Currybetdotnet archives re-open for business (#3)
Over the last couple of days I have finished a project that has taken me a fair bit of time over the last few weeks, to re-publish all of the archives on currybetdotnet.
Why should you care?
Well, unless you had a pent up desire to comment on something I wrote back in 2004, to be honest, you probably won't
Why do I care?
Hmm, I know posts on a blog about the blog itself are dull - but indulge me for a moment.
Since I first posted on currybetdotnet in December 2002 (about Google giving unseasonal results for a search for Turkey) I've had three major server disasters. Rather like the Great Tea Trolly Disaster of '67 in Bristow, the repercussions were felt down the years, with me having to reconstruct bits of the site as static HTML from incomplete back-ups and Google's cache.
However, I've now, for the first time since March 2003, got every blog entry, every article page, and every comment all in one database. And all being published in one set of templates, using one stylesheet. It is the end of a huge maintanence overhead for me.
And probably the start of a new one.
For the first time people can leave comments on the writing that I used to siphon off as serious stand-alone 'articles' like "Putting a F__k Off Dalek on the BBC Homepage isn't big or clever" and "The software used to access the BBC homepage".
It also means that comments are re-opened on every blog post since 2002, which on the whole I'm happy with. However, I'm also somewhat dreading to see whether, in the words of bongfish, a tide of pre-pubescent fuckwits start jabbering to each other like monkeys on my posts about MSN, Two Pints of Lager and David Blaine again. And I've probably re-opened the "I hate Macs" flame war.
That, of course, depends on whether I've set up the 301 re-directs correctly so that I don't lose all my magic Google JuJu. This is my first attempt at setting up a serious wedge of mod_rewrite rules - but if I've done it correctly I think that if you try and access currybetdotnet pages with URLs of the 2003, 2005 or 2007 vintage, you should still end up at the right place.
As well as the original articles, I've also re-published the comments that went with them, thanks to a Movable Type plug-in called 'AddComment'. This made the process a lot simpler, as it allows comments to be added to posts directly from the Movable Type back-end. It also allows you to manipulate the date and time the comment was left, which was important given that I was restoring comments originally left between 2003 and 2005.
I've been able to make a more complete restoration of the 'lost' content than before. The last time I did this sort of thing, I obviously wasn't so puffed up with self-importance, as it didn't occur to me to check to see whether The Wayback Machine had snapped any currybetdotnet for their Internet Archive. This time around, I had no such humility, and so managed to find quite a few posts from between October 2004 and April 2005 which only still existed on there.
I realise this doesn't have quite the same cultural heritage as turning up a lost William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton episode, but I'm quite pleased.
And for the record - here are some my favourite posts from the first three years of currybetdotnet:
- I am an expert on combat-trained sea mammals
- Google and Weapons of Mass Destruction
- The English media's A-Level summer ritual
- David Blaine and the history of deliberate starvation in Britain
- MSN will protect your children
- ER vs EU
- The future of the BBC is mobile, according to 'the kids'
- "You might have to tape that for me"
- Congestion Charging one year on: "The sky did not fall on London's head"
- The beginner's computer handbook - understanding & programming the Micro
- DCMS Assessment of BBC Online's use of RealMedia and Search
- BBC News 50th anniversary - Political coverage
- The Making of Doctor Who Webcasts
- Rediscovering vinyl
- BBC Four a-z-o-tron
Presumably the next step, having got it all into one place and one look'n'feel, is to either completely redesign the site, upgrade to MT4 and bugger everything up, or issue some kind of self-destruct command to my server and lose everything again.
The future of the BBC is mobile, according to 'the kids' 404s. :(
Sorry, that should have read "The future of currybetdotnet, is 404s"
I'd like to see you make the leap to Wordpress (I haven't yet, but I will someday).
Also, why don't you just turn off new comments on old posts?
That makes me sound like your guinea pig!
I've mangled the <MTIfComments> bit of the templates, I think, but anyway, I'm happy to see how it goes for now.
I feel heartily reassured by this post from Robert Scoble. He's managed to lose two years of his blog as well - you see, it isn't just me who works in new media and can't master a personal back-up strategy :-)