Keith Eastwell Fine Art Photography

To Update or not Update, if only it were that simple...

Blog > To Update or not Update, if only it were that simple...
10/12/2014 - 11:10

This blog was to be either informative or as I put it; a rant! Well my first blog so to speak is not a rant but more a series of mostly rhetorical questions my answers to which maybe similar to others or poles apart. However, it's good to get some things off your chest, if only to make one feel better.

Some background.

I started using computers in conjunction with my interest in photography in about 1992. The digital revolution was for graphics, not in its infancy but at a stage where possibilities and obvious advantages, were becoming less science fiction and more science fact. With my 486 processor, 200MB hard drive and a tower system large enough to be charged rent on, I began to see only the potential. The question of my consciously pondering what we may loose during this techno revolution had not even begun to germinate, but hey, that's another hopefully informative future Blog! 

What's the point of all this I hear you cry?

OK, way back then in 92, digital cameras were around but for anything remotely usable in terms of image quality, their cost was astronomical. For the most part then software and early image editing and manipulation was more affordable to us masses. Software back then was crude, basic, slow, and coupled with Stone Age graphics cards, liable to crash in the cooling hue of a blue-screen should the cat turn over in his sleep!

It was all new, we all saw the potential and it was good.

Then came the promise of upgrades: improvements, enhancements and technology designed to make one and all, more productive. We all lost patience, we all shouted at the screen and when the time came we all paid our fifty dollars or 50 pounds and bought the upgrade, only to discover that it wasn't quite the improvement we thought. Sure, the software got more elaborate, with many more features but more complicated. However, apparently it was going to make us all more productive, so we upgraded again and again, but now the cost was not fifty dollars or pounds but a hundred, and later hundreds of pounds.

Is that a light ahead?

Don't get me wrong, our investment paid off. We became more productive as computer systems and their applications ran smoother and became more reliable until eventually, we all seemed to arrive at that promised Utopia. We'd all seen the future and now it worked.

Here's the rub!

I keep getting these messages, at first they were informing me the last upgrade I'd paid for entitled me to a free interim upgrade. The tag line was the one I'd seen many times before: would make me more productive! Sometimes I'd get two even three opportunities for this free upgrade, no doubt based on the premise I'd invested in the software many times before and as a loyal customer the company felt they owed me something. Eventually, we would have to pay, apparently the current version was not their best effort after all. Their new one was the market leader, especially as the interface had been completely redesigned to be more intuitive and yes, you've guessed it, make us all more productive. 

Twenty five years on I'm being asked to pay for an upgrade that equivalent to a washing powder, is still promising whiter whites! I pay my upgrade fee and behold, some programming geek has taken it upon himself to move and alter the entire menu. What I knew, I must relearn what I gain are features, I'll never need and to ignore all future upgrades will eventually leave you with an application that would be perfectly usable, for the fact it can't now open the latest RAW files.  In essence, you never buy software once, you will always keep buying it, again and again.

To be continued...

Is this trend to continue forever, is there not another way? Is all this for the advancement of creativity or simply a way for a CEO to not only give his wife a new Mercedes, but one for each of his children and mother-in-law as well? I'll be honest, I'm sick and tired of endlessly paying out for something that is the best, to be then told by the very company I bought it from that actually, It's not! You my son, need to upgrade.






29/12/2015 - 19:50
Have you looked at the cloud based software and rent it?

What you pay for in the lens for 500 is only about 50 in material if this makes you feel any better...R and D is in everything, just that it is so much of software, and we end up being the test bed.

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