TIPS & TRICKS

Events, Errors, and Exceptions

My name is Johnvey, I create web sites, and I hate computers.

Many a time have I contemplated forming a support group for computer professionals who’ve grown to loathe the very tools that sustain their livelihoods. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the internets in its wholesomely unadulterated form, dancing hamsters/Star Wars Kid/PBJ time included. But there was a point in the last few years when the honeymoon period was over and I saw computers in a different light — a light that was illuminated by a blue screen of death, or more recently, the multilingual translucent grey screen of death.

I imagine that marriage is an accurate analog to my relationship with computers, and that all my computer problems have degraded from “configuration issues” to “petulant machine that won’t stop throwing this retarded error” (disclosure: I am not married, so my only basis for comparison would be vicarious experiences through eavesdropping on the subway). Countless hours have been pissed away trying to decipher what “node no longer exists” or “pseudo-terminal will not be allocated” really means.

I write about this because I’m developing Splunk Base, a new resource at Splunk that hopes to address some of this petulance that infects just about every part of running software. Our objective is to grow a collaborative troubleshooting resource that lets the lone sysadmin tap into the collective intelligence of software people all over the world. My ultimate goal is to break into the realm of autonomic computing by leveraging this collective intelligence to have software diagnose its own problems.

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a collaboration platform that weaves wikis, forums, and the Splunk engine into the first online resource dedicated to IT troubleshooting. I’ll be covering more about Splunk Base as we release, so watch this space for updates. And hopefully you’ll contribute some of your knowledge, if only to help me hate my computer a little less.

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