Saturday, 8 February 2014

Help Retrieving Dogster and Catster Memories

As many know, with Dogster shutting down, daddy came up with a way to save our files from that site. 

First the bad news: Folks on the Dogster forums groups discovered that the archives would not work when they had no Internet connection. That implied that the download would stop working once Dogster shut down.

THE GOOD NEWS: Dad has updated his blog with new scan rules. The new scan rules mean the gift archive now works. Thumbnails in photo comments now work. Badges can be retrieved. And much more. We would like to thank the many Dogster and Catster members that have verified these new scan rules work. This has been a very steep learning curve for all and it could not have been done without the help of these Dogster and Catster members. Our memories of Dogster are very important to us and we hope these new scan rules will help others preserve their memories.


For Our Dogster Friends 
http://madscientistlabs.blogspot.ca/2014/01/for-our-dogster-friends.html

 Please share the link to the blog so that others can retrieve their Dogster and Catster memories.

18 comments:

  1. Your daddy is a genius and a hero, Buddy! Mommy wants me to ask, will his formula work on a Mac? And if so, can it save comments on rosies and gifts without opening up each one? We've already saved all our diaries and photos. Mommy was just gonna let the gift archive go...

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    1. Hershey, if your mom is using parallels and it worked for her saving the diaries and the photos, it should work for her getting the gifts. With this method, you can see the gift history, but you cannot open them up to see the comment attached. That is one limitation that we do not have a solution for.

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    2. No, we got our diaries saved befure your daddy worked his magic. We thought we saw in his furst post tat it was only fur PCs anywag. On a Mac it's easy to copy pages as pdf's, and mommy copied our diaries with all their comments as text documents. We've even copied some of our pals' pages and diaries. So I think we're done. We just didn't want to miss a chance to get gift comments if it was even a little bit practical. We'll just let the gifts go. :(

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  2. Thanks! We have a mac, and we also have windows on it as a virtual machine, Parallels. After you get it all done there, you have to transfer the file you made to the mac so you can 'back it up'.
    Then you could transfer it to a flash drive or whatever to preserve it forever.
    What we did find was the the 'fix'from Feb 5th let us view them when we shut off the internet, but only on Parallels, we couldn't open them in the mac side.

    So we have also saved all the new 'urls' in a separate spot, then they can work on our windows machine, but the saved copy for back up is still in the mac...OMD Growlmy says her head is in spin mode.

    Buddy, can you ask your daddy if the new scan rules take longer to do the mirroring work than the old scan rules. It took over an hour to copy Freckles Specials page which is not the biggest set of pages we have, Yikes! The old ones seemed to do the smaller sets in about 10 to 20 minutes.

    Hershey, could you use some kind of a 'snipping tool' (We use evernote, it works nicely) to save the gift comments, or C/P
    them into a word document...you might not save the images, but the messages would be there.

    Thanks so much for this help! It is wonderfur indeed!

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    1. Yes, Freckles it takes much longer now to copy the pages. Both Angel Abby and mine were close to 2 hours to copy. Please check them over once you get them off. Yesterday Dogster was very slow probably because the whole site was being backed up to the Wayback Machine Archive. That is way cool. We heard about that from a tweet by Ted Reingold the founder of Dogster. Anywhoodle, mom was missing a page off of a couple she copied, so she will be redoing them today.

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    2. I don't think I missed any pages on the one profile I did copy, but some of the comments are coming up as a lot of 'gobbledygook' text jargon from the mirroring process I think.
      The one I did from the 'fix' of Feb 5th is fine. Hmmm
      That Freckles Specials profile doesn't have a diary...and while it was in the process of being mirrored, the info said there were 18 errors? This Feb 8 fix did bring up the orange background that the other two mirrors did not.

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    3. In the profile I just did it says there are 22 errors, yet everything appears to be there. You could always just do an update to try and fix the gobbledygood text jargon. A lot of pups and cats have been successful with that. I don't have the instructions in front of me, but I know they are in the Dogster and Catster all paws bulletin group in the Help Retrieving etc thread.

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    4. Freckles we are having so many problems getting into the forums today that I could find the instructions for you right now. I will keep trying.

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    5. We did mirror of Groucho's page, and the same thing is happening there, in some of the comments, everything else seems good. We will try the update and see if that helps.

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    6. Aw, Freckles, we have hundreds and hundreds of gifts after almost seven years. It's just too much to think about opening each one to copy-and-paste. Or even to search out the really important ones. :(

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    7. I know Hershey...I have a lot too...it seems fitting though that at least we can hover over the images of the various gifts and know from whom they came.

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  3. Today I did some updates of all the profiles except MJF & WBS because they are huge...sigh... and so far so good, after I made each one I turned off the internet and they came up perfectly as far as I could tell, comments, pics and all.
    Pipo took hours & hours, because he has a large diary...don't even want to think of what time frame I am looking at with the two still having to be done. Yikes, BOL!

    I think maybe the errors are the links to the gifts and things that we can't access off line? Because the pages with fewer gifts or comments have way less errors...just a thought.

    When I do updates, I just leave the scan rules there(except the photobucket one) and add the new ones at the end...works fine!
    Now I have to get pawppy to transfer the files over to the mac side of our confuser...don't want to loose things in the virtual machine. Unfurbro lost a big school project that way once, OMD!

    THANK YOU!

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    1. Freckles, daddy posted this in the Help Retrieving files thread in all Dogs and Cats Bulletin on Dogster. He was using Abby's account:

      Abby's Dad here.

      I think I have found a way to speed up HTTrack (way up). It appears that it throttles the download speed without telling you. There is a spot in the user interface that lets you set the maximum speed, but that does nothing unless you know a trick.

      Here is a shortcut to getting the speedup. Try putting the following in your Scan Rules (no quotes): "--disable-security-limits" "--max-rate 1500000" "--assume php=text/html"

      The first one is the secret to taking the brakes off. The second one is the maximum rate in bits per second. We have a two megabit download rate at our house, so I've set the maximum to three quarters of that, or 1.5 megabits per second. If you set this number too big, it just means it will hog your entire network connection. A rough rule of thumb might be that if you are getting internet through your phone company, try 1500000 as we have. If to the cable company, they are usually faster so try 5000000 (five million).

      The "assume" bit is recommended in the HTTrack manual to speed up how it parses the files if you can make certain assumptions, and this assumption seems to work great.

      Now it is only taking minutes to download smaller pages. The difference is night and day. Give it a shot.

      Maybe this will work for you. It certainly speeded things up for us.

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    2. OMD!

      I used these new 'rules' and ran a trial mirror of both MJF and WBS pages, by far my largest profiles...and they finished in rather lightening speed, and when I took them off line they also were all there.
      Pawrfecto!
      Yippee!

      THANK YOU!

      Now all I will do as updates just before the closing to retrieve any new stuff since last night....

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    3. Awesome, Freckles! Have you heard the latest news from Dogster HQ though!? I will share it in a new blog!!

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    4. Yup, sure have...but, I am still going to keep mirroring back ups...easy and pawsome!

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