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Unbound Spiral: PC Cess Pools and DIYIT

September 8, 2004 10:00 PM

I'm afraid that the enthusiasm for Decentralizing IT may just be the dream of some techies who want to choose their tools. Frankly if I walk round my neighborhood and look into the garages and check out the tools that really get used we kid ourselves if we think those that have their lawns mowed are going to get out a spade and do some digging. What brought this on. This little clip:

One aspect is that the people previously known as consumers can not only source and modify their own tools if IT fails to serve them -- but arm themselves with information to influence what should be group decisions. Especially as social agreement on how to use a tool is a determining factor for realizing productivity gains. Ross Mayfield's Weblog: Decentralizing IT

There are days when I want to embrace the DIYIT thrust and I still see control accelerating to the network edge. However by the standards of my friends I am very tech oriented. What I do day in and day out they won't do and have no interest in. Far from hoping for a panacea for decentralized IT this past weekend was an exercise in cleaning up the home network. It lives at the edge and my family had turned some of these devices into dumping grounds for ad software and viruses. After a day I finally had them almost back to normal. Still Norton failed to automatically erase all the viruses and after another evening poking around in the registry and the temp folders I can finally say we are "clean"! This I'll add was not a job I wanted to do, it made me mad and was a complete time waste. I also know that the PC's in this house are better cared for than many.

So the real problem is the majority have no idea what goes on in their PC's AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THEY DON"T WANT TO! Like the telephone you just want it to work. Instead if they are not managed they go out of control. When I spend time fixing things I am just like the DIYer and the home car mechanic. However for me one major difference emerges. Fixing shit in PC's is not the same as driving with a new set of brakes or building a new trellis and then sitting in the shade. It's also more time consuming, (like waiting for paint to cure sometimes.) as the hard disks go over 100gb and yet another reboot. So as we are rush towards a world of home networks, home entertainment systems, increased file sharing there is a good risk that we will end up with PC cess pits everywhere.

I'd like to know what amount of time we think consumers (those previously known as) will really spend on either fixing their networks or DIYIT. For the most part it will be very little.For now we survive on a diet of Norton Anti-Virus and Windows upgrades SP-2 that take ages to install. If we only knew how many hours of babying these things needed we probably wouldn't want them at all. At least by contrast my cellphone doesn't yet require the same sort of reboots, virus control etc. Then they aren't exactly on open networks and even there spam is increasing.

I don't believe that even a large minority will pay much attention to the tools or their selection. They don't have time, and don't want the hassle. Let a few do the sifting to improve what we have so the rest of us can just adopt it.



Comments (2)

i hate to say it, but you would spend far less time dealing with these issues if you joined the "mac ghetto" :-)

using a mac allows you to focus on the task at hand (for the most part, nothing is perfect, yet!)

....Roland "proud Mac Ghetto member" Tanglao

Posted by: Roland Tanglao at September 9, 2004 2:19 PM

It seems to me that the time cost issues you discuss might be a factor pushing away from general purpose ICT devices to cheaper, more narrowly purposed ones. Users then can more easily dispose/recycle devices that don't work, rather than fixing them. How this plays out clearly matters for the future of mobile communications devices.

Posted by: Douglas Galbi at September 15, 2004 6:19 AM