Low Tech Minimal Computing


Adapted from a version of this text posted to mincomp@lists.globaloutlookdh.org

Low Tech Magazine recently posted two essays that address topics relevant to Minimal Computing:

The first centres around the changes in office working practices and the transition to computerised work environments. It describes how the idea of a "paperless office" hasn't lead to lower energy consumption and also suggests older, mechanical approaches could dovetail with computing to good effect. [1]

The second covers similar ground with a focus on the office itself and how remote working increases the energy consumption of each worker. [2]

These cross over with a recent New Yorker article about the analog work spaces of modern tech companies (I can vouch for both the motivations and benefits as I work in offices designed to these specifications). [3]

It's interesting to recognise that a lot of my best "computational thinking" happens away from the computer (often in my notebooks or in conversation). I suppose that the most minimal computation is that done in one's head?

All computer programs require energy to run so the most efficient programs are those that run fastest and are not run very often, if at all!

  1. Why the Office Needs a Typewriter Revolution
  2. The Curse of the Modern Office
  3. The Analog Spaces in Digital Companies