Monday, January 22, 2007

Notes During the Investigation....

So I am just sitting down to start an investigation and get out my notebook and pencil so I can jot down any notes when suddenly the lightbulb goes off and I wonder why not try TiddlyWiki. I blogged about this a little while ago about using it to keep specific information in so you would not have to search for it later, I was not thinking about using it during an investigation to keep my notes in.

For the reports I write I have 4 sections: Results/Things found, Opinion, Steps Taken and Technical Explainations. So what I started to do was instead of writing things down in my notebook I started typing in TiddlyWiki. I make each thing I found it's own tiddler with a tag of what section in the report I would put it in. As I started to do this I found out how much simpler it is then writing it down in a notebook. I can easily cut and past things as well as keep everything in a time line so I know when I ran accross it. I can search and make references to other sections as well. Also I can use this as a template for the next investigation that I have, it can be a start of a very detailed and comprehensive checklist.

Now I know some people will argue the need for a check list but I think it is a good idea to have one, I don't know about you but there is so much information out there, and to remember it all I think is just too much sometimes. I think it would be better to have tiddlers of things to look at and if it does not apply to the case then say so and move on (with the many flavors of OS's there will be things that you will do for some OS's and not others), if a lawyer wants to know why you did not do a specific step then your notes should say why (The OS was win98 so that is why I did not search the restore Point directory). In a former life when I had some pretty big system implementations to do I always had a checklist to follow, it made me make sure I did not forget anything and also I could use it for documentation then next time I did an upgrade to the system since upgrades were a few years apart.



Anonymous said...

I'm interested in how you take your notes during an investigation. I'd appreciated if you could post up a sample.

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