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Drive letters: Microsoft should get rid of them.

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#46 abecedarian paradoxious

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29

/etc/

/usr/

/home/ ftw

Eunuchs
Unix
... same difference.


#47 atariPunk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:24

Came on the internet wants a head of someone because the Start Menu disappeared in Win8 what do you think it would happen if the driver letter also disappear...

As for the MacOS renames open files it's not that difficult to understand why it works, the name of the file is only a more simple way(for the user) to identify the file, ate least in Linux the open files are represent by a file descriptor that is connected to the iNode(in Ext filesystem the number of the iNode is the real identifier of a file. there are more filesystems that also use this approach) that represents the file on the disk, the name associated with a iNode are stored in a special file called directory. I'm assuming that the internals of Linux and MacOS are similar since both derive from Unix.

#48 Rudy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:57

It would make a lot of sense but it would also be very complicated (although the OS could reassign calls to c:/ to /, d:/ to /mount/whatever etc etc for legacy apps)

#49 George P

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:00

Just stop drive letters from being reassigned unless the user changes it. That alone would get rid of most issues. They could also slowly work off of drive letters over time. Start with things like external devices, card readers, optical drives and so on so people and revs can get used to the change before you start doing it for internal drives.

#50 Nick H.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:15

I would remove drive letters only because when a user says, "I want to have access to the U drive" I need to inform them that the U drive is meaningless for us, and that they need to provide the address that they want mapping. I've got a template email reply set out and everything, it happens so often.

#51 LUTZIFER

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:54

I have an external hard drive (D:) and an external dvdrw drive (E:) and Windows always remembers the drive letters for them.

#52 OP Ice_Blue

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:43

I have an external hard drive (D:) and an external dvdrw drive (E:) and Windows always remembers the drive letters for them.


As explained by Billyea above, this is as it should be if you always plug them into the same port.

#53 n_K

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 18:22

As for the MacOS renames open files it's not that difficult to understand why it works, the name of the file is only a more simple way(for the user) to identify the file, ate least in Linux the open files are represent by a file descriptor that is connected to the iNode(in Ext filesystem the number of the iNode is the real identifier of a file. there are more filesystems that also use this approach) that represents the file on the disk, the name associated with a iNode are stored in a special file called directory. I'm assuming that the internals of Linux and MacOS are similar since both derive from Unix.

cd /tmp
gedit TESTFILE &
type 'blah blah blah' -> save
mv TESTFILE TESTFILE2
back to gedit, type 'a2' -> save
Result -> Completely different files.

#54 iniside

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:24

Are you 100% sure about that? Is it not application specific to only those that use a special library becuase that is NOT normal unix-like behaviour.

Well I know nothing about OSX, but I can say that under Linux this is 100% valid way to move files between partitions.
Lack of this under windows make my cry hard. Under Linux If I want to move files from one disk to another another I just:
1. Create new partition.
2. Copy files from old folder (like /usr/bin /home etc.) to new partition.
3. Delete old files.
4. mount new partition under old folder.
5. Edit fstab file to mount partition at system startup. It's extremely simple and convenient way of moving and managing files if you happen to run out of space or just want to reorganize some files.

Equivalent on Windows for doing that would be:
1. Copy all files from Program Files or Users folder.
2. Delete those files from folders.
3. Mount partitions with copied files under those folders.
Have fun doing this.
It's simply impossible or I'm to stupid to do it.

Funny thing is that Windows internally do not use Drive Letters. Here is interesting post:
http://www.dslreport...orum/r24587240-

In other words. Drive Letter assignment was, is and will be flawed by design. There is no defense to this system. The only reason it exist in windows is because app developers assume that there drive letters instead of using system variables.

#55 Javik

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:11

The mounting system in Linux is admittedly more flexible than the use of drive letters, but for the average user it's probably going to also be more confusing. Having them displayed as letters and shown in "Computer" gives a user a clear identification of which drive is which.

#56 Deactivated.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:30

Having them displayed as letters and shown in "Computer" gives a user a clear identification of which drive is which.

In what way do drive letters help here as opposed to simply identifying disks by their label and device type ?

#57 Coagulated

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:33

I've never had any problem just changing it to the appropriate drive letter... takes less than 30 seconds.

#58 Javik

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:43

In what way do drive letters help here as opposed to simply identifying disks by their label and device type ?


Seeing them mounted as folders within the filesystem like it's done in Linux has the possibility of confusing ordinary users.

#59 iniside

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 14:06

Seeing them mounted as folders within the filesystem like it's done in Linux has the possibility of confusing ordinary users.

In what way ? Users don't care at which disk their files are.
It's more confuing to see 5 disks with letters C, D, E etc than simple folder like /home/userName or /media/movies.
User just see yet another folder. Not some special icon that posing to be Device for no apparent reason.

#60 Javik

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 21:48

When it's shown in the computer folder as a drive, what it is is abundantly clear. When it shows up as just another folder, to the average user what it is is not clear. Think like a n00b not a geek and you'll see the point I am trying to make.