13 April 2005

Tech instincts: Maintaining an undo trail

Apology to geeks: I'm writing this in the style of PC magazines, i.e. pages of friendly feel-good waffle with about one tech clue every 2 PgDn keystrokes :-)

I live in a house full of spiders, leading some visitors to believe that I'm interested in them. But they're there simply because I don't kill them, and I don't kill them because I have no particular reason to do so. Now that my intention is drawn to them, I have indeed found them interesting.

Steam and PCs don't mix, so the bathroom is the least cluttered room in the house. Spiders often fall in to the empty bath and I then have to scoop them out. Like ChkDsk, they have no "big picture" awareness and tend to do things that make the task a lot more difficult and risky than it need be.

But spiders are more clueful than ChkDsk ever will be. I noticed that the more panicky they get, the more web silk they chuck out as I chase them about with my piece of paper or whatever (I like spiders, but I'm not as stupid as ChkDsk either).

And that reminded me of a basic tech instinct; as soon as things look as if they may possibly get tough, maintain an undo trail! The spider's silk would allow it to dangle rather than plummet if it ever ran off the edge of something, giving it a wider range of options. Useful, even if you're a little critter with a terminal velocity of about 5 miles per hour.

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