DM of the Rings Images

  By Shamus   May 12, 2014   35 comments

So back when my webcomic was all the rage, my little website here wasn’t really able to handle the load. I was using a small plan on a small webhost and the traffic was crushing me. A friend-of-an-internet-friend offered me some space on their sever. I took it, put the webcomic on it, and everything was awesome.

It’s been eight years. Apparently everyone forgot about this little arrangement. Last week someone finally took the hosted images down and my webcomic vanished. Of course, I can handle the traffic now. It’s no problem. But…

I don’t have the images.

I’ve looked around, and I can’t find the DVD backup. It might be hidden someplace obscure in the attic after the move last year. I don’t know. I probably have the source images on a DVD somewhere in the attic. But even if I found it, those would be the raw images with random names. It would take hours to re-size them all and sort out all the file names.

SO.

Before I tear the house apart and begin a massive project like that, I’m wondering if anyone out there has a backup of the images. Yes, I realize how absurd it is to be asking THE INTERNET for my own webcomic. But that seems to be the most expedient way to get the thing back. Ideally, I’d love it if someone could just put all the files in a zip where I could download them. Hopefully still with their original filenames.

Anyone?

EDIT: Nevermind. Looks like I found them. Can’t find my 2007 backups, but I found my 2008 backup, which had the goods. It’ll take me a little time to get all of these pulled from DVD, uploaded, and then update every. dang. post. But I’ll get it done. DMotR should return soon.

EDIT II – Son of Edit: Okay. I half-assed it and modified the script I use for embedding images. Instead of altering all 144 posts, I just had it strip out references to the old host. Images are uploaded and everything should be working again.

EDIT III – Revenge of Edit: Also, I restored the category browser (look in the sidebar to the right) which I managed to delete last time I messed with the site. So you can now browse by category again. Also, this is a great reminder that it’s been ages since I did a detailed backup. I rely on source control and google drive for small stuff, but the really bulky stuff hasn’t been backed up in years.

EDIT IV – Edit Harder: Man, these archive DVDs are a goldmine. Photos I forgot about. Pictures of dice I no longer own. Maybe I’ll freshen up some of the dice images around here.

201535 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.


  1. Willbur says:

    Did you try archive.org and its Wayback Machine? It’s a long-shot, but they sometimes *do* archive images, I’ve found.

  2. Phil says:

    Edit: Beaten to it by others!

  3. Tim Keating says:

    You could probably write a script in a couple of hours that would harvest the pages from the wayback machine and stick them back into wordpress for you.

  4. evileeyore says:

    “EDIT III: Revenge of Edit: Also, I restored the category browser (look in the sidebar to the right) which I managed to delete last time I messed with the site. So you can now browse by category again.”

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

  5. Dev Null says:

    Most of the comics appear to be back (yay!) but some of the extras links, like this one:

    http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1331

    still appear to be broken. Possibly they were hosted elsewhere?

  6. The Rocketeer says:

    Oh God, way to panic me for a second there! Every once in a long while, I like to go back and binge on my favorite webcomics, DMotR very much included. That and the comic is a treasure. I might be able to finish off Outlast with an even pulse, but coming home to see “I just accidentally the webcomic (lolj/k)” was unkind to my heart.

  7. The Specktre says:

    Oh dang, I wasn’t expecting this little post here. Thanks for stopping to notice, and for fixing the comic, Shamus (glad you found your backup too)! :D

  8. Decius says:

    “Pictures of dice I no longer own.”

    What manner of insanity is that? What could ever cause a die to cease being owned by you?

    • Shamus says:

      The persons I permanently borrowed them from permanently borrowed them back.

      The NERVE!

      • ehlijen says:

        Strange definition of ‘to own’ but fair enough.

        I find my dice numbers are in a constant flux as well (usual range is +/- 2). Last time I checked I found 14 of a type of dice that I know for a fact I only ever bought 12 of and that no one I know would ever even consider buying. Where are they from?!? Is this some dice dimension portal?

  9. DrMcCoy says:

    Heh, if you didn’t find it, I would have been able to help. I compulsively save all webcomics I read (and batch-download the whole archive). :)

    • NoneCallMeTim says:

      Do you have a tool for that?

      There are a couple of webcomics that I read and would like to download in batch.

      • DrMcCoy says:

        Not really. I just use bash and wget.

        If I can find a pattern to the images, I’ll create a loop and wget them directly. If there’s an archive page, I’ll use a loop to download the HTML pages, grep for the comic pages and then grep those for the images. If the images are only connected using “next” links, there’s a small script I wrote ages ago I adapt for that comic. It’s all very manual. :)

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Hah, you wouldn’t have happened to ever read The Parking Lot is Full it was a comic I followed religiously in my formative interneting years. I went to look back at the archived version of the webcomic … only to discover whole swaths of the comics deleted from the ‘archive’ for questionable content.

      Very annoying. Seems all copies have vanished down the internet memory-hole.

  10. Peter H. Coffin says:

    I’m glad they’re recovered. The comic is what got me reading your stuff, after it was recommended on a certain Monastic Newsgroup way back in the day. It’s still probably dragging people in…

  11. Chris says:

    I have a full wget backup of your site from April 2010, but unfortunately it has none of the DM of the Rings comics. I think it’s because they were hosted on another server.

  12. drlemaster says:

    Glad to hear I don’t have to sift through my old computer for my copy. A few years ago I downloaded all the image to put on a thumb drive for my brother, so that folder is likely somewhere on my old computer.

  13. Bryan says:

    First two things I thought of…

    > Yes, I realize how absurd it is to be asking THE INTERNET for my own webcomic.

    You’re in good company:

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/574706-only-wimps-use-tape-backup-real-men-just-upload-their

    > Man, these archive DVDs are a goldmine. Photos I forgot about. Pictures of dice I no longer own. Maybe I’ll freshen up some of the dice images around here.

    http://xkcd.com/1360/

  14. Mephane says:

    Yay category navigation, I have really been missing this feature. :D

  15. kdansky says:

    As I suggested before, spend a bit of money on a Synology NAS with two disks, and have the backups of the whole family automated. A manual backup is not a real backup.

  16. Mersadeon says:

    Heh, this is great news. I just started re-reading it a little while ago. Still holds up.

  17. Phantos says:

    This happened to me with my first webcomic. But I didn’t back it up.

    On the plus side, it was one of the worst gamer webcomics of all time, so I’m not too crestfallen that it’s lost to the ages. But the part of me that feels history should be preserved(even the bad parts) does feel slightly mournful.

    Glad to see DM of the Rings has not been lost to us.

  18. Neko says:

    As someone who recently had a hard drive fail and then did something stupid and then remembered he’d made a backup only to find that the backup drive was also having problems, I just want to give a PSA to everyone in this thread: Backups! And backups of the backups. And test the backups. We’re cramming terabytes of data into tiny regions of magnetic platters these days and it’s terrifying how easy it is for things to go wrong.

    Not that it matters now, but I’m also pretty sure I could have dredged up my wget backup of your comic; I don’t bother doing stuff like that these days but back when I was on dial-up I’d grab sites via the university internet for easier reading =) Still, it’s not like I have them at my fingertips; Bryan has already linked the relevant xkcd – I’d have to go through several layers of files to reach them!

  19. TrishEM says:

    Even when I read far enough to see you had the webcomics back, I was worried for a minute that when I checked the site, your wonderful creations would no longer be accompanied by all the wonderful comment threads. Of course I love DMotR, but I also love all the memories and jokes and everything shared by the commenters, too; they make it an even more rich and memorable experience.

  20. Solf says:

    On the subject of backups:
    http://www.crashplan.com — they are pretty damn awesome imo

    and to make sure your eggs are not in one basket:
    http://www.backblaze.com — less awesome than crashplan, but still great

    For a grand total of about $10 per month you get two off-site backup locations with unlimited storage.

  21. Dragonchaser2 says:

    I liked this Whole comic series.

  22. D Matthews says:

    I’m very glad you found them . And as absurd as it is to ask the internet for help , I think you would have found it with the fans you’ve made.
    I was here because I was hoping to read them again , and share with a few friends.

    great cautionary tale for backing up work that matters.

  23. Rob harland says:

    Looking forward to your doing The Hobbit when the DVDs for all 3 finally come out. The first two films were OK to good, but not as good as Lord of the Rings — The Hobbit’s story has been spread too thinly, and changed too much. Do a webcomic and you’ll probably have something more fun than the movies!

  24. M. Peereboom says:

    It’d be great if you could tackle the Hobbit next. It’s one of my favorite books and follows the “adventurer” theme more closely, plus, there’s more loot at the end. Think of it as the DM having learned from his mistakes and enticing the original players back. Then having them groan as soon as Gandalf appears and starts monologging. :)

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