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Thursday, 30 September 2010


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"The perfect is the enemy of the good."

Ah yes, the famous "paralysis of analysis."

Yah perfect is just word and an impossible accomplishment. Good enough is "good enough" for someone with high standards.

'The perfect is the enemy of the good'. Yes, as carpenters/furniture makers in Holland say: 'Equal (measure) = unequal.' That is, never try to get things absolutely equal - you will keep sawing and planing the legs of the table till the top lands on the floor. Or listen to this 'old Japanese proverb': 'Great wisdom in knowing when to stop.' Enjoy!

Tom Peters says, "Ready, Fire...Aim".

When you find yourself spending 80% of efforts to get the last 20% of improvement, it's time to stop: good ole 80-20 rule.

"Striving for excellence is stimulating and rewarding; striving for perfection — in practically anything — is both neurotic and futile."

— Edwin Bliss, 1817-1892

Ah yes, the famous "paralysis of analysis."

Followed, in turn, by the analysis of paralysis. ;)

Assuming this quote is related to your computer decision, here's another: "I'm too poor to buy cheap."

Get a computer with processing power to spare to handle future power-hungry apps. A Mac Mini is an excellent choice for basic home users surfing the web, doing email and chat and video-watching (a choice perhaps to be supplanted soon by iPads and other tablets), but it is somewhat underpowered even today for serious image and video processing.

Consider that one can always very easily attach a 2nd non-glossy monitor to any iMac with full native resolution on the built-in display and up to a 30-inch display (2560 by 1600 pixels) on an external display. I did this. A very affordable yet luxurious option that makes working in the digidarkroom so much more pleasant: the photo I'm working on filling the non-glossy screen, and the iMac screen holding all the tools.

For what it's worth my iMac just passed its third birthday and I never had a problem with it. I'll probably sell it on craigslist next year for 40% of what it cost me then I'll get a new iMac (which will be 3x-4x as fast as this one).

Hey there!

He also said "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."

I've always said, "Perfection is the enemy of completion."

Assuming you still speak of your computer-shopping analysis, I'm so late to the party I'm not even going to try to see what advice you've gotten (though your summary was funny and all too believable.)

I offer you this quote in return: "A thousand reasoned analyses are no match for one case of jumping in and finding out. Galileo proved that and it may be the only certainty we have." (Robert Heinlein.)

Is it possible for you to take a flash drive with some typical files to an Apple store and ask them to pretty please set up Aperture 3 on one of their Minis and just... find out if it works?

I would tell you that Lightroom 2 runs just spiffy on my 4GB, non-SSD Mini, even with PSCS3 running at the same time, but as you point out, that's totally irrelevant to you. :)

Try to align today my beseler 45 enlarger with the versalab parallels to the 1/16 inch between the laser dot and its reflection. Found out that might need to get another 200 dollars lens boards to adjust the lens stage and have to wait for another 3 weeks for it to deliver.

I guess I just shim it and start my printing instead. Done is better than perfection.

We were taught that "perfection" is what we should aim for, so that when we fell short of it, it would be better than just "good enough." Striving for perfection may take too long in some cases, but when time allows, it provides for things that seem to last for ever. We shouldn't fear paralysis when we try to create something that transcends time.

There's nothing more mediocre than not trying to fix something that ain't broke.

On the other hand ... look at what's left of the American auto industry, whose motto might have been, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Compare that to the Japanese, whose approach was exemplified by Lexus' slogan, "the relentless pursuit of perfection."

There's a lot to be said for the pursuit of perfection, if not its actual attainment.

It's all about balance ...

We used to have a couple of sayings on (the building) site when the task we were doing didn't turn out as well as we hoped and we were a bit embarrassed:*

1) "Well, I don't have to live here"
2 "Good enough for a country job"

*If we were very embarrassed we would put it right.

"It's only money."


When you find yourself spending 80% of efforts to get the last 20% of improvement, it's time to stop: good ole 80-20 rule.

I'd wager that the ratio of finish to framing carpentry is a ways beyond 80/20. Good. I'll just paint the exposed studs, and refer my wife to you to sort it out. OK?

"Ah yes, the famous "paralysis of analysis."

Followed, in turn, by the analysis of paralysis. ;)"

Except that the the analysis of paralysis starts at $100 for a 50 minute hour on a sliding scale.

I didn't say to stop at 80%. Please re-read what I wrote.

you don't win silver.
you lose gold.


it was intended as a joke, no worries. Though now I have to admit, I'm puzzled as to how "When you find yourself spending 80% of efforts to get the last 20% of improvement, it's time to stop." can be interpreted as anything other than "stop at 80%."

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