Richard Lowe Jr
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Hardware, Software and Internet Rules

(See Val Hubbard's site for original version. used with permission)

Hardware Rules

  1. There is no such thing as -faster- systems. Whenever a new or faster system is installed, it will be loaded with software that was too much for the old system. The new system then becomes as slow as the old system.
  2. The price always goes down after you purchase hardware.
  3. You never have enough speed, disk space, memory, com-links, graphics, and so on. If you ever get it all, there isn't enough time to learn how to use it.
  4. It always takes 3 trips to the store to get the hardware working. (Plumbing also)
  5. Whenever the oldest piece of hardware is upgraded, the next oldest piece of hardware instantly becomes obsolete and must be upgraded also.
  6. Whenever hardware is updated, software must be updated also. (See Software #34)
  7. As soon as you pay off your hardware purchase, it will be time to upgrade.
  8. Hardware becomes affordable just before it is obsolete.
  9. When a fix for a hardware problem is not obvious, the problem is blamed on the software. (See software #31)
  10. Hardware maintenance contracts are sold for new machines that don't need them. Hardware maintenance contracts are not sold for old machines that do need them.
  11. Use expensive hardware. No one questions the data from an expensive computer, even if they know the input was garbage.
    Using computers built to 'Minimum Hardware Requirements' will yield minimal results.
  12. Computer hardware is leased for a minimum of twice its useful lifespan.
  13. A LAN is like a chain, it is only as good as the weakest link.
  14. A LAN will be loaded with 4 times the data it was designed for. Designing with the overload in mind will not help. (See Hardware rule #1)
  15. The more money you save on buying hardware, the more you will spend on installation, repairs, maintenance and software.
  16. Heterogeneous networks will work given time and money. (See software rule #52)
  17. All input devices are like cats. They will ignore you at times just to remind you who is boss.

Software Rules

  1. Software is a tool, not salvation.

  2. Management will buy software as a salvation.

  3. No software is TURNKEY.

  4. Management believes all software is TURNKEY.

  5. The software you use always looks buggy.

  6. It is always easier to blame the software for work problems than pointing out real problems to management.

  7. The software the salesman is showing you always looks bugless.

  8. The more complex/integrated the software, the more bug fixing becomes a magic art.

  9. In order of increasing magnitude there are:

    • Lies

    • #@%* lies

    • Software demos

  10. User friendly software often lacks enough power to do your job.

  11. User friendly software is sought after by management to keep training costs down.

  12. Any command that needs more than 4 pages of documentation should be termed 'USER HOSTILE'.

  13. Any command with more than 1 page of documentation will only be used as a last resort.

  14. Speed is proportional to the time you have to wait. It doesn't matter if the new software does 10,000 commands in 30 seconds versus 1 command in 2 seconds with the old software. The 30 second wait is longer than the 2 second wait , thus the new software is slow.

  15. Salesman are often taken at their word, while everyone else has to prove it.

  16. Good training leads to remarkable payback on computer use.

  17. Software training budgets are the last thing funded, and the first to be cut.

  18. The longer you evaluate software, the more outdated it will be by the time you use it.

  19. Customer driven software is great for the short term only.

  20. Innovation beyond customer needs and wants is the only way to stay ahead in the market.

  21. Customers that know the least about the software make the most demands.

  22. Customers that know the most about software make important demands, but are often not recognized because they are too busy working, not complaining.

  23. Software can not change a companies policies, procedures or structure. That is the job of leaders.

  24. Software is often purchased to change a companies policies, procedures or structure.

  25. Software organizations need leadership, not management. Software groups must be lead through constant changes, not pushed.

  26. All software becomes outdated on the date of purchase.

  27. Software Revision' is a better strategy for making money than 'Planned Obsolescence'.

  28. Sales forces are the ones that decide what is to be done with software. Unfortunately sales forces wouldn't know innovation if it hit them. (See rules 19 & 20)

  29. The only time a System Administrator is recognized is when there is a problem. A good System Administrator is a natural hermit.

  30. Maintenance contracts for software will expire the day before you find a critical bug.

  31. When a fix for a software problem is not obvious, the problem is blamed on the hardware. (See Hardware #9)

  32. Software is often purchased by the people who don't know how to use it, but are buying it in the hopes someone will know how to use it.

  33. Users groups are most often attended by managers, not the users.

  34. Whenever software is updated, hardware must be updated also. (See Hardware #6)

  35. What works doesn't always sell, what sells doesn't always work.

  36. Software that is 'better' or much 'better' is not beneficial. It has to be significantly better to pay for change.

  37. Software decisions are often based on minor differences that are seen as major improvements.

  38. One fact does not generate wisdom. A software salesman will take one fact and try to make it a religion.

  39. Advanced or Automated software requires an advanced user. Even if all he does is push a button 99% of the time. Knowing what to do the other 1% of the time requires a user who understands fully what is going on.

  40. Automation in the hands of an advanced user has significant payback. Automation in the hands of a novice rarely shows payback. Automation just adds to the tasks a novice must learn and retards the learning of skills needed by the novice.

  41. When no one reports a bug or complains about software, one of the following is true:

    • No one is using it

    • A natural disaster has disabled all forms of communication.

    • It is perfect Software

  42. Any programmer that claims the honor of writing perfect software will be given nicknames by his co-workers. None of which could be repeated in polite company.

  43. For software to be responsive the 'Minimum Hardware Requirements' listed for the software must be doubled. This includes memory, disk space and cpu power. If graphics are involved, requirements must be tripled.

  44. Software that requires training of the users will be loaded immediately without training. Software that requires training for the system administrator will be loaded after training is complete and only as a last resort, if ever.

  45. One simple accurate example is worth 10 pages of documentation. Examples are rarely used in documentation. Those that are used are often inaccurate.

  46. The enhancement or bug fix you need is always in the next rev. (See Software #27)

  47. Software enhancements cause new problems equal to or greater than the problems the enhancements fixed.

  48. Software can not be forced to be successful, no matter how much screaming, ranting, raving, pleading or promising is done. Software can only be made to do what a company or individual is successful at doing now. Software can not invent solutions.

  49. Software quality is defined by the customer, not the provider. The provider can meet the customers expectations, but can not define expectations.

  50. Software systems must be maintained. This includes programs, databases, user interfaces, documentation and training. Software left unsupported will soon become unreliable, useless or unusable. The more complex the software, the faster the demise.

  51. The quality people will accept when buying software is often amazingly lower than what they will accept buying anything else.

  52. Any software solution can be provided given time and money. The problem is most people don't ask how much time and money.

  53. When software bugs are reported, the standard operating procedure is:

    • Generate detailed reports showing customers are happy.

    • Prove bugs are user errors.

    • Lable bugs as requests for enhancements.

    • Keep asking for more information until the customer gives up.

    • Pass a bug around until it goes away.

    • Prove that the customer does not need a bug fixed.

    • Have customers prioritize a list of bugs. With luck, customers will make the mistake of marking some of the bugs as anything but critical.

    • When all else fails, attempt to fix a bug within 2-3 revs.

  54. Beta testing makes users feel good, but does nothing for quality. Quality is a result of design, not testing.

  55. The lowliest human is better at adapting and making decisions than the best computer program. The only exception is when a human is following government regulations.

  56. Updating any software will require you to update all software. This is detailed in the 'Continual Purchase' clause of all Software contracts.

Internet Rules

  1. The Internet is infested by acronym freaks. This rule will be known as TIIIBAF in the future.

  2. Levels of Internet stupidity in order of increasing magnitude are:

    • Arguing with someone on the Internet.

    • Believing someone will take you seriously if you argue.

    • Swearing, calling names or insulting someone.

    • Swearing, calling names or insulting someone and believing you are not an idiot.

    • Believing that freedom is doing anything you want.

  3. Lack of self control, restraint and concern for others will lead to chaos.

  4. Chaos will be brought under control by laws, rules and regulation. Government projects are exempted from chaos controls.

  5. Most Internet users make horrible economists. Internet users believe there is a free lunch.

  6. All Internet software and interfaces will become standardized 1 year after the Internet is obsoleted by something else.

  7. Keeping the Internet from being gridlocked over the next 10 years may be a greater feat than putting the first man on the moon.

  8. The Internet is like "The Goose that Layed Golden Eggs". The problem is there are vendors and users with hatchets.

  9. The Internet is like a LAN. (See Hardware rules #14-15)
    Any advanced society will classify SPAMMING as a 1st degree felony. They will also outlaw any replies to a SPAM.

  10. Pretty Good Privacy, PGP, is good enough. Be secure in the fact that it may take a few months or even a year or two before someone tears PGP apart.

  11. Volume of data should not be confused with useful data. Remember an infinite number of monkeys typing will generate an unfathomable amount of trash.

  12. No one can completely understand how things move on the Internet. Chaos was one of the original design specs.

  13. The internet may give an intelligent, hard working person the freedom to communicate with thousands, millions or even billions.

  14. The internet may give an inconsiderate, hard working fool the ability to insult and abuse the freedom of thousands, millions or even billions.

  15. The best way to end the chaos generated by spammers and fools is to ignore them. Unfortunately it only takes one reply to keep their little egos satisfied and their fingers typing.

  16. One of the great satisfactions of the Internet is being able to empty the trash and not add to a land-fill.

[All jokes are believed to be in the public domain. If you feel one of these belongs to you, please let us know the details and we will either remove the material or provide a link at your request.]


Unless otherwise noted, all photos and text is Copyright © Richard G Lowe, Jr.