It was a (mostly) bad weekend

Last week I received a notification from the web hosting company that hosts the AGO web site (which I manage) that the software that I used has a significant security vulnerability. I knew that I was three or four versions behind in upgrading, so I decided that last weekend I would do the necessary upgrades.

Having some knowledge of technology (although I am more an interested amateur than a true geek), I dutifully made (I thought) a backup of the MySQL database that stored the data, as well as a backup of all of the program files.

I then proceeded to upgrade the software, version by version to the next. The first three went just fine, no problems, everything worked great. It was at that point that I only needed to go, because that was the version at which the security issue was resolved in the software. But I decided that I was on a roll and that I would just go ahead and upgrade to the latest stable release. That turned out to be a bad decision, because the whole thing bombed and I lost the whole site.

So…. that’s what backups are for. But when I tried to restore the data from the backup, it turned out to be corrupt as well, so I was really screwed. I ended up having to start over from scratch, and totally rebuild the web site.

I try to take an optimistic view of things, and in this case, starting over from scratch allowed me to change software (from XOOPS to MAMBO, another open source content management system), and to plan more carefully how the site is structured in relation to security and allowing users to do things. In the end, it is a better site. I would never have otherwise spent the effort to do it.

I worked all afternoon Saturday, all afternoon and evening on Sunday and Monday evening to get pretty much everything back. Now I can relax a bit.

All this “badness” was redeemed yesterday evening when I went for my monthly Weight Watchers weigh-in, and I had lost 1.8 pounds since last month. So I’m doing a good job, and I don’t need to be quite so fussy next week when George and I go to the Iowa State Fair.