Temporary Ignorance

Date September 25, 2008

It's an interesting perspective, looking back and realizing how long you've spent to obtain the knowledge that you have. It's hard for me, because I think about how much time I spent chasing the wrong angles, or looking in the wrong places.

I spent at least two months trying to get RedHat Cluster Suite running on Fedora Core 6. Heck, I spent months setting up Fedora Core 6, because "It's what RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 is based on". Nevermind that I didn't understand that CentOS was a 1:1 mapping of RHEL, and that FC6 doesn't have support any more. If only I'd have had that small, tiny bit of knowledge, I wouldn't have all-but wasted months of my time.

Here's another example. I've been working on trying to get my Dell blades to their maximum availability, going so far as to learn how to bond the devices, running them to individual switches, learning as I went, because there was no guide for what I was trying to do.

Except, of course, there is. I just didn't find it until today:
Link Aggregation on the Dell PowerEdge 1855 Server Ethernet Switch[pdf]

Know how simple it would have been to do it right the first time if I had seen that? It's so frustrating, but the one thing that keeps me from utter despair is that it seems to be universal. I might be wrong in this, but it seems that knowledge is expensive to get but cheap to have, if you know what I mean.

Sort of reminds me of the time my boss asked me what was left to complete a project. I said that almost everything was done, but I still had one task I hadn't figured out (and I don't remember right now what it was, but it wasn't something amazingly complex) and he said, in an offhanded way, that it was trivial. I just looked at him and said "Yea, it's trivial after I figure it out. Until then, I'd say it's pretty important." It seems like a lot of things are that way.

  • Craig March

    You've touched on a good point there. I've often told myself the Benjamin Franklin quote that I haven't failed, just found 100 ways to do it wrong. On your quest to solve a problem you've probably discovered far more than what you originally wanted to know and that is good thing for the future.

  • Matt

    Craig,

    I haven't heard that one. That's a very good way of looking at it, I suppose. At least, way less depressing ;-)

  • Anonymous

    I think that quote should be attributed to Thomas Edison.