“Look, there on the server, it’s . . . it’s . . .”

If a member of the Qualithian race [all-powerful, multi-dimensional critters capable of transcending space and time, and able to write programs in Visual Basic without losing their sanity] ever pops into existence by my elbow and offers me a single super power, I am prepared: Quite simply, the ability to delete obsolete versions of documents, regardless of location.

So we could end forever conversations like this:

“Did you read the spec?”

“Sure.”

“The one I sent out just before the meeting?”

“Uh . . . maybe. What version?”

“1.17b; I did a bunch of edits but I left the version the same so that the document server wouldn’t get cranky again, and you should use the time stamp instead.”

“What about the version that Figby marked-up after your changes?”

“I don’t know, did he get the bit about the automatic zothic bongo yadda-badinga processing on big-endian systems?”

“I thought that was out in version 1.15g.”

“Little endian, or he was lying.”

“He cannot lie. He just doesn’t know what the truth is. And these versions aren’t helping.”

“Well.”

“Version 1.15g, that’s like three days old. Fucking ancient.”

“And it went out to customers.”

“WHAT?!”

“I saw the pallets on the loading dock. Five thousand copies back from the printers, all bound up and shipped off to the four corners of the civilized world. Also, Washington D.C.”

—-

See? With a single wave of my super-power wand, all this confusion would vanish.

“Um, so what is the latest . . .”

(SWOOP! ZAPF!)

“Oh, thank you, Version Man! You’ve saved our meeting!”

“No thanks necessary, just keeping entropy at bay for another day.”

(SWOOP!)