Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Google Roulette

Recently I've been travelling quite a lot and I've been playing a new and dangerous game, one that unfortunately is soon to be outlawed so get your kicks while you can.

What you do is this. You decide to not use Word to create a new document and decide to give Google Docs instead. Everything goes fine in the office and then it comes time to go home. Now I'm a big fan of the train system over cars for commuting so I then have the choice... do I shutdown and not work on the train, do I create a scratch pad then cut or paste or do I play Google Roulette and recently I've been choosing the later every time.

All you do is not shutdown the browser and carry on editing even when you are offline. Google starts freaking out with warning messages after a minute or so which in a Windows Vista sense have to be okayed everytime (I want a "I'm playing Google Roulette leave me alone"). On the short to commute to my home from work the risk is minimal, I'm on a MacBook Pro so the reliability is pretty solid, I can add to the excitement running it inside the Parallels image and getting the random reboot requests that corporate IT likes to throw in.

But the real excitement comes on a long train journey or a flight, especially a flight. On the train its just a matter of will the battery fail, is there enough power to keep sleep mode until I connect back to the power, should I have the battery at 10mins to go, or is 3 enough? Then when I get to the hotel and there is no internet connection... will Google upgrade Docs while I am disconnect thus meaning that the sync won't work?

On planes the excitement gets more extreme as it becomes a challenge between myself, security and the airline... will they see that flashing light and insist that I fully turn the machine off... will the security people ask me to take the battery out for no good reason... will I make the mistake of thinking "oh bugger 5 mins power left, I'd better switch batteries" and suddenly realise that you can only do the switch when the thing is plugged in.

So far in about a month of travel I've had 2 machine failures (one via security and one via a battery change) and nothing else which isn't bad really... its almost exactly the same as I would have had if I'd been editing the document on my computer normally.

Google Roulette... its as dangerous as fishing for goldfish.

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dbt said...

hopefully the docs guys will add offline support soon, the plugin is already out there.

Steve Jones said...

I know, which means Google Roulette is a short time only game, in a year, maybe even in months, no-one will be able to play Google Roulette again.

Anonymous said...

I believe you can swap MacBook batteries without switching it off or plugging it in, you just have to put it to sleep.

Should add a little bit more excitment to your game.

More info: