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Mini-rant on User Experiences and the Data Abyss

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Graham's laptop up and died during the GDC, so we were dumping its contents onto my laptop each day. Right after the GDC, my laptop started acting funny - the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing service simply disappeared (!) - so I wanted to take the precaution of backing up Graham's data to a thumbdrive.

I initially simply did a cut and paste, but it turned out that the source data was too large for the destination, so it told me this after moving some of the files over. I cancel, go to zip the original data and some of the files are gone. Now I had removed them from the destination as well, to create space for the compressed archive, so they were totally, completely gone. Into the data abyss, unrecoverable without forensic tools.

That. Pisses. Me. Off.

Operations that appear atomic to the user should have atomic consequences, not aggregated independents. If a user selects a bunch of files/folders and drags them to a new location, the system should determine that there is adequate space for the operation to be completed before starting. Even if it doesn't, it should restore the system to the state right before the operation was started in the event of a failure of any sort. Atomic to the user, atomic with regard to system effect.

Ugh. I might have to resurrect ReComputing sooner than I thought. Can't do it on this machine, though, and I'll be on the road right after graduation... Maybe I'll get enough loot (as graduation presents) to purchase a new machine for me, on which I can start to build. Ironically, I was looking back at Wired 13.02 yesterday and there was an article titled The Microsoft Memo which speculated on a future in which Microsoft hired Linus Torvalds and creates a system called "WinX," a Windows-like environment built on Linux.

Please.

The Windows platform is by far more robust and feature-rich, not to mention possessing much more hardware support. Building a Linux- or Unix-like environment on top of that is relatively easy: it's already been done. Typical that Wired would get it backward, what with their pandering views of Open Source and IT in general.

You know, I just wish there was a technology magazine out there that didn't whore itself to the political and ideological convictions of its readers, that stated what it believed to be technical fact and refused to yield. Oh, well. I can dream...
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What, so it deleted the data from windows even though it wouldn't go on the pendrive? That's really poor design right there.

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What, so it deleted the data from windows even though it wouldn't go on the pendrive? That's really poor design right there.

No, it didn't. When a mass-move operation's interrupted, the files that weren't transferred stay where they are. What happened here is that Oluseyi erased the files that reached the destination thinking that they'd still be available on the source - in reality, sadly, the files that have reached the destination were moved from the source (i.e. no longer exist there). So he lost them forever - unless he uses some file restoration utility (there are some available freely).

I knew this silly fact about moving files a long time ago, but it never ceases to amaze me in its sheer stupidity.

On a sidenote, Oluseyi, do you know what amazes me most? The fact that you're NOT a graduate already. When I initially read your posts I thought like: "We've got a 40 year old manager posting here" [smile]

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No, it didn't. When a mass-move operation's interrupted, the files that weren't transferred stay where they are. What happened here is that Oluseyi erased the files that reached the destination thinking that they'd still be available on the source - in reality, sadly, the files that have reached the destination were moved from the source (i.e. no longer exist there). So he lost them forever - unless he uses some file restoration utility (there are some available freely).
Correct. Fortunately, it turned out that Graham had merely copied pictures from my My Pictures directory to a folder on the desktop for easy access and transfer.

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I knew this silly fact about moving files a long time ago, but it never ceases to amaze me in its sheer stupidity.
Yeah, I knew it too, but I forgot it just long enough to have it bite me in the ass.

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On a sidenote, Oluseyi, do you know what amazes me most? The fact that you're NOT a graduate already. When I initially read your posts I thought like: "We've got a 40 year old manager posting here"[smile]
[smile] Thanks! On a side note, I'll be a graduate in eight weeks and three days...

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