Short break…?

Monday, September 6th, 2004 at 1645

My PC is flagging, again. Gotta love the install/re-install cycle that certain operating system vendors force you through. This time I was a little frustrated by the awkwardness a certain emai client provokes when it comes to backing things up. It makes it LOOK like everything is in one file but I learnt last time I went through this that the “all in one personal file” malarky is a downright lie. Your emails go into one file, your mailbox rules another, the application’s settings can only be backed up through a special wizard you need to install and finally if you’ve given anyone a nickname, the Gods forbid that you be able to actually back this up with their name and address. Noooooo. You have to go hunting for a special nickname cache file that if you don’t rescue, you will lose and then wonder why on earth you don’t recognise anyone in your address book anymore. *Sigh*

I have noticed through distant examination of MS Windows that it attempts to centralise certain files and settings. However, this approach only works if the application designers conform which, sadly, they don’t seem to most of the time and beyond this you have a multi-user environment to further mix things up. You have some user-based settings scattered to the wind inside deeply-buried user directories, you have general settings stored in the registry (Nightmare!) or in .INI files in the program folder or, worse, stuffed down in some system DIR and then you have files that may or may not be important crowding places such as “Common files” and the like.
Good grief.
What I’d like to see is the following kind of approach:
1- Install software to a given directory
2- In a multi-user environment store all relevant settings in a username.settings file and all user data in a file , stored within the application directory somewhere by default but give the option to relocate.
3- Regardless of where settings need to be to actually be active (Registry, etc) create a shadow program.settings file that is always updated with the current program settings and can be read in by the program to restore things like registry entries if they’re not found.

I’d like to see programs that made it mindlessly easy to backup everything you need and also programs that you can move from OS install to OS install simply by copying the folder. Some do, some don’t. I like the ones that do.

3 Comment for “Short break…?”

  1. Zoomer Said this on

    the email client you use is probably crap… try Mozilla thunderbird.

    ps, the reason many dont work by just copying the files from one OS to another is becuase if you caould do that piracy would be so much easier.

  2. j Taylor Said this on

    Speak to me did your birthday come into it, enjoy your web page from time to time

  3. TechFreakZ Said this on

    “In a multi-user environment store all relevant settings in a username.settings file and all user data in a ”

    Sounds like a well known open source operating systems approach….
    ….imagine that :-)

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