Try the Easy Way First

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I just spent 45 minutes trying to figure out why my Palm wouldn't sync up to the computer. It worked fine a few days ago. I haven't changed anything. What's up with that?

Detour2
I Googled my question and got some ideas. None worked. Went to the Palm support site and got some more ideas, which sent me back to the Internet for more inquiries, hoping to narrow down the solutions. No help there. Plug it into a different port. Open and close programs. Nada. Back to the Palm site, then some Macintosh help sites. By now I'm kind of irritated.

Okay, I'll just reset the stupid thing, I decide out of exasperation. Still not working. Might as well restart the computer too. That's the last trick in my book. Success!

So, what's the lesson here? Sometimes, it's not worth discovering what's wrong if you know a fast way just to solve the problem. I have no clue why the hotsync didn't work. I'd like to know, but what I'd like more is to be able to get back to work. I need to remind myself to cut to the chase and just solve, or overcome, a problem and let go of my desire to understand it.

Does this happen to you? Do you suddenly realize that you've spent an hour troubleshooting instead of circumventing and getting on with it? I think it's natural to attempt to solve a problem that's right in front of you, but it's worthwhile to stop and consider whether you can make progress without actually solving it.

Detour from ngader's photostream

10 thoughts on “Try the Easy Way First

  1. Hmmm, I find that if I create more problems for myself, I then get to solve them. The more problems I solve, the better I get.
    I’ve got about 24 years behind computer hardware, but in the last 8 or 9 years, really haven’t had any problems with the machines here at work or at home. Now, when I problem like what you just encountered comes up, I’m at it for far longer than I should.
    Break stuff! It’ll make you stronger.
    Biggles

  2. Hmmm, I find that if I create more problems for myself, I then get to solve them. The more problems I solve, the better I get.
    I’ve got about 24 years behind computer hardware, but in the last 8 or 9 years, really haven’t had any problems with the machines here at work or at home. Now, when I problem like what you just encountered comes up, I’m at it for far longer than I should.
    Break stuff! It’ll make you stronger.
    Biggles

  3. Biggles,
    I like your contrarian viewpoint!
    Unfortunately, I tend to remember problems better than the solutions I came up with. But it made me think that keeping my own “Issues Log” would be a good idea. Then I can avoid reinventing the wheel every time.

  4. Biggles,
    I like your contrarian viewpoint!
    Unfortunately, I tend to remember problems better than the solutions I came up with. But it made me think that keeping my own “Issues Log” would be a good idea. Then I can avoid reinventing the wheel every time.

  5. You said Log. Yeah, I dunno. Not sure if I want to jot down all my issues. The thought of finding it years later only to be reminded of all my issues doesn’t exactly make me giggle. See, I figure if I do whatever it takes to solve a problem, no matter how large or difficult, I own its soul. Once that’s done, it won’t happen again.
    Biggles

  6. You said Log. Yeah, I dunno. Not sure if I want to jot down all my issues. The thought of finding it years later only to be reminded of all my issues doesn’t exactly make me giggle. See, I figure if I do whatever it takes to solve a problem, no matter how large or difficult, I own its soul. Once that’s done, it won’t happen again.
    Biggles

  7. Lacey,
    I think people enjoy the sleuthing and brainstorming needed to solve thorny problems (I do). The trick is to realize when a problem is worth spending time on. What do you think?

  8. Lacey,
    I think people enjoy the sleuthing and brainstorming needed to solve thorny problems (I do). The trick is to realize when a problem is worth spending time on. What do you think?

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