Thursday, 19 June 2008

Your daily Windows FUCK OFF AND DIE

Network storage. Generally speaking, a Good Thing when you have multiple computers and want easy backups and even collaboration and centralised repositories.

Synchronised folders. Generally speaking, a Useful Thing for people who have to switch between computers that aren't (always) on the same network.

I have no problem with this. I have a long and merry history of keeping repositories on both my old Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 and my computer, and running unison to keep them in sync.

But the really, really important thing about that arrangement was that unison worked and, just as importantly, it was a clear and plain "I have two repositories, I synchronise them when I need to" arrangement. And with unison, which is intelligent enough to work bi-directionally, I don't even need to remember where I last did what provided I run it before I do anything (sorry about the syntax there...)

Now look at this arrangement: My workstation at work is hooked in to the local network via WiFi, there not being enough ethernet ports in the walls. And despite the fact that the computer is brand new it doesn't have a WiFi chip built-in and has a USB WiFi adapter, on the end of a USB extension lead and velcroed on to the top of the case. This gives me so much confidence...

The problem here is that the connection to the server is not reliable. Whether because of actual hiccoughs or because windows puts the connection to sleep when it doesn't do anything for 273 seconds, it occasionally falls over.

Even more entertainingly, it automatically switches from saving documents to the server, to saving them locally. And you might spot a tiny notification saying that this is okay, everything will be synchronised when you next have a connection (which shouldn't have fucking fallen over anyway), or you might spot the changed icon in the systray telling you basically the same thing. But if you don't, you may never realise that anything has happened. And you will most definitely have to kick synchronising into gear when you have a connection - it's not transparent - and you have to do this before talking to any part of the server and that means closing everything and faffing around over a process which, I humbly submit, I should not. Have. To. Do. Particularly not several times a day on a desktop computer!

And today I got given a message that there were Differences between the one on the server and the one I was working on (how?) and had to faff around with selecting which version I wanted to keep.

This is broken. Broken, and may possibly provoke an enraged, berserk knifing rampage.

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