Which tense should be used in troubleshooting cases, simple present or simple past?

I've seen examples where simple present is used. But what if a specific date is provided in the case.

For example:

On September 9, 2013, the system encounters/encountered an exception.

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You have two choices:

  1. If you were describing it as it happens, think a security officer enters an entry on his log, you should use present tense.

9:03pm. Mr White leaves the storeroom with 3 Erlenmeyer flasks.

  1. If you are describing it in reference to an event previously happened, simple past should be used.

At 9:03pm, Mr. White left the storeroom with 3 Erlenmeyer flasks.

On your example, encountered should be used as you are pointing out an event happened in the past.

  • 2
    I think OP's question is: Is it permissible to use the Historical Present in this case. – Jim Oct 30 '13 at 8:02

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