Once again I’m in the throes of a personal server transition. Over the years I’ve accumulated quite a stable of web properties, most of which are of dubious benefit but nonetheless receive the love that any parent feels for their child. Well, not exactly, but you get the drift.
Suffice it to say that I have to move multi-gigabytes of diverse content, install two database systems because I’m too lazy to merge onto one, dump said databases and reload them, reindex everything else, transfer domains, and generally wreak havoc of what had previously been humming along just fine, thank you very much. All of this to get a faster, more commodious home for these sites at the same price.
But that isn’t why I’m writing this post — no, all of that is simply what led me to the topic described by the title.
As you might imagine, there can be a few…let’s just say, “issues” in any major move like this. Some are clearly my own darn fault, and others creep in through such things as unfamiliarity with a spiffy new operating system and other such changes. Then throw in the fact that Unix sucks and you pretty much have all the makings of a bloomin’ PARTY.
And don’t begin to think that when you run into that nasty little problem that a quick Google search will solve it. Far from it. Searching Google by using an error message as your query might sound like a good idea, but the variability in situations soon makes it apparent that one person’s answer can be far from correct for your particular situation. Also, these questions and purported answers are often embedded in a long thread of bulletin board posts, which must be successively navigated in search of an answer that is: 1) correct, 2) cogent, and 3) complete. Even if you only get 2 out of 3 you’ve hit the jackpot. In other words, you can find yourself in a world of hurt pretty quickly.
That’s where tenacity comes in. Solving any technical problem when you are not an expert in that particular technical backwater can be a series of trial-and-errors (with perhaps equal emphasis on the “trial” and “error” parts). First try one thing, then another, then another, all the while checking your solutions against documentation, tutorials, and whatever other pertinent information you can find.
Some situations I’ve haplessly fallen into have taken me hours or days or even weeks to solve. But eventually I’ve solved the problem before a) committing suicide, or b) giving up and hiring someone who really knows what they’re doing. And that is why I believe that tenacity rules. It’s how I’ve learned everything from arcane BITNET commands to impenetrable Unix commands, and so much more in between. Just keep at it, head-bangers.