Someone calls and asks "How do I.. ?"
I respond "Just do xyz -foo -r"
Surprisingly often the next comment is "How do you REMEMBER all this stuff?"
How do you remember your dog's name, what color your car is, where you live?
The person asking the question usually has many other things to do other than taking care of a Unix/Linux server. But even if they don't, even if their entire job revolves around their company's computer system, that's still only one system: their experience is limited.
I, on the other hand, see hundreds of systems every year and am exposed to all manner of problems and challenges. I use Linux and Unix and Mac OS X every single day, year in, year out and it's been 23 years now that I've been doing that.
How could I NOT remember this stuff?
Yes, I do also have a pretty good memory. I don't need to write down phone numbers and I know a surprising number of passwords. But part of that is just constant repetition of skills: because I don't write things down, I rely upon remembering, and therefore have become good at it.
But most of it is simple exposure: I remember these commands because I use them constantly. No miracles, no wizardry. Just constant repetition.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Anthony Lawrence
If you don't know anything about computers, just remember that they are machines that do exactly what you tell them but often surprise you in the result. (Richard Dawkins)