It's easy to blame the Sasser worm. In fact to a degree, I can. The worm knocked down my old Toshiba laptop around 11AM, on the heels of bad behavior from one of my desktop machines (thanks to the AGOBOT.GEN worm, just hours before). Was the Dell next? It not only had a lot of pictures on it, but my crucial core art applications: Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, SoftImage, 3ds Max... models and textures were safely archived in Perforce, but not the apps. No time to lose in protecting that data.
So I updated my virus screener, and then hit the XP updates. Hmmm... disk space looked bad. So I glanced at my backup disks, saw that they already covered from mid-March through the end of April, grabbed the picture directory and just deleted a couple of GB's worth from March through April 15. I had it all on doubly-redundant CDs.
Except I didn't. For some idiotic reason I'd archived up through April 1 (April Fool me!) and then picked up again on the 11th. I'd made proof sheets (the source of the small pix in the title image above), but no backups of over a week's worth of material. Gaaaaa!
Worms suck. But it was my own stupid fault.