Trying to work in the garden just now, I lost the wireless connection. Since I’d been doing some development on a remote server, I obviously couldn’t carry on working—on that, anyway.

Under some circumstances—like launching a major project—that would’ve been a problem, but then I probably wouldn’t have gone outside in the first place. As it was I shrugged, and started watching The Merlin Show instead.

Even so, I had gone out there to work so I opened up a text editor and started writing a new bit of navigation for my projects page. Having done as much as I could, I started writing copy for projects I wanted to put on there, but hadn’t finished or got far enough along with.

This wasn’t anything sophisticated; no local WordPress install, or anything like that, just an HTML file with all the styles stuck in the header. It was easy; it was low-overhead; it didn’t feel important, in and of itself; it was throwaway.

Throwaway is great if you just want to get something done. There’s no worrying about fitting it into some big framework, there’s just the thing you’re working on.

They have two components, an operational one and a psychological one. Operationally it’s low-tech, simple. Cheap printer paper and text documents are throwaway. Post-It notes are a good example of something that’s made to be thrown away: they’re temporary, transitory. And they exemplify the psychological component too: no one cares that much about a Post-It. They might care about the information stored on it, but they don’t care about the thing itself. It’s freeing.

Last updated 13th Jan 2009


2 responses

I wound up installing xampp on my laptop last quarter as one of my classes was in a Wi-Fi deadspot.

I’m an addict, in other words.

~ ceejayoz

I’ve got a T-Mobile account, so I just signed up for their wireless hotspot pay-as-you-go thingy; now I can get ripped off by accessing the internet in cafés etc. Clearly not as dedicated to just getting stuff done as I’d like to be.

~ Benedict