Computers are Tools

david karapetyan on December 02, 2018

Computers are tools. Let me repeat, computers are tools. One more time, computers... are... tools. They are meant to be used for augmenting peop... [Read Full]
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I agree with your overall premise, computers are tools and users don't care what tech you use. But users do care if their computer is slow. When you use 1 GB of RAM for a chat application (looking at you Slack) and the computer lags and heats up, your users have a worse experience. You also need to think of users with lower spec equipment. Not everyone is a developer with 16GB+ of RAM to use. We could also talk about battery usage. I'm curious how much electricity is wasted on bloated applications. I'm not saying we have to optimize to the millisec, but lets not pretend like it doesn't matter when an application is inefficient.


Abstract bloat indeed doesn't matter. What matters are user and developer requirements and the technology choices made to meet those requirements. Slack is a favorite punching bag but guess what, most people are happy to use Slack because it looks pretty and works better than most other chat applications.


Yes and no, in the sense that if you have 10 apps that are resource intensive as Slack at some point you'll think your computer is slow and if you can afford it you will change it to a "faster" option.

And maybe you'll never find out that the problem were 10 developers who never cared about resource usage.


Tools need to be taken care of. A good artisan uses the correct tool in the correct way, because he respects his tools and he respects his work. I want to be a good artisan who does good things, not a bad one who use random tools because "who cares".


How do you take care of your computer? Do you put oil on the CPU? Sharpen the fan blades? Paint the keys on the keyboard when the color fades? Or do you just go and buy a new computer?


I clean the CPU heating devices when they don't work properly. I clean the fans and I put oil on them when they get noisy. A faded keyboard doesn't bother me. I take care of my computer, I've thermal indicator and memory status always in the status bar, and I get angry when a web page overheat the CPU. I never "just go and buy", consumerism never really got me.


I do not feel with hardware, I feel with the user.

  • The application must be fast, so the user does not wait.
  • The application must minimize the amount of data transferred for mobile users.
  • Applications must not overload the processor so that the user is not stressed by excessive fan noise and also keeps the battery longer.
  • The application must save memory so that the user can have multiple applications running at the same time.

I kind of agree, but I don't see how "non-living creature", "efficient applications" and "native vs. web" are related, I am sorry.

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