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Farhad Manjoo is a Full-Blown Idiot
He belongs on Windows. And he should be running MS Office.
Farhad Manjoo is a full-blown idiot. He's a writer who wanders around and now he's doing a gig at Slate. Where he gets to act the full-blown idiot and get paid for it. Farhad Manjoo sings for his meals.
Farhad Manjoo just wrote a really dumb piece for them. Here's the full URL. Right there you see Farhad Manjoo is in good company with other full-blown idiots. Get ready.
In case you were wondering, that URL is 210 (two hundred ten) bytes long. They might as well have included the entire first paragraph. Or the entire article.
Also note the two nested 'technology' directories, neither of which lead to anything on their own.
Farhad Manjoo is indeed in good company.
The title of Farhad Manjoo's minum opus is 'Delete the Save Button' and the subheader is the childish 'computers are smart enough to preserve everything I type without me hitting a stupid disk icon'.
And indeed they are smart enough, Farhad. If you consider scrap metal to be intelligent. But beating you at the IQ game isn't hard for them. There you're mistaken.
What's Farhad's beef? He wants the 'save' button gone. Or actually he doesn't really want it gone but he wants an attention-getting title. Actually it's hard to know what Farhad really wants because he's not a techie of any merit, behaves like your ordinary end (l)user - meaning he's cavalier with consistency and basically is very confused to boot.
Farhad Manjoo goes into a long pseudo-history of personal computing science and loses his way in detours through capabilities of secondary storage and misses one big point that probably never occurred to him.
The 'undo' button.
Undos work only in a single session of an editor. Successive buffers are kept for the purpose of both undo and redo. They're kept in primary memory - in RAM. But when the program exits, that memory is cleaned. And anyway: the program is no longer running, so the user can't get anything back anymore.
This discussion might already be going over the head of Farhad Manjoo.
Apple have a system like this for their OS X Lion - but the system's so hated and so problematic and so crash-prone (in design and not in implementation) and so annoying that Apple are reverting it for their coming Mountain Lion.
Farhad Manjoo needs to do more research. He also needs to test OS X Lion and see how long he can put up with that idiocy.
Users can no longer save files on systems so enabled, once one small part of that house of cards falls out of place. There's a lot of technical detail here, but Farhad wouldn't understand it.
Above all, this is a matter not of saving things but of not saving them: a computer owner must be able to reserve the right to not save when only trying things out. Saving something is like Farhad submitting those stupid articles to Slate: it's a commitment. You commit the file to disk (or to your poor Slate editor).
Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA fame once quipped that creativity isn't the ability to come up with new ideas - it's the ability to discard the 99+% of those new ideas that aren't any good.
In the world of Farhad Manjoo, nothing is discarded. All is junk. The system fills up quickly with junk. It takes a postgrad in Rocket Science to navigate through all the technologies to find what one is looking for. A lot will turn up - but will you find what you're looking for? Bonne chance.
But Farhad denies wanting to remove the 'save' button per se - he says he only wants the system (presumably Microsoft Windows where no computer experts hang out anymore) to 'autosave' stuff for him so he doesn't have to click the 'save' button himself.
Farhad is right on the money here. For who will deny feeling the utter aggravation and perspiration-inducing toil involved with the mouse click? That's outright torture as everyone knows. Why not use Dragonly Speaking or Apple's new counterpart? Why not save on the actual typing instead?
Not to speak of the failures of computer hardware and software both. Not that Farhad's ever experienced such, as he's running his Microsoft products on premium Wintel hardware. But why are people always obsessed taking backups? Why do Apple systems tout their Time Machine?
And perhaps Farhad Manjoo missed the fact Microsoft's Office applications have been doing autosaves for years? Or what otherwise are all those junk files in TEMP? And all those recovery routines?
What happens, Farhad Manjoo, if/when the computer owner can no longer effect a 'save' manually? When the computer owner is totally dependent on the 'technology' to pull through? People save often - quite a lot - on Microsoft platforms because they know how often that system crashes. Do you really think Microsoft will give an accurate and honest assessment of the stability of their software and adjust 'autosave' accordingly?
How many more hidden technologies and equations and technological relationships will a computer owner have to master? Instead of being able to click that 'stupid' 'save' button?
But that's right - Farhad Manjoo doesn't really want to get rid of the 'save' button! Or at least the 'save as' (what Apple tried unsuccessfully to transmogrify as 'export').
Some readers have taken my war against Save to mean that I'm also against Save As, the function that allows you to store your current document under a new filename. Others seem to think that I'm asking for the elimination of filenames altogether. Rest assured, neither is the case...
Farhad's commenters are polite but they're also puzzled. And dismayed.
I'm not sure what the author uses MS Word for, but when I type up documents, I absolutely want to retain complete control over what gets saved when and under what name. I don't know about him, but often when I type up a paragraph, it will go through several iterations, and I may decide I don't want to keep it anyway. In the meantime, from what I understand of his proposal, the program would have gone and overwritten my original saved file several times over, and the original paragraph would have been lost. Either that, or it has saved an unnamed file for every new keystroke I entered into the document that must now be manually sorted. What a mindboggling mess to wade through. Keep your grubby hands off my Save button.
'Why hasn't Office joined the auto-save party?' asks the bewildered Farhad Manjoo. But Office has joined. Office joined decades ago. It might not be exactly the party Farhad wants to go to, but he shouldn't be on that stupid Windows anyway. Otherwise people won't wonder anymore - he'll have removed all doubt.
'This is worse than useless', whines Farhad Manjoo like a trolling baby. No it's not, Farhad. It's saved your uneducated arse more times than you remember.
But PrtScrn/SysReq, Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys are perfectly relevant and useful.