I should keep and check notes even on my own little problems

April 30, 2016

I mentioned yesterday that I had a serious issue when I installed a VMWare Workstation update, going from 12.1.0 to 12.1.1. I wound up being very grumpy about it, disrupted the remaining part of my work day, filed a support request with VMWare, and so on, and eventually VMWare support came through with the cause and a workaround..

It turns out that I could have avoided all of that, because I ran into this same problem back when I upgraded to Fedora 23. At the time I did my Internet research, found the workaround, and applied it to my machine. This means that I could have proceeded straight to re-doing the workaround if I'd remembered this. Or, more likely, if I'd kept good notes on the problem then and remembered to read them this time.

We try to make and keep good notes for problems on our production systems, or even things that we run into in testing things for our work environment; we have an entire system for it. But I generally don't bother doing the same sort of thing for my own office workstation; when I find and fix problems and issues I may take some notes, but they're generally sketchy, off the cuff, and not centrally organized. And partly because of this, I often don't think to check them; I think I just assume I'm going to remember things about my own workstation (clearly this is wrong).

So, stating the obvious: I would be better off if I kept organized notes about what I had to do to fix problems and get various things going on my workstation, and put the notes into one place in some format (perhaps a directory with text files). Then I could make it a habit to look there before I do some things, or at least when I run into a problem after I do something.

Also, when I make these notes I should make them detailed, including dates and versions of what they're about. It turns out that I actually had some very sketchy notes about this problem from when I upgraded to Fedora 23 (they were some URLs that turned out to be discussions about the issue), but they didn't have a date or say 'this applied when I upgraded to Fedora 23 with VMWare 12' or anything like that. So when I stumbled over the file and skimmed it, I didn't realize that the URLs were still relevant; I skipped that because I assumed that of course it had to be outdated.

(I'm sure that when I wrote the note file in the first place I assumed that I'd always remember the context. Ha ha, silly me, I really should know better by now. Especially since I've written more than one entry here about making just that assumption and being wrong about it.)

Written on 30 April 2016.
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Last modified: Sat Apr 30 23:32:46 2016
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