Safest Way to Test FM Upgrade

Subject: Safest Way to Test FM Upgrade
From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 16:27:36 -0600

Hi, all --

I'm running FM 7.1p116 on a machine with these basic spex:


* 3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
* 16 kilobyte primary memory cache
* 1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
* 17.79 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space
* 2048 Megabytes Installed Memory

It's not partitioned, and it's probably the only computer I get to play
with (i.e., not likely to be able to use a separate, non-production test
machine). I'm suspecting the computer is sufficiently robust for the
task, but if not, I need to know that, too.

More to the point, our colleagues across the pond have switched to FM 8,
and for the first time, I have a manual originating with them that I'll
need to use on this project. I have the FM 8/TCS trial on a CD and have
not yet installed it. After this week, I'm very interested in
downloading FM 9/TCS 2, and -- all things being equal -- skipping FM 8
altogether. In any case, I'll need one of the two to be able to open the
FM files I've received (realizing, of course, that it might be possible
to have them resave the FM files in FM 7 -- but that's not really
germane to what I want to know).

Which brings me to a couple of questions:


1. What steps would you all advise to test the new release without
jeopardizing my current configuration in the event I am unable or
unwilling (because of bugs, budget, or whatever) to continue with new
version? I'm looking for advice on essential files to back up, plug-ins
to protect, where to place everything so that FM 7 and FMx don't
interfere with each other, what is essential to set the stage for a
rollback. I'm looking for examples to follow and errors to avoid so
that there are no GOTCHA! experiences and I can return to work as I now
know it in a hurry if need be. Basically, whatever is pertinent for safe
computing and relatively undisturbed workflow in this situation.
2. Is there any "showstopper," compelling reason not to go straight
to FM 9 if I can tolerate a reasonably modest learning curve and my
computer configuration permits it?

Any insights appreciated -- including those who have avoided the
pitfalls and those who have experienced them and learned from them.

Thanks,
Jim

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