Saturday, June 19, 2010

Recovery/Repair Utility Rant

I've been fortunate to see our computer technology evolve into what we have today.  I got my TRS-80 Model 1 before there was an Apple; when Steve Jobs and the Woz were still sweeping up solder splash from their garage floor.

However, there's one area seriously lacking advancement.  That is in software repair programs. 

Let's start with my current problem and provided a catalyst for this rant.  My Outlook address book is toast.  Why isn't so much important as the dialogue box telling me the PST file is flawed and I need to run scanpst.exe.  My problem is if Outlook sees the corrupted file and knows how to fix it, why doesn't it just execute the file for me?  It makes probably thousands of other decisions without my input, so this should be a no-brainer.

Word Perfect word processing software is another example of inept recover/repair software.  Firstly, all of you knowing I'm a technical writer, I use either Microsoft Word or Word Perfect about equally.  Word Perfect has a problem with documents, say over 25 Megabytes, causing the data file to become corrupted and useless.  Of course Word Perfect sees this and reports such back to me and then automatically executes a program where I'm to send the details back to the home office.  Nice except the report never leaves my computer nor does the attempted repair ever work.

In my mind if a software company distributes a recovery/repair utility, it tells me two things.  The company is aware of a defect in its application software and it either can't or won't fix the cause of the corrupted data file.

Frequent backup copies of files are the only reliable safety net.

1 comment:

  1. I think your TRS-80 Model 1 existed even earlier than my Commodore Pet and Superpet. Wow, what an aggravation it is to deworm. I'm sorry that happened to you. I don't mean to sound technologically inept, but I keep backup copies of my important files. My backup files are printed on paper.