Tamagotchi tooling

Remember those tamagotchis that were popular in the early 2000s? Little devices with a screen showing a pet that needed constant maintenance; cleaning, feeding, petting, etc.

Some tools are like tamagotchis. They’re a tool, so they have some use. But that’s not all, they also require substantial upkeep to not break down, and the owner takes some pleasure in the process. It’s no surprise when they fail, it’s part of daily experience.

Other tools are more like an old digital watch. They show the time and don’t require any upkeep at all, are robust, and they work for ages. They’re so reliable that the owner takes them for granted, and it’s a shock when they fail. They require no “updates.”

Sometimes, it’s easy to confuse usefulness of a tool with the enjoyment derived from its upkeep. That can lead to reasoning violently. A project that sometimes needs the old digital watch can plod along sluggishly when a tamagotchi is used instead.

The trick is being able to tell the difference.