A Note About Old Pictures

In March of 2012 I switched cloud providers for hosting images on TBR. I moved from the ubiquitous Amazon S3 to Rackspace Cloud Files. I made the move for two reasons:

  1. I couldn’t easily upload an image to S3, set it public, and grab the URL from my iPad. I could do that from Rackspace though.
  2. In my rudimentary testing Rackspace was just a touch faster than S3.

With the cost being a negligible factor, I made the move. Instead of doing the wise thing an porting over all my old images to Rackspace and updating the linking at that time, I just left it be. So every image pre-March-2012 was still on S3.

I never foresaw an issue with this and on my left went.1

About two months ago I got a fraud call from my credit card company telling me that there was a pending charge from Amazon for $30,000+ — and was I ok with that? WHAT!

This lead to an afternoon of my life that is rather blurry. I got in contact with Amazon support and we tracked it down to someone hacking into my AWS account in the middle of the night and spinning up a lot of EC2 instances (I had EC2 on for VPN usage, but never used it). So while my S3 bill was still only $4, there was more than thirty thousand dollars being billed with EC2.

I was frantic, but confident that I could prove in court it wasn’t me and it was a hack, but still didn’t want to have to go that far as it would likely cost my a lot of time and money.

Still it took hours that day, and weeks of waiting, to fully resolve the issue.

It is resolved now. To Amazon’s credit their support staff was smart, well trained, helpful, and felt on “my side” the entire time. In fact, from almost the outset of the call, the support rep told me “we will work to get these charges removed for me”. She said that often and I’d be lying to say that wasn’t what I needed to hear at that time.

During that fiasco (while on the phone with Amazon) I downloaded a backup of my S3 data (not much) with the intention of porting over the data to Rackspace because Amazon told me on the phone I had (maybe they strongly urged me, I can’t recall) to delete my AWS account and the S3 data would be nuked.

I never got around to uploading that backup S3 data, but now many of you are pinging me to let me know that old image links are broken (I know, believe me, I know).

Today I set out to repair those images, but I can’t find the backup file.2 At this point I fear it was overwritten on a USB drive, so as it stands old images are just going to be broken. If I find the backup file I will update the images as quickly as I can — but it is truly not looking hopeful.

I apologize for this and am a bit red in the face over the matter.


  1. I should have. Fuck. 

  2. Fuck! 

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
3 minutes to read.


tl;dr

In March of 2012 I switched cloud providers for hosting images on TBR. I moved from the ubiquitous Amazon S3 to Rackspace Cloud Files. I made the move for two reasons: I couldn’t easily upload an image to S3, set it public, and grab the URL from my iPad. I could do that from Rackspace […]