Sunday, December 15, 2013

To Upgrade Or Not ... That Is The Question!!!

A question I never really considered, since just three years ago, I purchased a 15" MacBook Pro laptop computer for my photography work.  It's made by APPLE and is the preferred system for downloading and editing photographic images.
I had no experience at all with this brand ... I was a Windows girl all the way, and have been for almost 40 years.  When Merced County had a mainframe computer as large as my entire living room, I was lucky enough to be given the first ever office version, complete with frisbee-like software disks, one for each program ... like Typing and Spreadsheets.   Every time you took it out of the slot, the program disappeared and would need to be re-inserted and booted up if you wanted to type again.  Pretty archaic compared to todays laptops.  The improvements have been nothing short of amazing.  That mainframe computer is now the size of a small briefcase!!

So much for that nostalgic walk through the prehistoric age!!  I'm always looking for better ways to process my images ... and the main man in the business right now is Scott Kelby.  This guy will help you with any problem ... and unlike most big shot photographers ... he will show you in detail how to do everything you want to learn.  According to Scott, the newest and best program to manage your image files and do preliminary touchups is LIGHTROOM.  With all the holiday sales going on, I found it on-line for $80 ... of course I purchased it immediately, before I saw the little note that if I open the box, it is non-returnable.
A word of caution here!!!  When you buy a new program, you need to make sure it is compatible with YOUR computer.  I checked out my computer's operating system (OS X) and ordered the corresponding version of Lightroom.  My worst fears came true!!  When I loaded it into my machine, it said "You're a dummy ... this won't work on your system"!!!  I soon discovered I hadn't looked quite close enough ... my system was OS X 10.6.8   Lightroom requires OS X 10.9.  How can just a few numbers cause so much trouble!!!  The word "non-returnable" echoed in my ear.  After googling the problem (you can find the answer to anything on You Tube) I found the scariest words in computer land ... YOU NEED TO UPGRADE!

I deem myself fairly smart in the computer world, having worked with the County's IT Department for several years ... but this scares me to death.  The first thing I did was check out the price of a new computer, you know, just in case mine dies a horrible death.  $2,600 (oh my!!!!)  I found my Snow Leopard Operating System had been replaced by the Lion and Tiger ... who makes up these names???  The one I was looking for was now called Maverick and was downloadable for FREE ... my favorite word.

After a full computer backup including systems, programs and images that took 2-1/2 hours, I started the download.  Four hours later, the bar hadn't moved at all.  Time to call in the big guns ... my photographer friend who runs the computer systems for a huge local company who shall remain nameless ... because from his office, hooked up to his hard line internet connection, it took 30 minutes for the download and two hours for the actual upgrade of my computer.  I held my breath the entire time!!  He said no problem ... Apple makes sure things work.  I should have him talk to our friend Nick Russell who has had major problems with a Mac Computer HE purchased.

Back home, Lightroom installed in a flash, but of course I have no idea how to use the program.  I see some training in my future on this one.  Everything is working fine ... there are several differences in the "view" of things, which mostly I am able to change to my preference.  As with anything new, it takes a little getting used to, but overall I'm happy I chose to upgrade and EXTREMELY happy it all went so well.  The upgrade was free and saved me $2,600 by actually WORKING!!  

There are a lot of variables here however to be aware of.  How old is your computer?  Do you have enough memory to install the upgrade?  Can you afford a new one if yours crashes?  And lastly, don't trust that the kids working at the local Apple store, are smarter than you or know what they are doing.  Try to find someone who has lived with computers for many years, to give you advice before you plunge off the cliff of upgrades!!!  You always want to have a parachute close by!!


  1. Lightroom is awesome!!!

    1. Good to hear ... now if I can only figure out how to use it!!!!