Hackers-IL: CS in Real Life - #2 - Fortune

Hackers-IL: CS in Real Life - #2

2. Journaling filesystems:

Imagine writing stuff on a lot of different notes and pieces of papers, etc., and then suddenly getting hit in the head and forgetting everything (call this rebooting). You suddenly don't know which was the note you were in the middle of writing, and you may end up finding a note saying "kill <name>" not knowing you really meant to write "kill <name>'s jobs on the department's workstation, because they are hogging all resources" before you got hit on the head. That's why you should have a journal. Write everything that you do in there, one entry after another, and only when you complete a whole note, cut it out of the journal and keep it.

Also, when you go to the bathroom, don't forget to write down in the journal about whether you're already done with #1, #2, or #3 (don't ask what #3 is…). That way, if you suddenly get hit on the head (say, the nice fake plant over the toilet falls on you) you won't get embaraced, asking yourself questions like "Oops, I don't remember if I did #2 or not, so should I reach for some toilet paper or not?" If you had a journal, everything would have been much simpler. Just look in there, and see what you've been up to.

Author Nadav Har’El
Work Hackers-IL Message No. 1,408