Avoiding technology mistakes

Over at the Microsoft-sponsored Small Business Success Center, Harry McCracken has a great confession of the tech mistakes he’s made over the past 17 years (most of them spent as editor of PC World, and more recently as founder and proprietor of Technologizer.

It’s great list, well worth reading. I found myself nodding in painful recognition of the times I’ve done the same. I especially liked the caution against working in haste:

Just about every time I’ve ever had a computer upgrade go awry, for instance, it’s because I tried to rush it. My success rate is vastly higher when I take time to read instructions and double-check my work, and when I allow time for any troubleshooting that proves necessary.

To which I would add, the same applies when installing a new piece of software. No matter how appealing some shiny new bit of code might be, I’ve learned from painful experience to RTFM (and read the release notes too) and to scan message boards to see if any early adopters have been burned. And to make sure I have a backup and recovery plan.

Go, read, and say hi to Harry for me.

3 thoughts on “Avoiding technology mistakes

  1. Yert, I left PC World in 1990 by mutual agreement with the editor (who also left suddenly a few months later). As one of my editors at the time remarked, I was a great writer and a less-than-stellar managing editor, so the magazine and I probably both benefited. 😉

  2. 1990… wow. So it wasn’t recent at all.

    Maybe PCWorld did benefit, but right now I think they are going down the tubes with the Vista stuff. But that is just my opinion.

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