Re: [CR] Wool Jersey

Example: Framebuilders:Rene Herse

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 16:34:05 -0700
From: Thomas Adams <>
To: <>, Morgan Fletcher <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Wool Jersey

Well list, $600 is quite generous, but still perhaps not enough to recognize the great service Morgan has done for the hobby.  I've just sent my 2 mites in.  If 36 people chip in $50, we can have wool jersey back, this time with good emergency backup.  Or 100 people chipping in $18.  200 people chipping in $9.  Whattya say, group, can we do it?  I know I've had much more than $50 worth of pleasure surfing about on Wool Jersey.  Last call, folks.   

Tom Adams
Manhattan, KS

--- On Mon, 7/20/09, Morgan Fletcher wrote:

From: Morgan Fletcher <> Subject: Re: [CR] Wool Jersey To: Date: Monday, July 20, 2009, 2:42 PM

I have good news, and I have not-so-good news. First some background; there's this site I've run for a while called It started around 2004. I had a server I was using for some other stuff, and I already had the Gallery software [1] installed for another web site, so I stuck my collection of bicycle-related photos up there.[2] I was obsessing about Masis and Pogliaghis at the time, and I'd collected lots of pictures, mostly from other people. I also like to take photos while riding and of bikes and so I had a collection of my own photos as well. I offered accounts to other people and some folks like Aldo Ross found it useful. [3] For fun, and to get the bike photos off the other site, I got the domain name "" set up Gallery there and transitioned the bike photos to the new site. [4] Amazingly, it was a useful resource, and people in this community really liked using it. Because so many of you are of like minds about which bikes and bike photos you like, wooljersey became something of a resource for classic lightweight bikes. It got big, and the maintenance and administration was a pain, and the software struggled to keep up with the visitors, user registrations and almost 50gb of pictures. I lost the paying customers that paid the monthly hosting bill, so I was paying commercial hosting rates ($125/month) for wooljersey and my personal stuff. I never made backups. The hard drive crashed about three weeks ago. I lost wooljersey along with some personal stuff (family photos, personal email, my blog, some genealogy stuff) and another set of files related to another hobby-community I'm part of. I did some research, figured out who was the best company to do the data recovery and sent the disk to Drivesavers. [5] I knew it might be expensive, depending on what they found and how they proceeded. I talked with my wife about it and we agreed to go forward.

Drivesavers worked on it for a long time. I got a status call about a week ago, telling me they had determined that the heads had actually hit the platters in the drive, that there was physical damage, that they'd have to disassemble the drive and work on it in a "clean room" and that the work of recovering the data would be slow. They said they'd need more time, maybe a week. I got an email to call them about my drive this past Friday, and I called them this morning.

The good news: They were able to recover 95% of the files, and the remaining 5% they could recover, but they lost the directory information for them. Meaning that if I can figure out where they go, I can get them back in a usable state. This is good news! I'm amazed. The machine was running linux, and it used a filesystem called ext3, [6] which uses some extra disk space to keep a "journal", so that the journal can help recover data if there's any filesystem corruption. I think that is part of what made this recovery possible.

More good news: Thanks to donations via paypal, I've received $600 from you all to help with the recovery. Thank you! That is amazing.

The not-so-good news: The recovery bill is $2471.29, which includes $129 for a new, external drive on which the data will be delivered. I have about $100 sitting in my "bike" bank account and $600 in paypal. I'm looking at $1800 from our family finances. This is a tough sell. I'm married, middle class, two kids, mortgage; you can relate I bet. My wife and I are going to talk about it tonight. If we decide to proceed I'll probably have wooljersey back up again soon. I have gotten some offers to help with hosting it, or to take over hosting of it, and I will definitely choose one of those paths. I'm done paying $125/month for hosting it at It would return to the community, and one or more of you would run it, and I'd help as needed. If we don't decide to proceed I'll return the donations and we'll all say RIP for wooljersey.

There is very little that was on wooljersey that was ultimately couldn't be recreated. Most of the photos were of bicycles owned by people here. They could be re-uploaded to a new wooljersey, or flickr, or some other photo site. I suppose some were unique. What was unique about wooljersey was the collection itself, and its organization and cohesion. It took years for all of you to not only photograph and upload 50GB of photos, but to categorize, describe and comment the photos. Some of the photos were ephemeral. Some bikes have changed hands. Some contributors are no longer alive. And then there is the great gift that Aldo Ross provided; the amazing catalog of images he uploaded. I'm sure you're all familiar with his photos, and "pic of the day". Aldo, of all of wooljersey's photos your albums are what I miss most.

So, I'll let you know how it goes. I've gotten a lot of email off-list about this, lots of advice, suggestions, etc. I had no plan for wooljersey, it just happened. I never thought it would get so big. I honestly tried to migrate some of my photos to flickr, where I have an account, but the tool [7] for transporting photos between the gallery software on wooljersey and flickr could not handle the giant database queries required for wooljersey and it failed. Assuming we go forward, the new maintainer of wooljersey will have to decide how best to proceed. The gallery software project is still full-steam-ahead at

This is embarrassing and paying piles of money for the recovery is foolish. I'm mainly doing this for selfish reasons; because of the family photos and my blog.

Morgan Fletcher Oakland, CA USA

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