We've had another series of unfortunate events since my last post, one not unlike what happened in November. Another inaccessible hard drive, another series of departures at work resulting in me being drafted for overtime (this time, my boss refused to hire a replacement -_-;), another multi-week bout of insomnia, and another period of health problems and burn-out (...comes with the territory when you have to juggle too many responsibilities at once). Thankfully, the local college (my alma mater) has wrapped up for the summer, meaning my workload during the day is now back to some semblance of normalcy.
Before anyone asks: no, we didn't have another hard drive failure. It's something far, far dumber. The USB connection on my external Western Digital My Book Essential came loose, meaning I had to way of hooking up the drive to my computer. This drive is my personal storage drive, not my project drive, so don't worry, all of the RKS project files are safe. Anyway, I decided to remove the enclosure and hook up the drive to my roommate's tower directly so I could migrate my stuff over to my other hard drive. What should have been a simple procedure that I've done thousands of times before instead resulted in me discovering a ridiculous design flaw and experiencing an unhealthy amount of buyer's remorse.
As you may or may not be aware, Western Digital's external drives are self-encrypting. More specifically, the SATA-to-USB bridge automatically encrypts the contents of the drive as it's being written to the drive, and automatically decrypts data as it's being read from the drive. The encryption key is stored on a chip on the bridge's circuit board. If you remove the hard drive enclosure and try to hook up the hard drive to a PC motherboard via SATA, said PC thinks the drive hasn't been initialized yet because its Master Boot Record is unreadable without the encryption key. Already, this is a pretty stupid design flaw; you effectively have a safe that can no longer be used because you have no way of inserting the key into its keyhole (remember, the SATA-to-USB bridge is broken).
The story gets worse. As it turns out, the USB connection on Western Digital drives are quite flimsy; I came across tons of people who had their USB jacks simply fall off the way mine had from normal everyday use. When this issue was brought to Western Digital's attention, rather than take responsibility for releasing a faulty product, their support staff instead chose to insult its customers, insisting that any damage that might have occurred was their own fault and their responsibility.
...Please excuse me while I facepalm.
I'll level with you here. A design oversight can be forgiven. If someone accepts responsibility for their mistake, honestly apologizes, and makes some semblance of trying to make amends, I don't think I'd have any problem putting the issue behind me.
This is the exact opposite. This is scapegoating. An adamant refusal to accept responsibility. To the people who invested hundreds of dollars apiece, no less.
I'm tempted to go on a rant here seeing as scapegoating is my #1 berserk button. But I'm sure nobody would enjoy that, least of all me.
(To anyone who honestly wants to see me pissed off: dude, you need a better hobby.)
On the positive side, I've been in touch with a data recovery specialist who has successfully defeated Western Digital's self-encryption and salvaged the contents of many WD drives (he's filmed the process, and I'm quite impressed). His estimate for a successful recovery is $400 USD plus shipping (which, in all fairness, is dirt-cheap as far as data recovery rates go -- most charge by the megabyte). So, in the end, my $200 investment in Western Digital will ultimately cost me over $600.
I don't think anyone will hold it against me if I choose to never give Western Digital any of my business again.
Please excuse the lack of professionalism in this post. I really needed to get that off of my chest.
Back to business: I'm pleased to report that Rosenkreuzstilette has officially entered its testing phase. Version 2.0 of the English script has been fully inserted, and the crew at Active Gaming Media is hard at work bug-testing the game while we're working on the rest of the release. There's still a bit of fine-tuning to be done, but thankfully not a whole lot of work overall. I've also implemented more than a handful of secrets into the game that I'm sure everyone will appreciate. Instructions on how to access these secrets are scattered throughout the release; I'll say no more on that subject since I don't want to spoil the surprise.
...Okay, I'll give you one factoid to tide you over. The original game had just one secret code. The English release has at least quadruple that amount. What do they do? You'll have to play the game when it's ready to find out.
Now that that's out of the way, onto the next RKS Developer Diary! I've got a few screenshots I need to grab for this entry, but I'll be back in a few hours! This time, we'll be going over some details that'll have a few of you rushing over to the wikis...
See you soon!