Saturday, June 11, 2011

Record Keeping Retrospective

I've been reading alot lately about the "treasure trove" (10 hard drives and 110 thumb drives) of information that Seal Team 6 scooped up after they killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last month, and how nerdy Osama was a fastidious record keeper (here and here and here).  Good, I hope it leads to many more eliminations of American hating fundamentalists who have no chance for rehabilitation or of adopting a less violent life style in the future.  Like repeat child molesters or rapists, recidivist jihadists need to be culled from the herd - life in prison isn't gonna cut it. Shoot them in the head and bury them at sea, is the most efficient way to deal with such people.  And thank you Osama, from the fish-nourishing watery grave that you're in, for helping to give the good guys - those who don't intentionally target civilians - a detailed road map of where everyone is, what you've paid them, and all of your "sagely" advice to your troops, as well as your hypocritical porn stash, yeah, praise be his name...  Good stuff.

But as I read about how the CIA is dissecting this information, and I do some cleaning and straightening up around my own home this weekend, I came across the maintenance log of my old Nissan.  It was a 1999 I30 that we bought from Carmax, the 2002 October weekend after our son totaled the sweet little '95 Teal colored Honda Civic EX Coupe I used to enjoy driving.  Carmax is not a bad car dealer, and the vehicle was rather trouble free for the first 6 or so years.  I am not sure I can wholeheartedly recommend Carmax to everyone, but it's not a bad place to get a used car.  But I digress....

The single page of maintenance here, chronicles almost 9 years of automobile maintenance.  20 times in 8.5 years I got underneath that car, to check on the progress of leaks, condition of CV joint boots, tire tread depth, road kill fur that had been stuck to the under carriage, etc.  The record shows how from 2004 to 2005, as I worked with more and more fellow engineers who maintained their own vehicles, and got to know more and more high performance motorcycle enthusiasts who only used synthetic oil in their high revving Japanese and Italian motorcycle engines, that I switched from blended Valvoline to pure synthetic Castrol (at double the cost).  This lasted until 2010 when I determined the failed NOx sensor buried in the middle of the V6, with a $450 part replacement cost and $1200 in labor, was NOT worth the trouble on a car well above the century mark, and that before the October 2011 emissions re-check was due, a replacement vehicle purchase would be in order.

Fastidious record keeping has its advantages.  I was asked just yesterday by a co-worker about a RCA (root cause analysis) that a colleague of ours and myself worked on in 2004.  I was able to produce the summary document after looking for about 60 seconds on my hard drive (why it was not on the daily backed up corporate server, I do not know, but I've grown to not trust most corporate IT orgs).  The 1/2TB back up work IOMEGA drive I've had for more than 1/2 a decade is now complimented with a 2TB Western digital for my personal use - though where I am going to get 2TBs worth of personal files, I don't know?  I can still remember my first Micron Pentium computer and how I thought it's 700MB hard drive was enormous. 

So boys and girls... while this posting is somewhat rambling (my Qwest provided broadband internet cut out 3 times during it's authoring), the moral of the story are these: 
1) keep good records, you never know when they might come in handy in retrospect
2) don't be evil, and if you are evil and a hypocrite, destroy your records (or don't keep any in the first place), because someone is gonna find you eventually, and expose you for the evil hypocrite you really are.

1 comment:

  1. And remember: never trust magnetic storage. If you cn, put it in the cloud (, dropbox, etc).


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