Upgrade-itis…

One thing I’ve noticed about computers, verses any other medium, is that there is never an end to upgrades. Not just hardware, but software too. In fact, software more so than hardware. As a computer user there are going to be upgrades, just like Death and Taxes, Upgrades are unavoidable.

Being a Designer/Animator/Coder, etc, I have a lot of applications. Too many in fact. Some that I have are essential. Whenever Adobe updates Photoshop or Illustrator, I’m on it. Immediately. Macromedia’s Flash and Dreamweaver fall into the same category, (funny that now all four of those apps will now be Adobe apps…) And, of course, any new update to Apple’s OS Xis a given for upgrading to.

Some applications that I have I don’t end up using as much as I had hoped for, but I still upgrade. I am not sure why, maybe because I get excited at the new features offered/ The new features remind me of why I bought the application in the first place. I just recently upgraded to version 3.0 of Toon Boom Studio. I first discovered this application at the 2001 MacWorld in New York. As a friend of mine and I were perusing the booths we came across Toon Boom Studio. OS X was just in infancy and this one an amazing app that only ran on OS X. (If you don’t know about Toon Boom, go to their site and find out. It’s basically an animation program that outputs Flash .swf files. It works just like an old school animations table!) Once I saw Toon Boom I decided right there and then to upgrade to OS X and to get Toon Boom Studio. Since then I have actually used Toon Boom on a few projects, all personal, and none completed. I decided to upgrade to v3 because of my same old weakness: the features would really help me make great stuff! Yeah that’s my weakness. The ability to make cool/great stuff.

Aside from that, there are a few applications that I have NOT upgraded to. The reason is mostly a cost one, but it also is a sign of my maturity. I am learning to fight Upgrade-itis, to only succumb when it’s worthwhile. For instance. I bought Maya 2 years ago. Maya was at v4.5 when I bought it, now its at 6.5. The main reason I was able to fight Upgrade-itis for Maya was cost. The upgrades were around $1,000. That’s a bit too much for an upgrade Another app that I passed on upgrading is Electric Image Animation System. That one again falls under the category of cost, although it’s less than half of Maya’s cost. The other reason I was able to resist these upgrades was that the new features really didn’t enhance the application enough to fall into that “ability to make cool/great stuff”. Both of those apps could already make cool/great stuff.

One application that I really wanted to upgrade, but I’m fighting the urge is Alias’ Sketchbook Pro. The upgrade cost is minimal, a bit over $100. The reason for my not upgrading? The ONE feature that I have repeatedly requested from Alias was not included in the feature update. This app is similar to Toon Boom in its cool factor. It’s like Corel Painter, but trimmed of all the extra crud. Its a very elegant application for sketching and doodling. My big attraction to it was the drawing/sketching features. Alias originally created it exclusively for Tablet PC’s, but was able to port it to the Mac. It’s a great application, svelte and perfect for what it does. The one feature its missing is the ability to rotate the canvas at will. I realize that this feature isn’t necessary because it’s meant for the TabletPC, but the app is out for the Mac which doesn’t have a Tablet counterpart. Anyone who draws at all knows that when you’re sketching your rotate the sketchbook like crazy. No one draws without moving the paper.

I’m curious as to what apps you consider Must-Upgrade apps. I haven’t listed all my Must-Upgrade apps, I’m sure I’m missing a few… But I do hope I can get over Upgrade-itis on most of my apps. I hope…

Article from dizzyblog.com

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One Response

  1. Linda says:

    Although your points are very valid and there seems to be no end to software updating, i wish to point out something you might have missed. Although some software updates might not contain significant new features and new bells and whistles, one has to consider also the upgraded security features that would be implimented in the new software. These updates are very important to ensure that any security holes have been closed to ensure a safe working environment.

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