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back to article The great productivity myth: Are we slaves to the machine?

Desktop computers crash - that’s life. We know from numerous research studies that, while there are indeed ‘bad guys out there’, in most instances the causes of downtime are far more mundane – application failure, connectivity problems and the infamous ‘blue screen of death’. We can’t blame Microsoft for everything (as I …

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Black Helicopters

More is slower I find, so keep it simple.

Usually I find my productivity slows down when someone "Updates" a piece of software.

So they move all the buttons around to unfamilar places, add lots of extra features that I didn't miss in the previous version and generally make it all more complicated.

Sounds a lot like new operating systems, more bloat more exciting features that I don't need. Next thing is I'm screaming at the IT guy demanding a new machine because the latest updates have slowed my machine to a crawl.

To avoid all this crap I usually just use the older versions of the software, one design package I use is 9 years old and it works great, seen the newer versions, looks a nightmare.

Even still using a 10 year old CRT monitor here, because it works great.

Of course the killer remark is that if I was really a slave to the machine I wouldn't get time to slack off and write comments to the El Reg like this one.

With the aid of a computer I can look busy for hours if need be (Don't worry I still get lots done)

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Keeping up with the curve

The thing I've found is most essential to minimizing this kind of crap is actually something management can do something about, at the "expense" of productivity. Active participation in subject-specific mailing lists, forums, newsgroups, etc is the single best way to have staff prepared to anticipate problems, avoid outages, and minimize downtime when they do happen. The challenge is that the time spent on the mailing list *looks like* time wasted when the outages simply don't happen, and better capacity management means upgrades can be put off for months or years longer than otherwise. It's all invisible money saved, and difficult to account for.

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