Software upgrades suck

When I was younger I used to love when Adobe updated  Photoshop. I loved it when Apple updated their operating system. I liked all the new stuff I could try out. I liked that I could then do things easier or faster. It was always a treat. 

Now that I am 67, I have had it. I know the software I use. I know how it works. I’m pretty darn good at using that software and I love that it helps me to do the things I love to do…like writing this blog, taking photos and so many other things. But lately it seems as if every company is trying to “make it better.” But often making it “better” so they can sell more copies of their software, they just make it either more complicated or force me to learn a new way to do things when the old way was working just fine.

I realize that this is a first-world problem. It’s not Covid or wildfires or elections but it drives me nuts and this is my blog so I am going to write about it. If you are tired of my ranting already, come on back when we get back to traveling. Soon, I hope.

Software is a tool. Like a hammer. If software engineers and software providers designed hammers who knows what they would do. Maybe they would have pop-out screwdrivers, serrated saw edges, a small crescent wrench built into the bottom of the claw because they think you want one tool to rule them all. Problem is, I just want a hammer that I can drive a nail with. If I want more speed, I guess I could buy a nail gun but let’s be honest, I only use a hammer once in a while to hang a picture so I think a nail gun would be overkill…just like bloated software with so many features it would take you years just to learn them all.

Don’t even get me started about discontinued software (thanks Adobe for taking away Muse). You not only made my hammer more difficult to use each and every year, but you sent me a note that soon I could no longer use my hammer. You even told me that sometime in the near future you are going to come to my house and take my hammer away. Seriously, I have used lots of great pieces of software in the past that did exactly what I wanted them to do and all of a sudden the software mucky-mucks decided that this particular product wasn’t selling well enough so they would no longer make it. That’s fine, just let me keep using the one I bought from you in the first place. That’s how it would work with a hammer. I wouldn’t have to upgrade to that nail gun, I would just keep on using my hammer.

Why the rant today? Because WordPress, the website that hosts this blog has decided that the “new” upgrade they offered their users a few months ago is now the ONLY thing you can use. (They will let you go back and use a “Classic” version of their software but it does NOT look or act like it did just two weeks ago when I wrote my last post. It looks like something I used two years ago.) So when I went to write this post today, there it was—my new “block” layout (which I hate). It’s clunky and definitely not as easy to use. Parts of it just get in the way when I am writing. But I have been told it has new and better features…which I will NEVER use. Why won’t I use them? Because my blog is about my views on travel and, to be honest, I think it looks just fine. (BTW: you won’t see any difference in the way it looks on your end, I just see it when I am creating it and it gets in my way.) 

Even Expedia Cruises just upgraded and change the website we use to book travel. And to be honest, the new changes are not the best you have ever seen. In fact, they seem to make things a little slower and even more cumbersome than they were before.

The other wonderful thing (sarcasm intended) about all this upgrading is that I get to buy new books,  I get to watch countless YouTube videos and I get to spend hours chatting with tech support trying to figure out how to make something work I used to do quite easily. Case in point—see my Memoji at the top of this page. It took me almost a half an hour of Googling and chatting with tech support to figure out how to place it so the copy went around like it did two weeks ago when I knew how to do it. And to be honest, I am still not sure how I got it like that. Every time tech support would suggest something, it would make it look differently than I wanted it to look. One time it put a gray box around it. Never had that happen before. Another time it made it three times as big. I am beyond frustrated and do not have the motivation to learn an entirely new piece of software all over again just to be able to create a simple blog post. Thanks a bunch WordPress.

The world changes, but I want that change to be necessary or respectful of what has happened before. Everything changes, and that’s quite right. —Iain Sinclair



Another Direction—Photography

Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 7.56.25 AMSome of you may not realize it but about a year ago I started posting what I considered my best photos on Instagram. I had just taken a fantastic photography workshop taught by the amazing Scott Kelby.

Scott told us that if you want your photos to be noticed you need to post the best of them on Instagram. So I started an Instagram feed (you can click any of the photos on the right and the link will take you to my Instagram feed) where I posted one travel photo per day. I feel like it has done pretty well as far as garnering attention. Scott also said that it would help me choose which pictures were the most popular and he was right.

All of this is leading to my next direction. A lot of my Instagram followers have been telling me that I should consider selling my photos and I totally appreciated that feedback. I also felt so gratified that they would think I was a good enough photographer that people might want to hang my work in their homes or businesses. So this morning I put my photo store on line. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time.

If this interests you at all, you can find them by clicking here. The photos can purchased in a variety of sizes and those photos are printed by professional photo finishers associated with SmugMug, where the site is hosted. I hope you will check it out and maybe even tell your friends who might be looking for something to hang in their homes or offices.

Just a note for the photographers out there. One thing that really saddened me in doing this was having to eliminate so many of my favorite photos. You see I can’t sell photos of recognizable people without their permission. Since so many of my photos were taken on the streets of so many cities that means that most of the people in them are strangers. Which means I have no way of getting their permission. I have an entire folder of more than 100 photos of street photography in places like Hanoi, Leeds, London, Auckland and so many more others that I can put on Instagram but not sell. Makes me sad because I love them a bunch.

And to my number one reader (you know who you are), I cannot sell the pic you think is my best because it is too wide to be printed by any of the suppliers on SmugMug. Sorry. Here it is again so you can see it one more time. Best Pano Ever

Thanks for reading my little commercial for my new venture. Hope you check it out and come back here soon for a post on travel. I do have other things to write about even though we can’t go anywhere.

BTW: The quote below says everything I believe in about photography.

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography. —George Eastman