So, you’re mounting a space shuttle, off to space. I bet that the single thing you’re hoping for is that nobody forgot anything you’ll need. There are whole teams in place to make sure that they think on everything, and that they’ll do the optimal weight/benefit analysis. They should — there are precious few ways to get anything up there.
It is probably less critical to think what to give a service engineer when she is off for an installation at a customer’s. But there are many parallels — you’re not sure you’ll be anything to get anything you don’t bring with you, and you damn well better make this a success. Sending a service engineer is expensive, and the customer should be made happy. What do you do?
What we chose to do is to make sure we have a good list of things. From the mundane (snacks in case there’s no time for lunch) to the technical (extra CDs in case we need to burn something), anything we could think of was put on the list. Among other things, the contents of the legendary SE CD, which contains all the software we thought of that could help in the field — various versions and parts of our products, Twisted, ethereal, and other things which might be useful some day. Until today, I was responsible for keeping the contents of this CD current, and to manufacture new ISOs when needed. I’m less involved with new installations, though, and so today the responsibility is not mine anymore. Happy day.