Sam's Five Rules for Technology


I’ve learned a thing or two from the last few years of tech fails. Here are the top five…

  1. If it doesn’t work everywhere, then it doesn’t work. Windows/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android or it doesn’t count. Interoperability over all! This means I can’t use a lot of things other people use, and it also means I won’t get stuck doing what other people do.
  2. Redundancy is critical, but only for critical systems. Centralize first, then backup only the centralized system/data. Otherwise things get really confusing.
  3. Use Markdown or Plaintext files whenever possible. All documentation, all email archives, all creative writing, all lists, basically all textual content.
  4. Only manual reporting to source vendors is allowed. To stop all optional spying and decrease unnecessary network traffic, turn off all selectable reporting permission defaults, then use Pi-hole to detect and drop any such behind the scenes activity. As far as any local programs are concerned, I’m offline unless I’m purposefully checking for updates.
  5. When things stop working for whatever reason, set a timer for 20min. After the timer elapses, either I’ve fixed the problem or I’m walking away from it for the rest of the day. The following day, this issue may be solvable, but on this day, very likely it is not and no further struggle is helpful. Bypass for now.

Do you have any rules like this? I’d love to see, if so. Here’s to technology that serves us instead of the other way around.

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