Sunday, August 24, 2008

The day the computer made me cry

"Hello IT guy? Sorry to call you on a Sunday. There's a small problem. I'm looking at document reference number 12345 version 4 and it seems wrong. I saved it into the server, but the amendments are only until yesterday morning."

"Were you working on email? Have you looked in your TEMP files?"

"No, I saved it back to the server. It's not an email. I just did a search in "My Computer" for all ".DOC" files and it's not there"

"what was the last thing you did?"

"I had just shut down my computer to go home, but then I thought maybe I should also print a hard copy of my work to proof-read, so I restarted my PC and printed the document. When I looked at the print I realised it was the wrong version. I went back to all the files, and it seems that the correct version is gone. The last edit on the history column shows that it is yesterday's document, but I can't find anything which reflects the work I did today".

"Okay, let me look on the server for you, if you saved it on the server, it should be there, give me the document reference number again?"

What probably happened was this - we use a shared document management system in our office that allows you to check-in and check-out documents. Each document has a unique document reference number. When you check-out a document nobody else can work on that specific document, and then you check it back inside and it will over-write whatever the last version was with that number (or else you create a new version). As I hate working with too many versions, I usually just select "save over" when I check it back in.

What happened was probably this, earlier, I had checked out a version of this document, and when I logged back in today, I didn't check it back in, but opened the "old version" in the computer, and worked on it (without even printing anything!) and then when I shut down my computer, I must have checked in the "wrong version" which had over-written all my work of today.


I just gave up and went home, and the good news is that I made it back in time to tell Sophie a story or two. I will just go to the office early tommorrow morning and deal with this.

If I was superstitious I might have thought it was divine punishment for not observing the sabbath. Indirectly that is probably correct, because working in an office with no airconditioning (and hence no air circulation) is probably terrible for a 8 month pregnant woman, and I made an incredibly stupid error in NOT printing out the correct document before shutting down. At the very least if I had done that, then some poor secretary would copy type the damn thing for me tomorrow, but at least I wouldn't have felt so close to suicide!

1 comment:

Xavier said...

Jesus saves!
(CTRL-S :)