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Is Upgrading The Software Worth The Risks?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Is Upgrading The Software Worth The Risks? Reply with quote

In the last couple of weeks I've been reading about upgrading to Lion, and reading some other forums about upgrading Ubuntu. I remember a long time ago the talk about people upgrading from Windows XP to Vista. Just this week I upgraded from Firefox 4.? to 5.

I must say that going to Firefox 4 just a month or two ago was an overall improvement. It really accomplished what it said it could do. That is, it helped me to synchronize all of my bookmarks between three OSs. Now I've got Firefox 5 and it is a gigantic RAM and CPU hog. It behaves the way IE 6 would after several hours of operating in XP. It hogs so much RAM while playing videos in the browser that it becomes unresponsive. The cursor moves and it will change from an arrow to a pointing finger, but it won't open any links.

I've been gradually working within Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for over a year to get things right. While searching for a fix to my Evolution Mail problems I found OMGUbuntu.co.uk. There was a thread about a change to Ubuntu. Many people commenting felt that the last few updates were making Ubuntu worse. Some wrote that the best version was 10.10. (For those that don't know, the first two digits are the last two numbers of the year, and after the period is the number of the month it was put out.)

Safari version 3.8 or something like that, was better in my opinion than 4 and the following versions. It was faster and did everything I wanted it to do. I didn't know how to switch back so I'm stuck with whatever it's up to now. I've been hoping it would get faster but it isn't.

I don't have Snow Leopard so I can't comment on it personally. Some people in the beginning complained about it and others praised it.

Lion is coming and it won't work for my laptop because it doesn't have the correct track pad hardware. It would work with the external Magic Trackpad.

I've read many comments about the latest build of Lion and how it is causing problems with older computers. It's not released to the public yet so that is understandable. I'm also reading comments how 10.6.8 is causing problems for others.

I'm just wondering where I should draw the line regarding updates? I got a security update from Apple this week for 10.5.8 and now my mail program is acting differently.

Should I just say to myself, "OK. Everything is working and doing as it should. I will now refuse to update anything because I don't want to gamble with the update screwing up my perfectly working machine"?

If I were to look at my computer as a car I'd just keep it clean and use it as it was designed. I wouldn't go changing chips or rewiring things. I'd just use it. Putting different wheels and tires on a car to me would be the equivalent of putting stickers or a custom notebook sleeve on it. Changing RAM and hard drives would be like doing work on the injectors of a car. It's a bit of work but can be done. Should I just get the computer functioning without any problems and call it quits?

If I were a programmer I could delve into the updates and fix the things that go wrong. That isn't my level. I can run programs and follow tips from more experienced people in forums. I can't debug computers.

Most of the updates do nothing to mess up the programs. It's just that every once in a long while the updates really mess up something and it can't be undone by me. Sometimes I'm adventurous and that is fine. Most of the time I like to stick with something that is working as it is intended to work. Why mess with a good thing?

Due to Vista getting a virus, I took the plunge to dual boot with Ubuntu. It was a good change, but it was a lot of work and still needs tweaking. With all the comments about Ubuntu 10.10 being the last best version of it, I just might stick with it and not upgrade for a long time, even though all of the upgrades are free.

Are you now or have you ever gone through computer software upgrades or changes that just made things worse? How do you feel about sticking with a setup that just works as it is and foregoing software changes just for the sake of newness?

I'm at a point where choosing to stand with what I have is enough and satisfying. How about you? Maybe I should keep one computer as is and let the others get updates and upgrades. That way I'll always have an "old faithful" computer.


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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When your machine is working perfectly (as you mentioned yours is) that's a good time to make a nice bootable clone of that drive. Make as many changes as you want after that. You can always clone that "perfectly working" version back to your internal if things end up getting messed up.

Making changes can end up creating issues, but so can leaving things as is. There is no perfect solution. If you leave things as is, you miss out on all the cool new things, you are guaranteeing obsolescence and you also run the risk of security threats.

I had a customer come in today that loves AppleWorks (as many people do). It will not work with Lion. For all these years he's refused to use iWork. iWork doesn't include a database either, so he'd be forced to run Bento as well.

What do you do? You'll end up in that same situation someday as well Smallwheels. My suggestion is to always have a good back-up and take baby steps. Never change more than one thing at a time without testing that everything is still running the way you want it too. Otherwise you may never figure out what messed things up.

Macs are easy and free to clone. Back-up drives are dirt cheap. I really see no reason why one cannot have the best of both worlds. Try the new, but always be prepared to return to what's tried and true.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree with extreme measure comes extreme counter measures i would be backing up via clone disk or even by time machine but you need to really understand something about mac os x the updates they release from apple are important because they add new features update software to work with new os's like lion and help improve the overall performance of the macintosh experiance but third party updates like java and flash player can drive you crazy when java decides to blacklist a program like frostwire and not tell anyone so when they update they end up with a dead piece of software is not cool.

It depends where you stand on the issue i have to say im glad to have lion this july because i really enjoyed the developer's preview and if apple will offer me server for free for the mac up to date program i'm going for it and if apple doesn't offer me server then i will go with the standard for free and still update to server i noticed that for a developers preview it was very stable not like the leopard or snow leopard previews which where nasty this was very stable and every application i use worked perfect with it.

So like i said it depends on your choices...

And not to sound rude but dont always trust forums that bash a mac os x release before it's released it's like reviewing a video game six months before the game is due out.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let the early adopters deal with and when the updates update comes out, that's when you start to look at it.

Or keep letting the early adopters deal with it till you can be sure you have a stable platform.

As for Ubuntu, it seems to me that a small clique decides what everyone will use, and makes that the default action/application rather than doing *nix that way it was where the user decided how they wanted it set up.

Grumpy old man of computing.

[Desktop] Intel mini - Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD / 120GB SSD 10.10

4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One nice thing about Ubuntu is that they support LTS releases for three years, even though an updated version is issued every 6 months. The 6 month releases are supported for only 18 months. The last LTS release was 10.04; the next one will be 11.10. Given your priorities, I would stick with 10.04. If you want to try out a newer release, download the live CD for it.
Mini 1 (2012): 2.3 ghz Core i7; 16gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8gb RAM, 500gb SSD running Ubuntu
Also a 13" MacBook Air, 21.5" i5 iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu, openSUSE & Crunchbang
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: I'm in a not dissimilar situation Reply with quote

I've got my latest mini and its running fine. I use a magic mouse and if I upgraded to lion I'm told I could use lots of smashing gestures with the mouse. However, when I've tried in the past to use gestures on the top of the mouse its not worked well due to the surface area being so small.

So.....upgrade to lion or stick where I am?

Advice most welcome!

Loving my mini's, hating what Apple has become.

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