The Master Troubleshooting List

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Good news, people. People consider me a master machine builder, yet all the time I'm retarded. You see, I don't know nothin. Which is why I have the capacity to learn and improve.

What does this have to do with troubleshooting? It's that because we're all tetardedery limited in our logic. Computers are better. People get confused easily, and can only attend to one or a few details at a time. Except that machines are.xomplex system, with more than a few 'moving parts'. That means we get confused easily - but most times the problem is quite simple.

It's like the joke with the engineer who came in to fix some complex device. He reconnected a small wire in 5 minutes, and charged $5000. When questioned about the exorbitant price, He responded that it only cost him $5 in labor, but $4995 for the knowledge of which wire to fix. And that's how it works - whenever something doesn't work, it's a very simple reason.

The engineer example shows a case where deep knowledge was needed. But the good news is - most troubleshooting in integrated system management does not require deep knowledge - as much as a broad understanding of basics

t turns out that when something doesn't work, it leaks, it won't start, it blows up - there is usually a simple reason why that happens. Unless we are very aware, the reason is easy to miss. And typically with complex devices, there is a lot of confusion because the thing that isn't working - a simple thing - is surrounded byany other things that take our attention and we cannot see the obvious thing that is wrong. We miss the forest through the trees, as the saying goes

So this page is intended to provide a huge range of common causes that apply across a broad range of disciplines - mechanics, plumbing, hydraulics, wiring, electricity, therodybamics, stress calculations, etc. Ooh, that already sounds intimidating. But it isnt' - once you begin to see a set of underlying patterns to matter and physics. Once you see the basic principles, you'll be able to troubleshoot anything. Some of the things listed here will appear absolutely trivial - duh - everyone knows that. Yet you'll be amazed how even theost trivial things will stump even the most sophisticated minds.

But this basic understanding - easily learned if people are exposed to it explicitly, over and over again - can allow one to not only build, but to troubleshoot anything anywhere - until we tame technology to true lifetime design and convert the entire technosphere into transparent, open source technology.