Archive for the 'History' Category

Story in photos


The story in photos, including recovery.

We’re back!

The site is back up with the comments and posts restored.  Still working on design and other features.

Please go to http://www.friendsofgeraldine.org

We’re back!

For the past week, a friend has been helping us work with the backup database for FoG.  Now we have it all back and hosted on a different server. We really just wanted to make sure that we could get to all of the posts and comments as soon as possible.

MANY thanks to my friend Tom Wilk. He doesn’t know Geraldine very well, but when he heard what happened, he jumped in the thick of things to get the database restored.

As you can see, the pictures are gone and the formatting looks a bit funky in places, but we do have all of the raw data back.  With some cleanup and design elements back in place, we’ll be good to go in no time.

Rebuilding the site

This post was from the temporary blog at http://friendsofgeraldine. wordpress.com

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Hello, friends.

I want to bring you up to speed on what has happened to the site FriendsofGeraldine.org and let you know what our plan is moving forward.

First let me say that the amount of questions and comments that I’ve received have really surprised me.  I knew that a large group of people supported Geraldine, but I had no idea how many people would notice any changes to the site so quickly.  Thanks for your support of this website.

Now to address some commonly asked questions:

What happened to the site? We host the site on a friend’s server.  His account was hacked into and they deleted everything, including this site and his entire portfolio (he’s a full time freelance web developer – http://www.littlerobothead.com)

Who did this? That is unclear at this time.  It could have been a random attack.  However, the night that it was destroyed I received a couple of anonymous, harassing emails from someone using a gmail account called shouldbemorecareful@gmail.com. They deleted the account that night, however, rarely are email addresses or the computers that use them untraceable. And they unknowingly left one detail in the source code of their email that clearly identified them. I won’t be going into details, but I will share this with the authorities as they investigate this case.   Still, the attack may be unrelated and completely random.  We’ll leave that to law enforcement to figure out.

Did you backup the site? Not entirely.  Three of us worked to build this site, and each of us have different pieces in our hands.  That is just to rebuild the framework and design of the site, including features such as donation and donation tracker widgets.  As I believe I posted in an early entry for FriendsofGeraldine.org, we had plans to release the entire template as a free, open-source package for other folks to be able to create their sites for non-profit fund-raising. As Geraldine’s transplants approached, we all became more focused on helping her through that.  We had plans to work on the template later this year.  As for the posts, those were written on the server only.  There’s a database that allows you to save all of your posts and comments and links and any other pieces of information from any browser, computer, or location – with multiple contributors.  This is what makes blogs so effective for telling a story.  I’ve been told by the hosting company that I can purchase a backup copy of the database from them to restore all of this.  I’m working to get this all back online ASAP.  I will keep you posted.  We may not have lost anything! 🙂

Have you tracked down the person responsible? We’re working on it.  Because I have to work through another person (I don’t own the hosting account) it tends to slow things down.  Our friend that hosts the site had his entire livelihood temporarily destroyed in the process.  He is working to put the stuff that he pays his bills with back together first.  I can’t blame him.  In the end, all sites will be restored, his and ours.  We just need to be a little patient in the meantime.

Who would do something like this? As I said before, it could have been a random occurrence. It could also have been related to the harassing anonymous emails that I received that night.  Hackers tend to break into sites and just alter them slightly.  Most of the time they leave a nickname or handle as a calling card in order to show their friends that they did it.  Hackers don’t usually delete entire servers and sites.  To us, this seems personal, but we’ll leave it to the authorities to handle.   Hosting companies and law enforcement have ways to easily track down a person that does this sort of thing.  It will just take time.

Why would they do something like this? There’s a lot going on in Geraldine’s life.  This blog isn’t the place to talk about it.  This blog is only about keeping a record of her fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, bone marrow transplants, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.  We really don’t want to go anywhere else with this site.  So, we won’t go into details on why.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Nothing will keep this story from being told. Nothing will keep this site down. 🙂

What happens now? Now we rebuild. I hope to have the database recovered within a week.  The design of the site will come together about the same time.  We will relaunch, comments and all, very soon.  Stay tuned.

Rebuilding the site

Hello, friends.

I want to bring you up to speed on what has happened to the site FriendsofGeraldine.org and let you know what our plan is moving forward.

First let me say that the amount of questions and comments that I’ve received have really surprised me.  I knew that a large group of people supported Geraldine, but I had no idea how many people would notice any changes to the site so quickly.  Thanks for your support of this website.

Now to address some commonly asked questions:

What happened to the site? We host the site on a friend’s server.  His account was hacked into and they deleted everything, including this site and his entire portfolio (he’s a full time freelance web developer – http://www.littlerobothead.com)

Who did this? That is unclear at this time.  It could have been a random attack.  However, the night that it was destroyed I received a couple of anonymous, harassing emails from someone using a gmail account called shouldbemorecareful@gmail.com. They deleted the account that night, however, rarely are email addresses or the computers that use them untraceable. And they unknowingly left one detail in the source code of their email that clearly identified them. I won’t be going into details, but I will share this with the authorities as they investigate this case.   Still, the attack may be unrelated and completely random.  We’ll leave that to law enforcement to figure out.

Did you backup the site? Not entirely.  Three of us worked to build this site, and each of us have different pieces in our hands.  That is just to rebuild the framework and design of the site, including features such as donation and donation tracker widgets.  As I believe I posted in an early entry for FriendsofGeraldine.org, we had plans to release the entire template as a free, open-source package for other folks to be able to create their sites for non-profit fund-raising. As Geraldine’s transplants approached, we all became more focused on helping her through that.  We had plans to work on the template later this year.  As for the posts, those were written on the server only.  There’s a database that allows you to save all of your posts and comments and links and any other pieces of information from any browser, computer, or location – with multiple contributors.  This is what makes blogs so effective for telling a story.  I’ve been told by the hosting company that I can purchase a backup copy of the database from them to restore all of this.  I’m working to get this all back online ASAP.  I will keep you posted.  We may not have lost anything! 🙂

Have you tracked down the person responsible? We’re working on it.  Because I have to work through another person (I don’t own the hosting account) it tends to slow things down.  Our friend that hosts the site had his entire livelihood temporarily destroyed in the process.  He is working to put the stuff that he pays his bills with back together first.  I can’t blame him.  In the end, all sites will be restored, his and ours.  We just need to be a little patient in the meantime.

Who would do something like this? As I said before, it could have been a random occurrence. It could also have been related to the harassing anonymous emails that I received that night.  Hackers tend to break into sites and just alter them slightly.  Most of the time they leave a nickname or handle as a calling card in order to show their friends that they did it.  Hackers don’t usually delete entire servers and sites.  To us, this seems personal, but we’ll leave it to the authorities to handle.   Hosting companies and law enforcement have ways to easily track down a person that does this sort of thing.  It will just take time.

Why would they do something like this? There’s a lot going on in Geraldine’s life.  This blog isn’t the place to talk about it.  This blog is only about keeping a record of her fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, bone marrow transplants, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.  We really don’t want to go anywhere else with this site.  So, we won’t go into details on why.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Nothing will keep this story from being told. Nothing will keep this site down. 🙂

What happens now? Now we rebuild. I hope to have the database recovered within a week.  The design of the site will come together about the same time.  We will relaunch, comments and all, very soon.  Stay tuned.

Friends of Geraldine is down

This is what we posted on FriendsofGeraldine.org after the site was destroyed

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Hello, friends.

This site, FriendsofGeraldine.org, was attacked recently. We believe that it took place some time between the evening of March 12th and the morning of March 13th. The data for this site, including all blog posts, images, and links were deleted. This is truly devastating.

We have some backups of the design and a few of the posts. It will take a while to rebuild, and there will probably be large chunks of data that may never be recovered. As this was an ongoing journal chronicling many months of Geraldine’s story, the content isn’t easily backed up. Our first priority is to recover those blog entries, and then we will try to put it all back together. The design and content was truly a collaboration, so pieces of it are in different hands. It’s sort of like building the site all over again. Even with the blog entries, we’ve lost the dates, times, links, comments, donation tracking, and other pieces of the story that made this blog unique. There’s still hope, however, that we may get a clean backup of the entire site. Stay tuned for more info as it develops.

We’re sorry for this inconvenience. We’ll be back with some form of this site as soon as possible.


For our newest visitors…

Welcome to the site. In case you’d like to catch up, I’d start with this post. It is a letter written by Andrew, who is Geraldine’s father. It really nicely sums up the situation before we started this blog.

Other helpful historical information to have on hand is that this site was created and is maintained by Geraldine’s friends Nick, Pete, and Malcom (that’s me). Nick and Pete worked on the design, hosting, and setup of the site. They worked especially hard to get the donation utilities built. I am the main poster here, and am always sure to provide updates when Geraldine is unable. We are in this because we promised our friend that her story would be chronicled, no matter what the outcome may be, so that her daughter would have a record of everything that happened.

We work on this project, as always, in our spare time.

Currently, Geraldine is undergoing her second bone marrow transplant. The first one ended only a few weeks ago, and took about a month and a half. She has been fighting this battle for about a year and a half at this point. She hates being away from her daughter for too long, but she loves it when you leave her notes of encouragement. Please note, however, that some comments are moderated on an as-needed basis.

Thank you for your continued support.

Don’t forget to check out this post! It’s very helpful.