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What's the point in giving someone a nip when you can use a sledge-hammer?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 13:18

This is to do with e-tools. The hammer is some gargantuan piece of software that tries to do everything (and might), or that quirky Open Source tool you've come across that does one thing brilliantly.

The reality we need a bit of both. But which bits?

Sometimes I find software (and hardware) to be like unwanted flotsam and jetsam on a shore. You want someone to go in and clean up the mess. Perhaps the likes of Google and Facebook and of course Microsoft do this - they offer you a one-stop shop for everything in return to cash, you mind, or your wallet (or all three).

Then you find a gem or too that for a while become a vital part of the way you do things.

It's a messy business.

I liken this to the development of the automobile on speed.

The big players and small players, the manufacturers and the person in their garage, battle it out for our attention.

Increasingly we, the punter, will rely on brand names. I'm guilty of liking all things Google (to a degree), but loathing all things Microsoft (too empirical and geeky ... maybe Google's going this way). I'm not into Facebook because I was happy with the forerunners and in truth find little use for it.

It is certain however that IT skills should be placed alongside the three Rs. People need IT, unless they are too young (or too old). Or ... given the access issues (cost, Internet access) too poor.

The have's vs the have-nots, the north/south, east/west divide is not one of cash, but of access to IT.

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Hammers are rather complicated, and let's not forget that other tools are too [and the tools of the tool!].

Sometimes you either need to know your subject or know your tools.

Have a look at your shoes, think about the parts that you can name, go to a cobbler and ask the parts she can name.

There isn't a silver bullet in IT, there's just knowledge and the use therof...same as there always was.


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Neil, thanks for this comment.

IT is not a panacea ... but is Internet access a utility?

To deal with an access problem we had a computer guy around. Problem solved. We then agreed that we'd give up gas (therefore heating and gas cooking) in exchange for a reliable Internet connection. I was ready to give up water!