Top 10 Tenets Of Principled Computing

My decisions about computing are not arbitrary, they are based on principles that I’ve been refining for years.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 5/17/2003; LawLawLaw Newsletter; Clock Tower Law Group

I am not a Microsoft hater, Macintosh zealot, or Linux nerd. I do, however, believe in principled computing. My law office uses multiple operating systems and multiple applications, some open source, some not. I care more about how my data is formatted and stored than how the data is created. My decisions about computing are not arbitrary, they are based on principles that I’ve been refining for years. This is a work in progress, but here are my top 10 tenets of principled computing:

  1. Open source is better than closed source.
  2. Standards-based is better than proprietary.
  3. Cross-platform is better than OS-specific.
  4. Beta is dangerous.
  5. Shareware is good, free is suspect.
  6. Auto-updates are bad, except for virus software.
  7. Defaults should be secure.
  8. Defaults should be private.
  9. Monopolies are bad.
  10. Data wants to be portable and searchable.

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