In between days

Pique is upgrading, although it doesnÕt feel that way. After years of running the OS9.X operating system the entire office is at last upgrading to OSX Ð just as the fourth edition, Tiger, of AppleÕs popular operating system hit the market.

This might seem like a simple thing, but the leap from one operating system to another is so huge and fraught with perils and problems that Pique staff are practically ripping hair out. Advancements in technology are supposed to make life easier after all, not trigger crying jags and nervous breakdowns.

Not that we could have stayed with OS9.X forever. When the rest of the world upgrades, standing still is not an option Ð older web browsers donÕt read websites as well as new browsers, older word processing software canÕt open files written on newer versions, older layout software wonÕt open pages laid out with newer versions of the same program. We had to upgrade eventually, and sooner is always better than later.

HereÕs a little friendly advice if youÕre planning a serious upgrade any time soon:

A) Do not attempt an upgrade when you have back-to-back Victoria Day and Memorial Day long-weekend newspapers to publish because you have enough on your plate without computer glitches and the stress of getting used to a new operating system.

B) Make sure your important software works with the new upgrade. Because of the heightened system requirements of OSX the paper had to acquire new computers to accommodate the upgrade, as well as purchase new office software compatible with the new operating system. This gets expense, especially when youÕre dealing with Macs.

A new basic eMac costs about $999 these days. Pretty cheap, at least until you consider that a new version of Microsoft Office Standard is $599. QuarkXPress is about $1,099 for the latest edition, and Adobe Photoshop is about $900. Our production staff also use Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Dreamweaver and other titles that jack up the total price even more.

Rather than buy all new software at once, weÕve been using a feature in OSX that allows you to continue using dated OS9.X software Ð which is time consuming and increases the number of error warnings exponentially. Running two operating systems Ð working between two software generations so to speak Ð also eats up a lot of Memory and CPU, which in turn leads to a variety of other issues.

Another problem with the upgrade is the fact that weÕve only upgraded our versions of Microsoft Word, choosing to use OSXÕs propriety email software for the future Ð thereby losing all of our Outlook Express messages and contact lists. Attempts to import our old Outlook Express files into Mail have so far failed.

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