612: Estimation

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Estimation
They could say "the connection is probably lost," but it's more fun to do naive time-averaging to give you hope that if you wait around for 1,163 hours, it will finally finish.
Title text: They could say "the connection is probably lost," but it's more fun to do naive time-averaging to give you hope that if you wait around for 1,163 hours, it will finally finish.

[edit] Explanation

When moving or copying files using the Windows Explorer, a dialog box opens to inform the user of how many of the files being moved have been moved with an estimate of how long the rest of the files should take. However, this estimate is often subject to seemingly random and extreme changes from a time measured in seconds or minutes to one measured in hours or days. This is caused by variations in file transfer speed (for instance, transfers of many small files are generally slower than transfers of a few large files, because of per-file overhead). A brief slowdown may cause the system to display that the transfer will take a long time (based on the total amount of data yet be transferred and the current low speed), and then revert to a more accurate estimate when the bottleneck is cleared.

The joke in the comic is the idea that this feature was actually purposefully implemented and that the person who did so actually talks like that. He tells some friends on the phone how long it will take for him to arrive at their meeting point. However, like with Windows's estimation feature, he quickly changes his estimate multiple times from the extremes of days to seconds.

The title text refers to the fact that if the connection is lost, and data can no longer be transmitted, the estimation just gets larger and larger as time goes on rather than realizing that no data being sent means there is no connection. A behavior that occurs on Microsoft network connections even when the connection is not lost.

[edit] Transcript

Cueball: I'm just outside town, so I should be there in fifteen minutes.
Cueball: Actually, it's looking more like six days.
Cueball: No, wait, thirty seconds.
The author of the Windows file copy dialog visits some friends.
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Discussion

I've experienced this more strongly while installing programs rather than transfering files, and the "connection lost" part is not exclusively from Microsoft. 108.162.212.196 22:06, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
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