I've been earning my living doing technology since 1981. By and large it's been a good time. Like everybody else in the wealthier parts of the world, I'm also a heavy every-day user of technology, and I like using it as much as I do creating it.

A really good piece of technology that does what it does well and quickly and easily at a reasonable price and without errors is a fine thing and makes life better. Examples include Unix (in all its flavors), the Palm family of devices, the World Wide Web, modern passenger cars, automatic teller machines, quartz watches, and your basic "Swiss army" pocketknife.

Too much technology is bad, and some even B.A.D. (Broken As Designed). Examples include Windows (unreliable and carries hidden agenda), cellphones (terrible reliability and sound quality) and airports (inconvenient, unwelcoming, and slow).

And the Difference Is? · The most important difference between good and bad technologies is that good ones set out to do a fairly small number of things well enough, while bad ones try to do too too many things, some of which they don't understand.

I have at several conferences given a talk the differences between good and bad technologies, and I think I have a pretty convincing case that I'm right about these differences; I'll turn it into a note on ongoing pretty soon.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 10, 2002
· Technology (85 more)

By .

The opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.