August 21, 2009

Should I Upgrade?

With a new version of Windows and Mac OS coming out, a lot of people are wondering if they should upgrade, if you’re not in the IT industry and you use your computer for work, then the answer is no. Now before all the geeks and enthusiasts line up to shoot me, let me explain. I think being an early adopter is great, on an entertainment or surfing computer, not on your main work computer.

The reason why can be summed up in one word: bugs! It’s true that there are normally extensive beta tests on new software, be it a new operating system or the latest version of a productivity program such as MS Office, Adobe InDesign, etc. The problem is that beta testers only represent a small portion of the user base. Once the product is released to the general public, where each person may have a completely different setup or a different combination of programs, new bugs are bound to crop up. This is particularly true in the case of translators using software that is not commonly found on systems that are used for beta testing. On a side note, Linux users are not immune. Even with the “unstable” branch to test new software, the same reasoning applies, particularly for translators. There probably aren’t many “unstable” testers that use Heartsome, Swordfish, Wordfast Pro or OmegaT.

What this boils down to is, upon releasing a new program or operating system version; bugs are going to be found. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want to be the one to find a bug one hour before your deadline? That is why I recommend waiting until the first bug fixes are released before even thinking about upgrading a working system (think service pack one for Windows, 10.x.1 for Mac). If you want to tinker or check out new features, I suggest using a different machine, one your livelihood doesn’t depend on.

1 comment:

  1. cool! i love macs, but never thought i could use them for all the different programs i need to use.