That, by the way, was my new year’s resolution for many years, until I gave up. Now I just post that I should do that from time to time. I did clean my office nearly six years ago, and then again four years ago in both cases because we were moving. Sadly since then, the influx of gear and the outgo of things I was getting rid of has reversed. So there is more stuff now than there is space.
There is, however, a reality that occurs. I am a technologist. As part of what I do, my cool tech posts and blogs in various locations, I review a lot of technology. My rule for reviews has always bene if I don’t own it, I don’t review it. That is why for many years if I did a printer review it was an HP printer. I only owned HP printers from roughly 1990 to 2011. I had an HP laser for a long time because it supported both PC and Mac printing. I had an HP plotter and for a time (nearly eight years) an HP color laser. During this period we chewed up printers pretty quickly. We had inkjet all-in-ones that lasted one or two years before we got a new one. There was a time when I started moving to Lexmark printers, but that was short lived. Things changed around the time we moved to Maryland in 2011. First off, Canon printers while not cheap, actually tend towards cheaper toner than the HP printers do. By a lot, in fact, I found out. Plus, the Canon printers supported new devices connecting faster, including Android Tablets and iOS devices connecting and printing.
The other thing I will not do is take freebies. That means all my Yelp reviews, all my technology, and hardware reviews; I bought the device. Since I do make money has a technologist it is the only ethical way to do this. It is like a couple of companies I’ve worked for, that didn’t pay for their software, that isn’t ethical, and I left. The same is always true when you do reviews. If you don’t own and use the device, and you got the device for free, how can you review it? Now, I will say that I have gotten free tools that I have reviewed from Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns. But in all cases, I provided a service to the campaign first, and they gave me a free device. So in effect, the device was payment for services rendered. Sometimes in the crowdfunding came product is less expensive than money.
It is in the details of how people act ethically, that you find out the kind of person they are. People that are willing to ignore things like legal music, legal software and therefore willing to put their needs ahead of what is fair, right and moral, will do many things that aren’t ethical beyond the stealing of software, the stealing of music or movies.
We, our family, got an email from our internet provider that someone had downloaded an illegal, unpurchased movie from our IP address. We freaked out, everyone checked their hard drives and verified that it wasn’t on their computer. We did find out that the offending computer was in fact owned by a guest who doesn’t visit anymore. But I went out and bought a copy of the movie so that we would be legal, on our side. Why? Because having legal music, legal movies and legal software is the right thing to do. Regardless of the cost. You see, if you don’t, then you can never point the finger at someone else and accuse them of well, cheating.
My reviews are of things I own, either given as part of payment for services or paid for by me, either backing a campaign or exercising my delightful Amazon Prime membership. When the device arrives, I use it. If I find that it does what it said it would do, I review it. If it doesn’t, it goes into the, unfortunately, growing slag pile of my office. That is why I need to clean my office, the great mass of unwashed devices that weren’t worthy of a review.
I used to, many years ago do reviews and post them as the Savvy Tech Guy. That site is now long gone, but the concept is the same, the rules were the same, and of course the reviews were of things I owned, and used.
Don’t pirate software, music, movies or for that matter anything. If you do, you deserve the impact and penalties that come next. You also forfeit the right to ever complain about other people abusing systems because you are a system abuser!
Fair is paying for what you use. Period.