Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stepping Backwards

For most of my "career," I've been driven by a corporate demand to "stay current"; to use the most up-to-date technology. I've worked for small companies and Fortune 500 corporations that had IS departments who automatically updated the software I used, regardless of security, function, or need. The school where I currently work has the same policies. Like some sort of braindead robot, I have followed suit personally.

Not any more.

My current office computer came with Win7 and Office 2007 installed. I put up with those two user-hostile programs for as long as it took to complete my 2009 taxes and a couple of pressing projects that had been held up when my last office computer died. Once those tasks were out of the way, I reformatted my OS hard drive, installed WinXP SP3 and Office 2003. I'm done with "upgrades" for the rest of my life, most likely. My production computer, a Mac PPC tower, is probably my last Mac, too. I can do anything I need to do on that machine. Apple has decided to obsolete the PPC machines and their support, so I can't upgrade my software even if I had a reason to want to upgrade my software. So, I am motivated to stick with what I have. The upside to this is I'm done spending money and have nothing left to do but do work.

Win7 wasn't terrible, but it isn't particularly compatible with Office 2003 or many of my other programs. The real reason for moving backwards was that Office 2007 is a joke. Almost every function I regularly use in MS Office has been buried in a completely obscure menu structure. I have no good reason to spend time learning a brand new software layout. The one I used for decades works fine. If MS had its head out of its ass, the company would have left users with a "classic" option. They didn't and because of that I'm more inclined to mess with a completely different program (like Open Office) rather than figure out the new organization of MS Office.

The same goes for Apple's new Intel machines. Rather than buying new, expensive equipment from a company that has a long user-hostile history, I'm tempted to build a Hackintosh and avoid Apple whenever possible. Since my PPC is working and doing the job, I'll put that off for a while but it's the logical option.

I know guys who are running productive, profitable recording studios on OS 9 machines. I know a couple of authors who write on Win for Workgroups 3.11 and make a boatload more money as authors than I'll ever approach. A fair number of authors still use Wordstar on MSDOS machines, for that matter. Upgrading isn't even a question for these people. They are too busy working. I'm going to try to follow their example.

Wirebender Audio Rants

Over the dozen years I taught audio engineering at Musictech College and McNally Smith College of Music, I accumulated a lot of material that might be useful to all sorts of budding audio techs and musicians. This site will include comments and questions about professional audio standards, practices, and equipment. I will add occasional product reviews with as many objective and irrational opinions as possible.