Pete Davison: Geek Post

Posted on June 1, 2011 by

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Computers are bloody clever sometimes. It’s almost as if the people who designed them know that you’re going to fuck things up sometimes and put in various fail-safes to ensure that you can de-fuck yourself in most circumstances, barring catastrophic hardware failure. Having been a Mac user for quite a while, I’ve got used to using Time Machine to recover things that I’ve deleted (often as a space-saving measure) but I hadn’t used Windows 7 that much until I got my new PC a short while back.

EA released a patch for The Sims 3 today that was ostensibly to update the main game and make it work with the new expansion Generations, but it also added a bunch of new functionality to the base game. Trouble is, the patch they released didn’t patch theother expansion packs, leaving the game in a mess of unsynchronised versions that didn’t quite work with each other, causing slowdown, flickering inventory and all sort of other shite.

And so it was that I came face to face with the Restore Previous Versions dialog box for the first time. I’d installed the patch a little before 10pm tonight, I remembered, so out of curiosity I checked the Restore Previous Versions option from the Windows right-click menu. Sure enough, there were old versions of my folders backed up from 21:39, and after a bit of whirring and clunking, I was able to get them back where they were, theoretically (hopefully) erasing all trace that the patch was ever there until EA fix it. Not only that, the installer for the patch had the foresight to put a restore point in for my save game, too, so hopefully that should be in sync with the game, too. I’ll have lost about half an hour of gameplay, but I’d rather do that than have a juddery game that doesn’t work properly.

I realise that the Restore Previous Versions feature is something that you Windows users will have been taking for granted for a long time now, and I’m sure there was an equivalent in XP — I just never had cause to use it. I’ve got to say, though, colour me impressed — it was quick and simple and didn’t require any faffing around. Nice job.

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Posted in: Pete Davison