as reliable as the beating of your heart
Tuesday, June 1 2010
Normally May and June constitute a fairly rainy time of the year, but there hadn't been any rain in two weeks, and the landscape had begun to look less springlike and more summery. So I was excited today when clouds rolled in and I heard the rumble of thunder. Eventually some rain did fall, but it hardly amounted to anything. Still, it was enough to cause repeated failures of the household DSL-based internet connection. It couldn't have happened at less convenient time; I was trying to debug something on a distant Windows server, which (as far as I could tell) could only be administered using Remote Desktop. The problem with Remote Desktop is that it takes an inexplicably long time to recover from internet outages. When there's an outage, the Remote Desktop simply hangs, and then, after several minutes, it changes to black and white and a blinking icon indicates the network failure. It will continue to indicate the absence of a connection well after the internet becomes available. Usually it's best to just close the session down and start a new one. Still, it makes you wonder why Microsoft doesn't just make it so Remote Desktop does what I find myself having to do manually when it recovers from a brief outage. My stab at an explanation is the same as for other cases where Microsoft code behaves infuriatingly when trying to use an unreliable internet (I'm talking about you, Mr. SQL Server Import and Export Wizard). My guess is that at Microsoft, the internet connection is as reliable as the beating of your heart, and the engineers there do not design with flaky infrastructure in mind.
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