Losing and getting back WordPress comments

This sleepy Saturday afternoon I logged into my blog, saw there were two comments awaiting approval, noted both were SPAM. So, I marked them that – and purged them permanently. There was a warning sign that I should have made note of, but did not until after the permanent deletion. Instead of two, 20 comments got deleted – meaning along with 2 SPAM ones, 18 meaningful ones got deleted as well.

BAM!!! I value each comment, as they sometimes add significant value to the content of the post. I was lost – what do I do?

First thought was to check my backup – I maintain a backup of my blog, however in this case the backup was more than 6 months old while these comments were less than a month old.

Not losing heart, I realised my hosting provider might have a backup. However, the provider is based out of US and had not opened yet. I left them a message. Reading the FAQ I thought I might have a chance if I can get in touch with them quickly. They only maintained a copy of the most current data, hence contacting them sooner might save the day. That was not to be: they started work two hours later and then got back to me saying that the backup was about 30 minutes old – which is after the comments were deleted. Not good. I was in despair now.

It was time to go to sleep now, and there was barely anything more that I could have done. Next morning I woke up still with a feeling of sadness, and then I had a brainwave. I get an email whenever someone posts a message to my blog. This email contains the message posted. I could check my email box, search for these messages and repost them myself!!!

A quick search on my Nokia N97 revealed I still had those emails. Paradise regained!!!


From Floppy to Flash drives

Its amazing to see how fast the cyber world is changing. In 1995, when I took up computer science as a subject, we used PCs (without a harddisk) and 5.25 inch floppies. There was only one PC-XT in our lab – those that came with a harddisk. There was no LAN, no battery backup. I saw those things for the first time when I joined college. There we used mostly XTs and ATs, with one 386 and we got a 486 later. Today we have flash drives and one who hasn’t used a floppy cannot realise what a boon flash is: reliable, high speed, high capacity. With floppies we had to keep the same material in two floppies at any given time since a single floppy was too risky: could fail any time. There would even be times when both would fail – leaving you without an option.

Without power backup, I got the habit of saving frequently. I still have this habit although we have reliable power backups now. It still happens rarely though – that we are not able to save – say because a remote connection stopped suddenly – and if it does happen, I am always smiling! The others are almost always crying.

The web has also changed a lot. When I built my website in around 2000 we didn’t have:

  • Social networking bookmarks (Digg, Reddit)
  • Pingbacks in blogging
  • YouTube (although, I still don’t use it that much) and video sharing
  • The use of XML was limited
  • RSS feeds
  • Podcasting
  • globally recognized avatars – especially MonsterIds

There have been a lot of interesting public supported projects:

Update 18th March 2009: It seems I left out AJAX – a framework that allows part of a web page to reload, without having to reload the entire page. Web programming isnt the same again after AJAX.


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