml'."

Why can't anything ever be easy?

Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Wasn't that right about the time you wrote that Ambien post? :)

Actually I didn't pick up the Poker Grump until after the period in question, so I dunno. My posts from that period are all there. I also was able to do the Export, np (thanks nick).

gr7070 said...

I've been reading since well before post #100.

You have definitely gone extended periods without posting. I can't recall if any have been three months long.

Typically the absences appear to coincide with losing sstreaks. How's your cash flow during this three month absence?

If I'm reading correctly , though, it sounds like you have 200 posts accounted for so it doesn't appear any actual content is missing, as well.

Maybe there's jsut an issues with the dates somehow???

BTW, if you haven't seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you need to.

James Antill said...

Not sure how much it helps, but google reader has history back to May 10th 2007.