iStock_000007402056XSmall.jpg Look after your tools and they will look after you!

I was very lucky to grow up in the country with a father who enjoyed teaching me practical skills like carpentry, motor mechanics and just about every other skill needed to keep the house, car and garden up to scratch. One of the things that was drummed into me at this early age was to look after the tools (at that time I had to borrow my father’s tools).

Planes should always be placed on their side to protect the blade. Chisels kept sharp and covered ready for the next time they are needed.

This principle has stayed with me and affects the way I look after and maintain my computer equipment. My laptop is kept clean and free of dust and grit. I have had it for just under 3 years. It has two minor scratches on the case and wear to the keyboard (a sure sign that I use it too much). I cycle the battery about once a month. And generally keep an eye out for performance changes and other signs of problems. I always slide it carefully into its protective sleeve inside the padded bag.

Maybe I am a little too careful but my computer equipment works and I have a rather low failure rate.

Investing in good tools

Lets consider one of the most common tools: a claw hammer. A basic hammer can set you back a few pounds or dollars. This hammer will do what is asked of it driving nails into and pulling nails from all wood and other materials.

With careful care this hammer will last a long time. But the next time you are in a hardware store try out a professional hammer. The difference in feel, balance and performance is quite astounding. Designed for high use the user is cushioned from the repeated impact by careful design and choice of materials.

Oil to avoid rust.

I find that more and more people are taking technology tools for granted and after a short time look old, battered and to be honest to my eyes ‘sad’.

Someone spent a lot of time designing the tools we use in IT today. Not caring for them shows that we have no respect for the efforts they have gone to. We may not like the design but there is a definite feeling of disrespect to mistreat the result of their design.

The more robust the item the more abuse it seems to get

Just because a hard disk can sustain a fall of two meters does not mean it will not break if you throw it around all the time!

Heed the old adage: Looking after your tools and they will look after you.

comments powered by Disqus