21. Troubleshooting Your Network

When Good Networks Go Bad

As part of my software consulting work, I end up doing a fair bit of network support for my clients. And every time I get a call from a client with a network problem, I cringe. I never know whether it’s going to take 10 minutes or a week to fix. Sometimes the problem isn’t so bad; I’ve fixed more than one “broken” computer by turning it on. If such an easy fix doesn’t present itself immediately, though, a bit of a cold sweat breaks out on my forehead. The problem could be anything. How do you even start to find a nasty problem in the maze of cards, wires, drivers, and hidden, inexplicable system services? And it’s difficult enough debugging the stuff that belongs there. What if viruses, ...

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