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ISPworld: The Web Server First Aid Kit - Handy Tools for When All Hell Breaks Loose

Mar 25, 2001, 17:47 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey Carl)

"It's a sad fact that most system administration learning is done in the minutes and hours after you say the words, "Wow. I've never seen something get broken that way before." Learning to be a sysadmin means you discover how to fix all the problems that pop up. When you find a problem you?ve never run into before, you scramble to learn how to fix that, and you're fine until the next new Unidentified Weird Thing® happens. And so on.

"Fortunately, about 90 percent of Unix Web/mail/etc. server problems can be discovered or fixed with just a few tools - much like 90 percent of all household repairs can be done with a screwdriver, a wrench or a baseball bat. Knowing just a few likely trouble spots and troubleshooting tools can help you resolve a lot of that unidentified weirdness without getting so frustrated you want to rip the hard drives out of the computer and make refrigerator magnets out of them."

"The key here is that, unlike quantum mechanics or carburetors, everything that goes wrong on a Unix system happens for a clearly defined reason. While that reason may sometimes be freakish or undocumented, it's almost always one of a few fairly common issues."

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