Saturday, 12 March 2011

Lesson One - Where are the plans for the Death Star?

Set the scene. The Imperials storm the Diplomatic vessel. Darth Vader grabs the Captain by the throat and demands to know the location of the Death Star plans. It does not go well for the Captain...

Here are the pearls of wisdom to be gained from this.

  1. Secure your data. We could have skipped that entire scene if only the Imperials had bothered to lock down the plans properly in the first place. Sloppy.
  2. Make your data accessible where appropriate. You really shouldn't need to kill someone to get some information, even if you want to. Besides, his own people already told him the plans where not aboard the ship. Face it. That was just nasty. 
  3. Never ask the person in charge for a document. Let's be honest here, they won't know. They make decisions using the information. Knowing where it is is unnecessary detail. Asking the records admin is always a better investment of time and effort. Learning to search for yourself is good too.
  4. Sometimes an indirect approach works better. Maybe Lord Vader should have asked "Do you have any information on big lasers or large space stations?" Being specific can be a disadvantage. What if the rebels called the Death Star something else?    
  5. Put your eggs in more than one basket. If you have important data make sure you have redundancies in place. The Rebels should have made copies and put them on more ships... Or more droids. You would think that in a galaxy far far away there would be a data network of some kind wouldn't you?  
That's it for now. Next time we look at how good research can pay off when it comes to buying droids off Jawas.

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