Remembering to Reboot

After a long time of using OS X (all versions) and Windows 7, you start to think that problems require solutions. If Apache isn’t processing PHP it’s because you didn’t turn it on. If you’re getting mysql access errors it’s because you have to fix permissions. That kind of stuff. So when my XP Virtual Machine told me my credentials for the SMB share from my Mac were wrong I started investigating. I double checked permissions. I changed the password. Nothing. So I restarted the Virtual Machine and the file sharing service and they worked.

From a developers point of view, needing to restart anything means something got into an invalid state somehow and it’s probably worth investigating. What’s nice about the way Unix in general works is that everything is a restartable service. So when something breaks you only need to restart that and the machine stays up. When I restarted the file sharing service on that Mac it didn’t stop the iTunes episode I was watching or my Safari downloads or SFTP uploads.

The heavily sandboxed way in which iOS works means users probably NEVER restart their devices. I’ve never had any problem that could be fixed by rebooting. These solid unix based devices lead me to do silly things like not reboot Windows XP before continuing to troubleshoot.