9.18.2005

I'm stoopid


Funny thing about running KDE on Linux. There is a option for "move to trash" and one for "delete". Delete is permanant and I hate "recycle bins" so I always choose delete. In three years I have never deleted anything I didn't want to delete. Never.

As you may have noticed, I like playing around with satellite and aerial imagery. When hurricane Katrina hit, NOAA started taking aerial photographs of the affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. They took and released over 8,000 images in all, something like 8 gigabytes.

But one of the problems with NOAA's imagery is that it was released without being processed, north is not up and the distortions inherent with photographs taken from above are not ironed out. Worst of all, their interface and file structure totally sucks.

I finally sat down this morning to work on the problem of this imagery's crappy structure. I took a bunch of NOAA HTML image maps of the photographed areas, divided everything into it's own seperate directory, made child directories based on geographic locations, moved all relative images to these directories so you would only have to look through a couple dozen images to find the one you need instead of 1000. I added thumbnails, updated all the links in the HTML maps, and did about 400 other things that took forever and helped simplify working with this imagery by several orders of magnitude.

As I did all this, I was constantly writing short shell scripts to make lists and edit files accordingly, copy and edit HTML, move images and create links in the general maps, etc etc, so during the process I wrote all this down in a single shell script so that anyone who has the imagery and original NOAA legend on their harddrive can just run the script and it will do all this for them.

As I often do when writing scripts and changing things around, I did all this in a temporary directory with copies of the originals. All in all it took a little over four hours to finish, and boy was I glad to be done.

As soon as I was done and tested everything to make sure it worked, I went up one directory to where the original data was located and thought "Guess I don't need the temp folder anymore..." and, as soon as I right clicked and hit "delete", I realized all my work was still in there!

It was all gone instantly. On Windows this would not be a problem because when Windows deletes something, it really just hides it, changes the first letter of it's name, and tells the system that the space can be overwritten. It's still there 100% as long as the system doesn't need to use that exact space.

But I use the reiser journaling file system which is almost impossible to recover data from. I am currently trying to rebuild the directory tree, a method that is estimated to "possibly recover some data but it may be horribly corrupted." It's going to take a while on my 160 Gig hard drive though. There is, it says, about 18,000 seconds left to this process.

Update: Wow, it finished as I was writing this. Those estimates are never right. Unfortunately, it is not possible to recover a single file that I need. Oh sure, I can recover a lot of things that I deleted six months ago, but everything from this morning is corrupted.

Just swell.



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