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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Do you use the full potential of your software upgrades?


I remember a conversation I had with my wife a couple of years ago, she was working from home for a group of Management Consultants. I asked her whether, within Firefox, she bookmarked the sites she knew she had to return to. "No", she said, wondering what I was on about. “I just google them again.”

This led me to wondering why we never use the full potential of our software.

Many years ago, before I saw the light and moved to Linux, I first started using Adobe Pagemaker from version 3.x and upgraded each time right up to version 7.x when it was superseded by In-Design,

I hardly improved my skills as I never took advantage of all the extras that Adobe offered on each upgrade.

Do you?

When you get the next version of Office, or the next Windows operating system version, or your next browser edition, do you learn the extra additions to the program? If not, why not? Or a better question to ask may be; “Why do you pay all that extra money to upgrade if you don’t use the additional functionality?”

Try this little exercise – and it is very easy really. Next time you upgrade a piece of software there is usually a file describing all the additional things the program writers have added. Print it out. Then, each day, work on five items and as you master them, cross them off the list. Continue doing this until you have crossed off all the additional functions. This way you may actually get your monies worth.

If you hate replacing your computers every three years or so, here is an additional tip. When you purchased your new computer, it comes with a set of software written especially for the computer at that time. If you need any additional software this is the best time to purchase it.

If your software is doing its job adequately, try not to update it at all. One of the main reasons people change their computers every three years or so is that it gets so slow.

The reason it gets so slow? There are many reasons but if you defrag your hard drive at least three or four times a year, and don't download “dodgy” software from the Internet, it could be because the new version of the latest software has been written for a new breed of computers with faster processors than your older machine.

Your older computer has to cope with more complex software so, naturally, its processor speed isn't fast enough to do justice to the task.

Your computer will perform at its usual speed if you keep the same software versions. And it may last for five or even six years.

Andrew.

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