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Offline Folders

You might recognize the "Offline" problem: You'll eventually want to have copies of a remote computer's files on your own computer. If you make changes to your copies, the network's copy will be out of date. If someone changes the originals on the remote computer, your copies will be out of date. And trying to remember where the originals came from, where you saved the copies on your computer, and which is the newest copy can get confusing sometimes. Sometimes you copy stuff back and forth and accidentally overwrite a newer file, or miss one that was added since you last looked. The answer to the offline problem is automation. Computers can do anything, right?

Well, I don't know if you ever tried to use My Briefcase in previous versions of Windows, but the answer to that question is "not always." It was a nice idea: You could copy files from an office computer into the special Briefcase folder and take it on a floppy to your portable, or from a remote computer to your "briefcase" via a LAN. The next time you connected, Windows would attempt to reconcile the files in your "briefcase" folder with the originals. The whole process was so confusing I never even tried it on older versions of Windows until I started work on this book. When I did try, it froze, lost files, or crashed my computer every time I used it. Well, as the saying goes, "It's the thought that counts."


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