Wednesday, December 08, 2010

 

Is anything better than a pencil and paper?

At work, I have a hyped Dell computer with dual 23" monitors, yet I still prefer to use pencil and paper...



Is anything better than pencil and paper? Don't you find it ironic that we are attempting to create devices such as Amazon Kindle that attempt to duplicate the simplicity in interaction that a pencil and paper provides?

I have a laptop for work purposes as well as at home, but yet I still prefer paper. I am busy designing a product that will revolutionize enterprise security that I hope to have completed by the end of next year, yet the specification for it is still 100% on paper. I have relational models and UML diagrams on paper, I even have sketched out the XML configuration files on paper.

The only better than paper is my own memory.It works hands-free while driving, works without light late at night and it's waterproof in the shower. I especially like the way it improves everything I put into it.

When I first started in IT, developers knew how to squeeze enterprise applications into 16mb of RAM where today, the masses are struggling with 2gb of RAM. I wonder what would happen if we went back to the basics of design on paper? Is using a computer program to design other computer programs a worst practice?

Being environmentally conscious, I acknowledge that paper is unbelievably cheap, it's so thin that you can literally see through some pieces and it's pretty durable. More importantly it can be recycled a lot easier than those fancy laptops everyone else is using. If you ever want to convert from paper to an electronic form, you can purchase a $30 scanner that will let you easily store, duplicate and transmit the basic information from your paper.

Ever dropped your expensive iPhone or Crackberry on the concrete? Ever dropped a piece of paper on the concrete? See the difference? The next time you happen to engage in a conversation with former Accidenture alumni especially those who are consulting on green technologies, ask them which is more green, a Powerpoint presentation chock-a-block with eye candy but otherwise lacking in substance or a simple piece of paper?

The irony of the Accidenture consultant who burns 2,000 gallons of fuel every Monday in order to reach the client site only to be encouraged to carpool with other Accidenture consultants the last twenty miles by sharing a rental car is most certainly worthy of drawing a cartoon on paper.

Anyway, as the laws for distracted driving increase and include people using electronic devices, I will sit back and laugh as I keep a pencil and paper along with my trusty clipboard on my seat scribbling rants and screeds on how to make IT better.

For all you modern technology gadget weenies, I hope you enjoy the destruction of the mind, the environment and the economy at large with your savage avoidance of paper, as for me I remain fluid with a technology that has proven itself over and over again as valuable, efficient and cost effective. I will stick with pencil and paper...




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