Monday, 10 October 2016

Data annoyance again

A nice slow start to the day, with a load of washing done and hung out to dry on the balcony after breakfast. Unfortunately a this time of year, the balcony is in shade all day, so drying things in the open air takes that much longer. It also explains why the apartment is equipped with a tumble drier, which I wouldn't use on principle. I have enough changes of clothes not to get that desperate.

After lunch I drove out to Pam and Alwyn's place, twenty minutes drive from Mojacar, up in the countryside near the autovia, for a meeting of worship team members, led by Fr Alan. Service planning from now until New Year was the business. It's is a necessity given the variation in availability on the part of lay worship leaders, of whom there are four, plus Fr Alan and whoever is the locum Chaplain. 

I had just another five weeks of assignments to take note of, but working out the schedule for others required give and take. All are volunteers fitting in their offering of service to the church with domestic routine, holidays and family commitments that are not local. The way they plan together is impressive. In addition, the meeting was finished. We parted company in just over an hour.

On my way back, I went to Lidl's in Garrucha to get a few things I'd missed on Saturday, and ran into a couple of church members out shopping. It's so nice to see familiar faces in a place that is generally such an anonymous environment.

On my return, I checked the spreadsheet I'd made for my duty assignments, using Google Sheets on my table. Modifications made offline at Pam and Alwyn's were visible, despite more than a dozen error messages because the file couldn't sync to the web. When viewed the device, once more attached to the internet, it displayed a dialogue which made no sense to me. On pressing what I thought was the correct response, I found I'd lost changes made at the meeting. I was furious.. All I needed to be asked to avoid losing work was the question: 'Do you want to save the changes you made while off line?'. Because this didn't happen, I had to rely on memory recall to reconstruct my list of duties. I hope what I remembered is correct.

Google will no doubt protest that I'd have been all right if I'd used their Gdocs format rather than  the Docx file format I used. Or not as the case may be. This is not the first time I have lost off-line work, because of Google's vain efforts to re-educate the universe to do things its way, rather than use a simple universal default common text file standard that can be saved and read on any device or operating system, preserving data input. To hell with fancy display formats and sophisticated shareable, re-editable add-ons and their protocols. This is a deep flaw in a system for everyday use that needs to be as simple as the basic needs of its users. Shame on you Google for not making this completely fool proof. Sabotaged by too many clever 'helpful' ideas, as ever.

It's lucky I can still rely on my memory, given that stuff like this can happen when you're out of internet reach. Well, just like the old days really. I'll be back to pen and paper before you know it.

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