Solutions evolve

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Remember that solutions evolve: The initial preventive action will be based on the evidence at the time and previous experience.  If it appears to address the cause then well and good.

But if the same or a similar defect reoccurs  prompting further investigation, so might the  preventive action evolve – sometimes into something quite different from the initial fix. If the preventive action evolves correctly it corrects the problem without causing another one.

Flight Safety Australia Magazine, May-June 2010, “Don’t play it again, Sam.” by Roger Alder

When I read this today (the author was talking about aircraft maintenance), I was reminded of my efforts at fixing WMI issues.

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“It is better to have and not need, than need and not have.”

As I said to the boss the other day when he asked if we wanted a final backup of the Windows 2000 Server we were decommissioning.  Now where I first heard this saying, is lost in the mists of time.  If pressed, I’d say some sort of security briefing.

Regardless, it expresses what I think about backups very well.  And I was reminded of it the other day.  I was copying some files from one backup drive to another, and McAfee chirped in with
McAfee - fake av

“Potentially Unwanted Program??” What the ???

Windows Enabler was a utility I used some years ago, which I’d forgotten about.  I tend to hoard these utilities in case I ever need them again.  I was greatly annoyed that McAfee decided to delete this utility for the reason “Potentially Unwanted Program”.

I ended up recovering the deleted files from CD backup.

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“God Knows”

Anonymous commented back of the 7 April,

Who wrote this verse: I said to the man at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown.”
And the man replied,” Put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, safer than a known way.”

english public footpathThat would be Minnie Louise Haskins, and she wrote the poem in 1907.  It was published as part of her ‘The Desert’ collection in 1908.

My first blog post started with a quote from this poem, and here it is in full:

God Knows

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

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Standing at the gate

gate of the year 2010I said to the man at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown.”
And the man replied, “Put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, safer than a known way.”

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“Man invented fire here”

I’ve done a bit of programming over the years, and I’m currently working with a Visual Basic 6 (VB6) code base.  I’ve found the following quotation so true:

visual basic 6 logo It is a weird thing though if you’ve noticed that for very old applications, you know, I feel like for some of them you often have multiple ways of doing things, they just end up co-existing.

It’s kind of like you look around and you can say, oh, man invented fire here, and it’s like, oh, man discovered wheel here and you’re finding the entire history of 15 years of software development stuck in one codebase…

Michael Feathers, speaking with Scott Hanselman, on Hanselminutes podcast 165.

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