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7. Troubleshooting > Isolating Problems

Isolating Problems

Another important rule is to find a reliable way to reproduce a problem. If your circuit behaves in a funny way at random times, try really hard to figure out the exact moment the problem occurs and what is causing it. This process will allow you to think about a possible cause. It is also very useful when you need to explain to somebody else what’s going on.

Describing the problem as precisely as possible is also a good way to find a solution. Try to find somebody to explain the problem to—in many cases, a solution will pop into your head as you articulate the problem. Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike, in The Practice of Programming (Addison-Wesley, 1999), tell the story of one university that “kept a teddy bear near the help desk. Students with mysterious bugs were required to explain them to the bear before they could speak to a human counselor.”


  

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