December 2006 Reader Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of our December 2006 Reader Challenge. A copy of "Programming Visual Basic 2005," from O’Reilly & Associates Publishing, goes to L. Jay Seltzer, of New Jersey.

January 2007 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Windows Client challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to challenge@windowsitpro.com by January 11, 2007. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct. I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an e-mail receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=94784 on January 12, 2007.

The January 2007 Challenge

This month’s challenge is from a reader who runs a corporate Help center. He’s been collecting “weird” problems (and their solutions) as he troubleshoots user problems on his network. He says he periodically presents his own Challenge to the company’s IT department, and he sent me one of the challenges from his collection to see whether Client UPDATE readers can do better than his colleagues did (only half of the staff could answer this question.

Here it is:

A user who was trying to “hide” personal documents on a Windows XP system by burying them deep in the computer’s folder structure received an error message when performing a mandated (and automated with a script) backup of local data to a company data file server. The problem was a path that was too long (Windows lets you create a path that’s too long, but you won’t be able to get to the files that reside at the bottom of the path, after the maximum size is exceeded).
What’s the maximum size of a path?

A. 13 folders.
B. 260 characters.
C. 11 folders.
D. 128 characters.

Extra Credit Question. Your answer doesn’t count toward winning the Reader Challenge, but we’ll award a separate prize for the best “extra credit” answer, drawing winners at random from all the good answers. The definition of “good” is, “It works and it strikes my personal fancy as being creative and efficient.”

What’s the best way to fix the problem so you can reach the documents at the bottom of the too-long path?

Answers:

B. The MAX_PATH limit is 260 characters.

Extra Credit Answer

My Own Answer is: Starting at the top of the folder tree, rename each folder using numbers, such as 1\2\3\4\5\6\7\8\, etc.