Help! Caught in the upgrade treadmill...

Subject: Help! Caught in the upgrade treadmill...
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 14:09:50 LCL

Here's a problem that concerns us all, at least to some extent: When
do we stop upgrading our hardware and software and say "this is good
enough... I don't really need more"? Can we do this? The question is
relevant to the list in the specific context of publishing,
particularly for freelancers.

Ignore for the moment the fact that we must stay current with new
technologies to remain able to move between jobs, to take advantage of
productivity increases (as opposed to "same box, a little faster") and
to keep up with the Jones'. [Apologies to any Jones' out there!]

Here's the problem: my current computer works just fine for what I'm
doing, and will always meet my needs so long as I don't upgrade and so
long as it keeps running. But if I don't upgrade, at some point in the
future the hardware will die (or the files I produce with the software
won't be accepted anymore at the publishing service bureaus), or
become incompatible with new hardware and software that I'd like to
use, and I'll be hit with the whole upgrade price at once (hardware,
plus new software that runs on it). So this suggests that I upgrade
continuously and gradually, spreading the cost over a longer time to
make it acceptable. Voila! Back on the upgrade treadmill.

This is less of a problem if you're employed, because your employer
should be planning to depreciate and upgrade equipment and software
continuously; even if self-employed, you can do the same thing. So is
there any way off the treadmill, or will I be contributing to the
Microsoft retirement fund for the rest of my sentient life?

--Geoff Hart #8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of
our reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.


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