Sunday 17 July 2011

It's just the way it is

I was reminded yesterday when writing on the QL forum of the inadequacies of Windows operating system and it's incessant behaviour over updates, do you want to? No! Delay for an hour, do you want to? No! delay for ten minutes. This goes on and on repeatedly, until you forget or give up asking it to delay, as it did yesterday when just at the end of finishing off the forum text and up loading the graphic the page disappears, the application shuts down and one by one all my open documents close. 

Panic, I have lost all my text, flash back to 1985, I internally upgraded my QL memory to 640K from a magazine article, piggy backing the memory chips with DIL sockets to add the additional memory and addressing etc. Switching it on for the first time and waiting for what seemed forever for the memory check to finish I was presented with my expanded memory QL. It wasn't until later when writing a Quill document for QL User or QL World (I cannot remember now) over a weekend because they needed it to meet their publishing deadline that I realised it had a fault. 

It locked up after about 25 minutes of use and after resetting it locked up again after twenty minutes of use, now I lost all the work I had typed in, forgetting the golden rule of save your work regularly. I had a deadline however, that I had to meet, this was annoying and concerning although not a major serious problem I thought, I had 20 minutes to write at a time and save as I go along, so this I did resetting each time.

After what seemed hours I had nearly completed the article saving as I went, secure in the knowledge that is was on micro-drive if the worst happened. I didn't anticipate what the worst happening would be however, as I said close to finishing and only a sentence or two to complete, I was thinking I better save or I will lose it, so I saved and that's when it locked up.

The micro-drive whirring aware constantly while nothing else was happening, I had no option but to press reset. The result was that no files existed on the micro-drive that I could use, so I had to start yet again and utilised the 'save file under a different name each time' ploy, with the result of a disheartened author not writing an article of a suitable standard he could be pleased with. 

I never wrote for a magazine QL or otherwise again until recently.

Back to the present (or yesterday to be precise), the laptop running Windows 7 was doing all its installs and updates and I waited until it rebooted and so I could see what I had to redo (thinking all the time back to that fateful weekend). I loaded up the internet browser and hey presto its all there, such is today's technology it saves as it goes along, at-least in Google Chrome it does. When writing blogs after a few seconds (around 30) a tiny message at the bottom of the screen says "saving" then "saved". Forums do something similar I suspect so I am thankful for those small features now.


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