Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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RE: Time vs money
by Alfman on Sat 24th Nov 2012 22:48 UTC in reply to "Time vs money"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Depends on your own income and efficiency, does it not?

I can see how someone who's well off would just prefer to pay others. But if it took you a week or two to earn $400 of disposable income, then in theory you might be better off spending a day to do it yourself.

Maybe you'd still prefer to spend more time at work than less time on tasks you don't like. But if your goal was to maximise family time, then you really ought to be factoring in how much time you'll need to use just to earn the money that will pay someone else to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Time vs money
by WorknMan on Sat 24th Nov 2012 23:21 in reply to "RE: Time vs money"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Depends on your own income and efficiency, does it not?

I can see how someone who's well off would just prefer to pay others. But if it took you a week or two to earn $400 of disposable income, then in theory you might be better off spending a day to do it yourself.


Yeah, it certainly does depend. For example, I'm not going to pay $400 to save two hours of time. On the other hand, I would probably do it if it saves me two hours every week.

Obviously, one has to consider the cost vs efficiency ratio. And yes, sometimes I do pay somebody else to do a task which is more than I would make in the same amount of time, mainly when it's something I REALLY don't want to deal with. For example, I paid 2 guys $100 to set up a power rack that I bought, and it only took them an hour, since they put these things together for a living. I do not make $100 an hour ;) But it would've taken me at least an entire day to do the same thing, and would've been a complete pain in the ass. I pay somebody else to change the oil in my car for the same reason. It just all depends on the situation.

My point is that it is my belief that too many people are of the opinion that saving money on software is always a good thing, no matter how shitty or disfunctional said software is. Granted, sometimes the free or cheap option is better (or at least good enough such that more expensive options don't provide you with any real benefits), and that's great. But when it isn't, you should really stop and think about how much your time is worth. We can always get more money, but we don't have the option of getting more time.

Edited 2012-11-24 23:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Time vs money
by Alfman on Sun 25th Nov 2012 04:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

I hear you.

Additionally, my luck with cheap devices is getting worse than it used to be. I've needed to RMA monitors, power supplies, sata adapters, ram, hard drives, etc. My experience doesn't prove a trend, but I'm inclined to believe that manufacturers are racing to the bottom by cutting costs sourcing the cheapest quality components & workmanship they find.

It's impossible to tell which products are solid based on price. Sometimes good brands fail as well, unfortunately consumers don't have access to failure rates. Expensive devices will sometimes use the exact same boards under the hood as unknown brands. Never the less, I've decided to pay higher prices to try and increase the odds that I won't have to waste my time dealing with a lemon.

Edited 2012-11-25 04:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Time vs money
by moondevil on Sun 25th Nov 2012 13:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I have been using open source since the late 90's, but I still buy software when I see the need for it.

And I do it, because as a software developer I also need to buy stuff, and not everyone will pay me to work on open source stuff.

Now if people are not willing to pay for software, why do you care to pay for hardware? This is the question it keeps popping on my mind.

Ideally you don't want to depend on anyone for the full stack, while getting everything for free (gratis).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Time vs money
by Neolander on Sun 25th Nov 2012 08:49 in reply to "RE: Time vs money"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

WorknMan,

Depends on your own income and efficiency, does it not?

I can see how someone who's well off would just prefer to pay others. But if it took you a week or two to earn $400 of disposable income, then in theory you might be better off spending a day to do it yourself.

Maybe you'd still prefer to spend more time at work than less time on tasks you don't like. But if your goal was to maximise family time, then you really ought to be factoring in how much time you'll need to use just to earn the money that will pay someone else to do it.

I guess it depends where you will use the $400 product.

Most of the time, when I need some piece of hardware, software of service that costs more than €100, it's for work. I consider that employers should be paying for work tools, and generally I have no issue convincing mine that considering how much I cost him per month, if something that is worth a fraction of that cost can truly make me more productive (which I have to demonstrate), he can pay for that.

Even if you're self-employed, the reasoning still holds: if fixing your stuff costs you more money, in the form of work time, than having someone else fix it for you, then you should probably choose the latter option.


(As an aside, this is also a reason why I am strongly anti-BYOD. In my view, this is just a way for your employer or IT department to have you pay for computer maintenance costs that they benefit from.)

Edited 2012-11-25 08:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Time vs money
by Alfman on Sun 25th Nov 2012 16:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"I consider that employers should be paying for work tools, and generally I have no issue convincing mine that considering how much I cost him per month, if something that is worth a fraction of that cost can truly make me more productive (which I have to demonstrate), he can pay for that."

Never pay for yourself what you can have someone else pay for instead!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Time vs money
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Nov 2012 23:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

(As an aside, this is also a reason why I am strongly anti-BYOD. In my view, this is just a way for your employer or IT department to have you pay for computer maintenance costs that they benefit from.)


IMO, I'd rather do the BYOD thing, if it means I can run whatever software I want, as opposed to having that dictated to me. For example, I hate working in a locked-down corporate environment, where I have to use apps like Windows Explorer, and can't install any 3rd party tools. If it means I have to pay for those tools, I'm good with that, since I'm probably already using them anyway at home.

Reply Parent Score: 2