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Preventing a Disastrous Save
Preventing a Disastrous Save

Most people who use 1-2-3 save their spreadsheet-in-progress every few minutes by using the command [Menu] File Save [Enter] Replace. The [Enter] is in response to 1-2-3's display of the name that the file was last saved as. This is a good practice to adopt. Unlike the database applications on the HP Palmtop, Lotus 1-2-3 does not automatically save information on disk while you work. If the Palmtop locks up, you'll lose whatever has not been saved to disk.

However, once you get into the habit of saving your work frequently you may get tripped up by this good habit.

How? Suppose you have started a new worksheet instead of retrieving one from disk. It has no name. If you use the same [Menu] File Save [Enter] Replace keystrokes you won't update an earlier version of the file; instead you'll accidentally write over the first 1-2-3 file that appears in the control panel. You'll also give your new worksheet the same name as the worksheet you just wiped out.

According to Murphy's Laws, this will only happen late at night in a motel room when you're in a rush to finish a spreadsheet and you don't have any backups with you. And the file you'll destroy will probably be "BUDGET.WK1"--the most critical file needed for that 8 AM meeting.

Here's a tip that will save you from doing the right thing (saving often) at the wrong time.

Start 1-2-3 and immediately save an empty worksheet with the name 0.wk1 (That's a zero: not an oh.). This will always be the first file in the list of files when you start the [Menu] File Save command.

Now, press Menu Sys to get to the DOS prompt. Type D:\BIN\ATTRIB +R 0.WK1 and press Enter. This will make the empty file Read Only.

Then type Exit and press Enter to return to 1-2-3. To test this tip quit and restart 1-2-3 again. Press [Menu] File Save Enter Replace and you should get an error message that the File or Directory is read-only.

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