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Upgrade .... Again?

If any of you were in lately, you know we’ve just finished another round of hardware and software upgrades. Do I recommend it for you? Maybe, maybe not. Some say new software requires faster hardware, more RAM and disk space to give you a package which may not have any new features you’ll use and will often have bugs in the initial release. On the other hand a single new feature may save you many hours and/or dollars over the old work-around.

I used to suggest that people keep their software current because this assured them of support and hardware compatibility. Like the auto industry, software firms must keep selling newer (and better?) versions or risk going out of business. I can’t say whether you need fins or a sun roof on your word processor but I would suggest you look at the entire cost before deciding.

1. Does it require new hardware? If so, how much. Use the “recommended” not the minimum requirements.

2. Is it backward compatible? If it isn’t, you may need to upgrade your entire office instead of just one computer.

3. How much other software must you upgrade to get back to having a working system again? Most software is not used in isolation. For instance, if we run PageMaker 4 under Windows 95, it destroys files so we have one machine running Windows 3.11 for this and some other older packages.

4. How will this affect other companies you deal with? Do you take your files elsewhere for output? Do you create files for others to use? It is not economical to support a wide range of versions. Most service bureaus support only the current version and maybe one back. We will try to support anything our customers still use on a regular basis but there is a limit. And of course we can help you with conversions and translations.

5. How much time will the transition take? The upgrade itself may take only an afternoon but how soon will you be as efficient as you were before? And then there are the inevitable troubleshooting sessions. Training can usually help you make a faster and smoother transition (and help you understand the new features rather than just staying with what the old version allowed) but this has a cost too.

Please give us a call (206-523-0872) if you have questions about a specific new software version or upgrading your system in general.

copyright 1996 Karen Seymour

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