Bugs in the House

Sometimes, finding the true cause of a software bug is a real challenge. Recently I've been butting heads with a few gnarly ones that seem to rear their ugly heads now and again, but which I have thus far failed to vanquished.

I've also been re-watching House on Netflix. It's good fun, particularly once you get into the swing of how things work and you can start predicting when certain maladies will be proposed.

Some of the most commonly suggested ailments are:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Lupus
  • Paraneoplastic syndrome

This somewhat mirrors my own experience when dealing with strange bugs. I have my own little personal check list of things to think about when something seems awry:

  • Race conditions
  • Timezones
  • Character encodings

Usually any strange bug can be traced back to one of these although finding which can sometimes take a lot longer than expected.

Of course, the advantage of software over medicine is that we are free to poke and prod and break as much as we like - we generally have complete power of resurrection over our 'patient' as well as being able to re-program the DNA to helpfully print out anything we think might be useful. No blood taking required.

I can only imagine the carnage that would be caused if House were able to re-boot and/or re-program his patients. Not that he doesn't try from time to time...