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May 23rd, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

“Do you want to save changes?”

An innocent, almost friendly question. But it should be placed in context.

When Microsoft Excel 2000 for Windows asks you this, pause briefly. Do a quick mental check: are you quitting Excel because it just started acting weirdly, barfing on Visual Basic code that sends data to a database, when that code has worked dozens of times before? Y’know, the “I’ll just quit Excel and relaunch it, just in case” kind of quit?

If Excel is indeed acting squirrelly, may I suggest that you do not accept it’s seemingly kind question to “save changes.” Be sure to save your work into a different file, and not one that contains over five hours of work, with nary a backup to be found. Because if you say yes to Excel, not only will the application auger itself so deeply into the ground that it will require the entire Office suite to be reinstalled, but with its last dying gasp, it will will bleed out some random contents of memory all over your file, rendering it forever toxic and unusable to any other Excel on the planet.

The odds of this happening are very small, but those odds increase to almost certain when you have a high-profile deadline, and are leaving on holiday the next day.

So, yes, I had a shitty day.

Note to self: saving often doesn’t do jack shit if you only have one copy of a file.

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