Monday, November 12, 2007

Ockham's Razor

I love the phrase, it sounds so "evil", so "sinister". But, really, it isn't. It's simply the phrase to describe what we should all already know: "The simplest and most obvious answer is usually the correct one." I ran into a situation just recently when troubleshooting a client's network. All morning, this client was not able to get online. I was able to verify connectivity issues, so I took advantage and offloaded responsibility and ownership of the problem to their ISP. (In this case Time Warner) Time Warner confirmed the outage and resolved the situation. However, the client still had problems... Of course, I didn't know this until after the client endured 4 hours of frustrating troubleshooting with their network, etc. All said and done... I stopped by on my way to another location to have a look see. Needless to say, I left within 2 minutes... the cable from their firewall/router to their main hub was disconnected. A simple click of the network cable resolved the problem. Apparently, things were moved around and jostled while they were trying to figure out why the modem wasn't online. Moral of the story... alway take a step back and take a look at the big picture. Before you start mucking around with existing settings and parameters, ask yourself what has changed to cause this problem. In most cases it's something stupid, er... I mean simple. Here's a little tidbit. Ockham's Razor (sometimes spelled Occam's razor) is a principle credited to a 14th century friar named (you guessed it) Ockham... actually William of Ockham,