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« My stupid life: March 2013 | Main | My stupid life: May 2013 »

My stupid life

The miracle of the modern world (or at least multiple buffers)

This is going to be a weird sort of post but i just wanted to mention that as i was working on my comics project this past weekend i utilized two minor technological wonders that i wanted to publicly appreciate.

The first regards file transfers. I had some files in multiple folders on one hard drive that i wanted to transfer to multiple folders on a different drive. So i grabbed the first set of files and dragged them to the first folder on the other drive. Then, in the same explorer window, i navigated to the other set of files and dragged them to the second folder. And my pc just dutifully started up a second window tracking the progress of the second file transfer. Think about how crazy that is. In DOS (i know, i'm old), you would have to start a file transfer and just sit there and wait for it to finish before you could do anything else. With Windows and multiprocessors you could start your file transfer and then do other things in other windows. I don't know when it first became possible to trigger multiple file transfers at once (maybe it always was possible in Windows but i sure wouldn't have felt confident enough to try it in Windows 98) but that's a really sophisticated thing. And i could do all that and still go back to working in another window with no slowdown or anything. It's pretty amazing. It would be one thing if it just queued the second transfer. But to do both at once, without losing track of the original files and destinations, is really impressive. I've done this many times before but it's the first time it struck me how cool it was.

The second is that i was typing in one text box in my browser, and i realized that earlier i had screwed something up in a different text box. So without even thinking about it, i selected the other text box and hit Control-Z until it reverted back to what i wanted. And it worked! If hitting Control-Z reverted my most recent changes in the text box i had last typed in, i wouldn't have been the least bit upset. I would have said "Duh, what made me think i could do that?". But it worked! Which means that a separate undo history is being kept for each text box. Again, pretty amazing.

These are the unappreciated sort of small things that don't really get touted with new releases. And so when we upgrade to Windows 7 or Firefox version 20 or whatever, we're kind of like, "Yeah, this is fine but i don't see why they constantly put out upgrades.". Again, i don't even know when these things became possible. But if you took them away from us, put us back on Windows 98 and IE 3 or whatever, we'd be freaking out.


By fnord12 | April 23, 2013, 11:04 AM | My stupid life & Science | Comments (0)| Link



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