Learn about how the author keeps tech issues organized by taking screenshots of errors, creating an errors folder on the desktop, jotting down error issues on the fly into TextEdit and storing them in the errors folder, and creating a Hazel rule to automatically organize files with _error in the filename to go into the correct folder.
- [Instructor] Inevitably if you work on computers, you're going to run into errors especially if you live inside you NLE. Now, I'm not going to get into any debates about whether or not Final Cut X, Avid, Adobe or Resolve are the buggiest programs. Needless to say, they all have their hiccups and it's imperative to track your errors so that when the time comes that you need to do deep maintenance, you have some log or some information of what led to your NLE's inevitable demise. So, here's a super simple system that I use to track my error messages.
We're back here in Avid where we were working on some scenes before, linking some clips, we were doing some labeling, some colors, but let's say that we're going through all this and I don't know, maybe Avid decides to crash when you're in the middle of recording your tutorial video which is actually what happened to me as I was recording this video. I want to walk you through the process that I went through to log these errors and collected them and then we'll even go one step further so you can see how you can automate this process. So, I can't just get Avid to crash.
Unless I need to do something really important and there's a deadline, I could play with it all I want, it's probably going to be fine until I need it, so what I'm going to do is simulate an error for you and then show you the actual process that I went through and then show you the files that were created when I had my real crash before shooting this video. So, to simulate an error, I'm just going to go ahead and I'm going to open up the capture tool. Most people probably don't even capture anything anymore because we get everything digitally but let's say that I were going to capture and I want to hit the record button and I get an error message, so this could be an error message when you're working in your timeline, it could be a crash error message, regardless of what the error message is, it's important to keep the stuff logged but you don't want to have to write it down, you don't have time to worry about it, so what I always do is I quickly screen capture this error message and you can do it two ways.
If you do command shift three, it'll do your whole screen which is very useful because you're going to know the context of the message or in addition to that, you can also do just the error message, so that would be command shift four, that's going to bring up these little cross hairs and I'm going to get a shot of just the error message. And that's going to drop screenshots onto my desktop, so here are the two screenshots that we just took, this is the full screen one with all the context of where I was at the time.
This is simply just the error message and these are the actual error messages that I got the last time that I crashed so this is telling me that Avid Media Composer has quit unexpectedly. If you're an Avid user, I'm sure you've never seen this before. More importantly, what I did when this came up is I clicked Save Log and that created this crash file and I of course named it Avid Is Annoying. I don't know what any of this means but I'm going to assume that somebody at Avid does, so if I got to the point where I just couldn't fix this problem and an Avid technician said do you have a log, do you have any information you can give me about the error message, the error code? Guess what? I can and it's all going to be right here but here's the thing, I'm in a really clean, empty desktop right now.
Most likely yours doesn't look the same way and if you have three/five/10 crashes in a row because you have problems, you don't want these cluttering up your desktop, so what we're going to do is create an automation so every time you create a screenshot or an error log, it goes directly to the proper folder. So, what I'm going to do is create a new folder by right clicking and calling this Screen Shots and another folder that's called Crash Logs. I'm just going to put these down here in the lower right-hand corner so they don't clutter anything up and for now I'm just going to manually drop these in, so I've logged my errors and if you ever want to go one step further, you can say Screen Shots ERORRS and then if you want to make screenshots for other things, you can as well but for now we'll do this.
I put the crash log in here and we're going to use a program called Hazel which I demonstrated in a previous lesson, so I'm not going to go deep into how to use it but frankly, it's so easy to use, if you didn't watch the previous lesson, you're going to figure this out. So, I open up Hazel and what I want to do is create an automation, so I'm simply going to add a new folder and this folder is going to be the desktop because that's where the screenshots and the crash logs are placed, so I'm just going to call it Desktop and then I want to create an action or a rule.
So, we're going to create a rule that I'm going to call Screen Shots and if all the following conditions are met, if the name of the file starts with, and we want it to start with Screen Shot, you want to make sure the format's exactly the same, so Screen Shot, any time that a file is put on the desktop that's called Screen Shot, we want it to move that to the following folder, so this is where we choose Screen Shots ERRORS.
We hit OK. And then we want to create a second rule for Crash Logs, so we're going to go again, same folder, so we don't need to make another folder, but we add a new rule that's going to be called Crash Logs, name, well, for this one, it's going to prompt us for a name, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to base it on the extension, so the extension is .crash. We want to move that to the folder in the desktop called Crash Logs.
So, I have my two rules set. So, the first step is we're going to make a new screenshot, so let's say that I try to do this again, oh, I get an error message, I'm going to take a full screenshot, command shift three, specific one, just in case I want it, command shift four, and now I'm going to go to my desktop, wait, they're not on my desktop because they're already sorted into my folder keeping my desktop clean.
Now, I can't simulate creating a crash log without actually crashing, but what I can do is demonstrate very quickly what happens if I put this back on the desktop. Doesn't stay there long because as soon as it's placed on the desktop, it goes back into my Crash Logs folder. So, that way if you're in a crazy rush, you crash, you get the information, you screenshot it, you go right back to fixing the problem or trying to meet your deadline but you don't have to track down your screenshots and your crash logs later.
Hopefully after developing a simple tracking system for your errors, you are now much more prepared when a tech person asks you, so what were you doing when you caused the crash? And rather than saying I don't really remember, you can send them a detailed log of screenshots and notes.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
Skill Level Intermediate
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