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Mike’s Rules for Computing Happiness


  1. Use as little software as possible.
  2. Use software that allows you to easily save your work on your computer.
  3. Learn how to use your software. Take classes. Read the help. Read the manual (if one exists). Don’t be afraid to use forums on the web to ask for help.
  4. Create two User accounts on your Mac. One is the “administrative” user that is used only for upgrading the operating system or installing or upgrading applications. The other user is for you to use for your daily tasks.
  5. Keep your software up to date. But don’t automatically pay for an upgrade to the latest and greatest version unless the newer version has a feature you will actually use. Wait at least a week after a major upgrade is released to upgrade.
  6. Do not use software that isn’t made specifically for your operating system. (You’ll know it when you see it because it won’t look right or work correctly.)
  7. Avoid beta software.
  8. Avoid Microsoft software.


  1. Buy an iMac, or a MacBook with an external monitor.
  2. Buy a two button mouse.
  3. Buy a Firewire hard disk to put backups on. Ideally, buy two and set them up as a RAID.
  4. Buy a laser printer, not an ink jet printer.
  5. Optional but highly recommended: Buy a Fujitsu ScanSnap paper scanner and get rid of all the paper junk stored around your home.

These are my rules and they make me happy. I hope they make you happy too. Modeled after Alex Payne’s rules.