Good Enough Computing

In a recent blog post Jason McFadden advocates for a “good enough” approach to computing, prioritizing efficient use of resources and avoiding unnecessary spending on excessive power. The principle of “good enough”  is a rule in software and hardware. It indicates that consumers will use products that are good enough for their requirements, despite the availability of more advanced technology.

Jason McFadden

Nevermind the $3,500 Vision Pro, just comparing laptops has me questioning how much of a computer I really need. I mostly use my M1 MacBook Air, which I bought on Apple’s refurb store for $850. But I know I can do basically most of my computing on an iPad (with accessories) for less than that. Further still, I know I can do all my computing on a $300 Chromebook too – gasp! Web apps and Android mobile apps are enough.

My needs are simple: text wrangling, web surfing, email, etc. Photo editing is about as complex as my computing gets, and my smartphone handles that well enough, whether I use iCloud Photos, Google Photos, Snapseed, or maybe Pixlr. Actually, on occasion, I create graphics for my blog and find Canva, the web-app, to be great for my simple needs. So yeah, I have totally done that on a Chromebook.

[…]

As a consumer on a budget, besides asking myself if I can afford a gadget, I ask if I should.

I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately. In fact, I've had the beginning of a blog post titled “Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should” sitting in my ideas folder for several weeks now. Just because you can afford the fanciest, most powerful device doesn't mean you should buy it. I fall into this trap myself from time to time, and this is a good reminder for all of us not to get caught up in it. “Good enough” truly is good enough despite the availability of more powerful technology.

Published first to ldstephens.net – February 12, 2024

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