It was mid September and I was chatting with a friend, discussing our businesses and what we were each working on.  She mentioned that she had ordered “Dragon Speak” software so she could dictate instead of type everything into her computer.

“Cool!” I said!  “Does it work on a Mac?” I asked.

Of course the answer was no, but after some poking around, I discovered MacSpeech Dictate which is somehow related to this “Dragon Speak” and I started investigating.

The software seemed pretty cool.  And would help my wrist — if you are at all like me, you may sometimes worry about tendonitis or eventual carpal tunnel syndrome because of all the painting, drawing and computer work.  So being able to cut down on that would be good.

Reading on, I did discover that the software required the Leopard operating system for my computer.  That meant an upgrade.  It caused me to pause…

When upgrading software, especially the operating system of your computer be it Windows or Mac, there is always the potential that things that work great now, might not be so happy in the new environment.

Like moving to a new home, sometimes you just don’t anticipate all the issues and expenses.

Well… this has become a spendy proposition!  I upgraded to Leopard, which several people (other than just Apple) assured me they liked.  I got the MacSpeech Dictate which I’m happy with so far. (I’m using it to type this blog!)

Then the fun began and my money started flowing into the economy in ways I didn’t forsee.

All of the sudden, Photoshop@ CS2 kept freezing.  I went online and discovered I had to upgrade to CS3.  $600.

QuickBooks@ Pro 2005?  Nope!  Wouldn’t open.  Had to upgrade.  $160 (with a discount)

Scanner?  Have to use a different interface — they aren’t making my big scanner anymore so not supporting upgrades.  Can’t scan directly into Photoshop™ anymore. 🙁

Of course I also had to download and install free upgrades for my Wacom tablet, filters I use and a few other things I’m forgetting at the moment…

Knock-on wood I think that’s all that I will have to change.  But it also means learning the new ways of working in these programs too.  That one program created quite the domino effect!

MY ADVICE FOR YOU:

Before you upgrade an operating system, make a list of ALL the software you use regularly.

Go online and check the compatibility of your current software with the new OS.

Make a list:  what has upgrades to download and install for free?  What will you need to buy?

With technology, it is a fact of life that you have to upgrade things every so often.  I understand that.  But it doesn’t mean it is as easy as they would like you to believe!

I’m sure I’ll be happy in the end– when I pay the bills and know how to use everything.  But I wish I had gone into it knowing a little more about how much I’d have to spend, do and learn.

Hopefully this little blog will help you be better prepared the next time you upgrade!

~ Tara

If you are interested in dictation software, here are the links.  They work pretty well but you do need to read and edit.  And talk slowly, clearly, and “say” your punctuation.

FOR MACS:  http://www.macspeech.com
FOR PCS:  http://www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking/