19 March 2016

“What do you actually need it to do?”

That one question can simplify a process so very much.

The outcome as a whole can become simpler, when features which are not necessary for this to be able to do are discarded.

The outcome can become cheaper, as less resources are required to perform fewer functions.

The outcome can become untangled from ‘political’ factors such as who might have a vested interest in things happening a certain way, or who might expect to derive consequential benefits of various kinds.

The outcome can arrive sooner, as less needs to be done — in simpler ways — with fewer dependencies — to make it happen.

The final result is likely to be more flexible, as it is less burdened by specific (unnecessary) features — and so by implied limitations — than a poorly-targeted or very generalised solution.

For a very simplistic result, rather than buy a new PC, this 3rd-hand desktop box over here, with this video card plugged into it, plus these two 3rd-hand screens, this mouse, this keyboard, these two hard-disk drives (all free) and this Linux distribution will do absolutely everything required to source (and edit) words and images to reliably make a newsletter every certain amount of time.

It will also do other things (flexibility as a kind of a bonus), however by staying true to purpose it does not need expensive hardware, expensive software, a virus scanner, constant maintenance, or any one of a dozen other complex and/or pricey components to continue operating indefinitely.

As another bonus, some computer hardware which may have partially become scrap metal but mostly land-fill, continues to provide utility without any additional input in terms of energy, finance or transport.

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