Notes from the Recovery

This is not a literal depiction of my problem.

Those following along at home will know that a short while ago I suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash.  Initially I thought this was no big deal since I had a back-up system in place, but for reasons I cannot understand, my backup has not backed up for several years (even though I would have sworn that it was telling me that it was — however, I cannot confirm this since the computer that it was supposed to be backing up won’t boot at all).

The failure was (I think) not hardware but system related.  My Windows XP seems to have lost it’s mind.  I’ve been using different data recovery utilities (Recuva and Data Rescue)— so far I have managed to retrieve about 1/2 of my TIFFs (my favorite format for keeping scans of original art), a huge number of jpegs and what looks like most of my music.  Thus far it looks like huge numbers of photos (as opposed to scans of drawings) are gone. Some of the photos I had backed up elsewhere can be restored; others cannot.  There are still archives of recovered files to search through, so I can’t tell if I’m going to get back all or more of what I had or not. And, since my filing system is gone, I’m relying on human memory to tell what’s missing — and my memory is crap since I keep finding scans of things that I had forgotten about.  And I haven’t really started on the text, docs and pdfs, so there is still a lot to do.

My plan is to recover as much as I can and then take the disk to somone else for an estimate on what it would cost to restore it as much as possible — if I can afford it, I’ll go for it.  I think its a good idea to recover what I can first in case the professional recovery effort does more damage than good. Hopefully, the ‘professionals’ can do a better job than I can and get the folders, etc., all back.  Right now, the ‘recovered’ files are stored in folders which bear little or no resemblance to my filing system and knowing where to look for a particular image was half the value of my computer image archive.

In the meanwhile, any solid reccomendations on a back-up utility?  I had been using Windows XP back-up, but either it let me down or I didn’t have it set up right.  My new computer is Windows 7 and I have a new 3TB external I plan to use for a ‘recovery’ drive and my first priority is backing up my data. I’m a non-techie, so simple words and short sentences appreciated.

Wes Crum

If you are a fan of the old Judge’s Guild products like I am, you may have noticed that some of the art on those early products was by Wes Crum.  Crum was my favorite artist of the Judge’s Guild newsprint era, and, I think, probably the most talented of the people to illustrate for Judge’s Guild.  His pictureas have a real ‘pulp-horror-comics’ flair that I like (and that I think Sembieda, who also worked for JG at this time, lacks).  Take a look at this typical Crum cover:

That art just looks straight out of the pre-code days of comics. Crude, and Wes was capable of better work, but I love it).
Crum went on to do some pornographic comics (which I won’t link here because I am not on my own computer — search “B.J. Betty” and “Anal Intruders from Uranus” published by, I think, Last Gasp Comix if you are interested).  He was/is also involved in some conspiracy/UFO stuff (you can try to buy his art here if interested; I’m not sure how old that page is). I’m interested in the UFO/Conspiracy theory stuff, but strictly as a tourist — I am not a believer but don’t want to wind up or bullshit people who are serious about it in order to gain their confidence simply because I think that’s a douchebag thing to do.  For the same reason, I’m curious about what goes on inside a Mormon church, but I’m not going to lie to them to get in there.
I don’t know what the extent of his (Crum’s) work with RPG or Fantasy stuff was or if he worked for any of the old D&D/RPG publishers other than Judge’s Guild.  I used to trade emails with Bob Bledsaw years ago (a really nice guy, but an erratic correspondent; I think his health was failing at the time — he stopped responding and later I heard he had died).  When we were corresponding, I asked him about Crum but never got an answer. I also, stupidly, asked him about Sembieda, not realizing, at the time, that there might have been some bad blood between Bledsaw and Sembieda.  Unfortunately, I had no idea that Sembieda had gone on to form his own game company and apparently made a lot of enemies in the process.  So, Bob, if you are reading this from wherever you are, I was just being clueless; I wasn’t trying to get you to dish on things you didn’t want to talk about.

Frank likes his cake (NSFW)