CU Amiga Magazine CUCD woes

*** Note: This is the second master of CUCD10. Oh boy I'm annoyed. A bug in
the Commodore File System just cost us a lot of money :-(

Yes it's a Mat.readme. Only a little one though. Since mat.readme
traditionally details the horrible things which happened during making of a
CD, I thought you might be interested to know of the greatest disaster ever
to have struck CU Amiga.

I left for a 3 week holiday to South Africa. Very nice. So nice I nearly
didn't come back.

Got back to find that 2 out of 3 of Bitch's HDs were effectively erased.
Oh and we'd just moved office. I got back the day the magazine started work
at Millharbour in the Docklands, London. Mmm, this meant it took half a day
to get all the gear in the right places after fighting for desks and such
forth. Incidentally I have a very nice dockside water view.

I'm told that Bitch has a bit of a problem and basically doesn't work.
Surely I'll be able to fix it in no time?

Through elimination I find that 2 drives don't work and aren't recognised
by the OS. A quick peek at them with RDPrep and it appears they are alive
but without any hint of an RDB on them. This little bit at the beginning of
a HD tells the OS about partitions, filing systems and such forth. We had
3GB of drives that had no idea where the partitions were.

Oh dear. Yes I backed up the RDBs before. Where? Oh yes, the vital
componants were backed up onto each of the drives. What are the chances of
ill becoming both of them? Not very high. Errr...

So what went wrong? Bottom line is that another member of staff was
educated on how to cut CDs and such forth. It turns out that they felt the
need to alter the settings so that MasterISO built an ISO image directly to
a SCSI device (my HD) instead of a filesystem file as normal. Ouch. AFS
would have popped up some kind of error requestor at this point so what did
he do? He changed the ID to another HD.

At the end of day one, I thought long and hard about South Africa and
whether I should go to work in the morning.

I think I'm doing a remarkable job of retaining my composure. So you see we
not only have no RDBs but an unknown very large quantity of data low-level
written right over the HD. Ah it is THEN that we discover the problem with
AFS. No partitions, no way of finding out the partitions. RDBSalv is of no
use at all. DiskSalv AFS is less than useful, IE it's rubbish and so we're
faced with a total and utter loss of everything useful on Bitch's HDs.

I'm leaving out days of trying to recover data on a low-level basis and
trying every technique under the sun. AFS is NOT fun when it's corrupt.

The scale of the drama took some time to sink in. No software and more
importantly no keyfiles for the myriad of registered shareware that Bitch
relied upon. No mailing lists. No Arexx scripts and other programs I'd
written. No applications of which many had original boxes thrown away in
the move etc. Pictures of mine from my rendering days, screenshots of
software and of course everything I had ever written for CU Amiga.

Everything. Everything gone.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. (To put it mildly)

So I started again from scratch. Took the opportunity to install DOpus 5.5
as a WB replacement which is coming along quite nicely. Other essential
utilities like MCP (though I had to turn a lot of the hacks off not to
screw up Opus), Executive, Powersnap, KingCON, HappyENV and stuff like

It's kinda working now though I fear she'll never be the same.

So the moral of the story, dear readers, is not to put all your hard
drives in one basket.

Ta da.

Mat Bettinson


I think CUCD10 is an especially fine CD. 'Bitch' is more or less back in
place. I like the first audio track we have here, the second is also not
bad. Please, if there's things you'd like to see, drop me an E-mail to or call me on 0171-972-6763.

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