If you're reading this, you're probably wondering what happened to PST and the sistersite PXLShots. I'll try to answer everything by writing down a series of questions:
Where is everything?
To my deepest regret I have to inform you that the PST server had a major hardware failure and everything on the hard drive was wiped. The last few days we were trying to recover as much data as possible, but until now it is unsuccessful... every file is corrupted or broken. This is also the reason why the site was down for an entire week. The only backup there was, was one from several months ago, which was in the same server and disappeared with all the rest.
Unfortunately I put too much trust in my hosting company, they are claiming to be totally not responsible for any data loss. They are also not responsible for any backups. They even seem to be very careless about it and the only thing they offered for this loss was one month of free hosting service. Which is just unacceptable.
This is the message I got from them last week:
"I am very, very sorry to inform you that during the rebuild of the RAID5, a second drive failed. This of course caused total data loss. This was the cause of the delay, as we called in our top technicians to attempt to recover any data that was left. However, we were unsuccessful in our attempts.
We went ahead and replaced the entire server and started to reinstall the OS.
I have been authorized to offer you one month of free service for your loss. I will leave this ticket open for my manager, who will be in on Monday."
I'm not sure of how the second drive of a RAID5 setup could have failed all of a sudden... I'm trying everything I can to get a compensation from them, and more efforts to recover the data by bringing it to a specialized center. The reply I keep getting is that they are not responsible and that I even have to pay the costs of having this hard drive repaired.
I could have used a weekly backup service, but this is very expensive for a site this large, and this is something that would not have covered the costs of running the site.
I'm suspecting them for making a human error, which caused the hard drives to fail, and that's why I'm gonna see with a lawyer if it's possible to have a lawsuit against this hosting company. What happened here is 3 years of hard work from me and from all the members here on PST, that is lost in the blink of an eye, without any reasonable explanation and without any compensation or effort from their side.
So to summarize: EVERYTHING is gone. If a specialized center can recover the data, I will put back everything. But this is something I can not promise, because they cannot guarantee anything. It depends how big the damage is. I'm not an expert in hardware, so I have no idea how or if data on a crashed hard drive can be fully recovered. I can only hope and wait for good news.
I'm very sorry to everyone who had images uploaded on the sites. I just hope you have them stored somewhere else too I'll find an affordable solution to keep regular backups.
Why the new name for the site?
You may have noticed that when you surf to photoshoptalent.com, you'll automatically go to pxleyes.com... This is the new site name. It can be pronounced "pixelize" or "pixel lies" or just "pixel eyes". Photoshoptalent will always keep working as well, and will show the new site. The logo is also still the old one, but will be replaced soon.
Since we have to start from scratch again, I thought it would be better to pick a more general site name. A site about computer graphics in general has more potential in the long run. A lot of people also use other graphical programs like GIMP to manipulate images... the contests won't be "photoshop only" anymore, but people can use whatever they want.. which I'm sure was already the case. It also means we can have tutorial sections on many more graphical programs and an art storage section which is not limited to photoshop art.
Is all site functionality back now?
At the moment, only the contests related things are online. I disabled all the rest for now. This is because the album and tutorial sections have to be revamped and reprogrammed a bit in order to support more than just photoshop alone. But don't worry, all functionality that was on PST will be back soon.
What if I still had credits in my account on PST?
I know some of you still had over $20 in their PST account (which is the minimum payout limit)... However if they cannot recover the database, I can't tell who had credits in their account. If the database can be recovered, these credits will be put back. Luckily the bigger earners requested their payout regularly and got most of it before the site loss. If you're serious about recovering the credits that were left in your PST account, please find a search engine which has a cached page of your profile and send it to mistermonty AT gmail DOT com - You'll also have to include an email, which is either your activation mail from when you first registered on pst.. OR a mail from the moderators (with an entry warning or entry removal), so I can see you're sending this request from the same email address you used on PST.
Please understand that I can't just send credits to random people who claim they had credits in their account. I've been accused by a certain anonymous member that I erased the entire site, just to avoid paying out the credits left in peoples accounts. These accusations are very painful and unjustified. What I lost here was part of my life. Something I worked 3 years on to build up... and it disappeared in a matter of seconds. The value of the site was 100's of times more than the few dollars that were left to payout. Every single member who got over $20 and requested to be paid out, was paid out within a matter of days. The credits are the least of my worries, they are just an extra addition to the site, which makes the contests more competitive. Also, keep in mind that this site is 100% free and nobody is forcing you to contribute to the community.
What about the points I earned?
The worst thing of course, are the rankings. As you may have noticed, everyone starts from ZERO now. Every member is level 1 again. If they can recover the database, I will put every ones OLD ranking separate on the profile pages. This way you can still see all the points earned in history. You could see it as a competition where the rankings get reset yearly or every 2 years.
It also gives a chance to new skillful users to take the higher rankings, as this was almost impossible without 100's of entries. Many people in the rankings got their high ranking by winning contests in the very beginning, when there weren't many competitors. This made it easier to get a lot of points in a short time span. Since we have much more participants now, it will be harder, and everyone will get a fair chance.
Maybe we can reset the rankings yearly and save your ranking on your profile each year. This is something that will be discussed in a poll later.
How to login to the forum?
To login to the forum, you'll have to register separately on the forum for now. Later on, this will go automatically with newly created accounts on pxleyes.com.
Can I rebuild my portfolio somehow?
Yes! There is SOME good news! I still have the contest sources and themes since November 2008 on my own computer. If you had entries in these contests, you'll be able to re-upload them. This is because each week, we're gonna have the regular 12 new contests PLUS 12 old ones. The old ones will give you the opportunity to upload your entries again. These contests will be open for voting again.
What can we expect in the future?
After all this mess and major losses, I had a hard time in finding motivation to rebuild everything, but I decided to start over. Some people supported and encouraged me to continue and rebuild the site. Especially thanks to my very sweet and supporting girlfriend Giulia, who is also a loyal member of the site! If you missed the site, then she is the one who deserves the thank-you's of bringing it back! Also special thanks to Hilleke and all the moderators for their support! Without all your support I might not have found the courage to start over and this wonderful community would have been gone forever! All the moderators agreed to continue moderating on the new site, which means a lot to me. Thank you!
I'm also glad to see that so many members decided to register again and participate in the contests! PXLEyes will be bigger and better than PST, with much more art sections, contests, tutorials - and a bigger community!
News and announcements about pxleyes.com
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:20 pm
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:39 pm
I'm glad you believed in the site enough to not give up on it and for all the support you had on bringing it back. I was lost before I found PST, it gave me a home and friends, a way to continue with art. Hugs to MrM and hid lady!!!!!!!!!
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:38 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Well, personally, I am not bothered by having had credits in my account (PeacoTard), so no problem there. If you get it back, well and good, if you don't I'm not going to break into a sweat about it - I, like many others on PST, entered the competitions to learn and have fun. Glad you decided to bring the site back!
Great news my friend!!!!
Yeah after all...c'mon is nice to wiping the slate clean Even if we'll have to begin from scratch (specially you Monty will have some heavy days LOL) we'll make everything better than before This is the demonstration that we really made a group of friends here...made of ppl from all over the World!!! That's great!!!
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:01 pm
I knew you could bring us all back together, 'cause your so clever MM, and I'm glad you did, I was in PST withdrawals... Hugs and kisses to Giulia as well
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Pxleyes for me is now the shining example of overcoming loss.
In just a few days we regrouped and going strong.
When a group experience loss together, they really become a family!
I am glad we are together again.
Thank you MrM!!
Last edited by Maja on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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