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



10 thoughts on “Software upgrades suck

  1. Mike

    I feel your way son Jim. So glad I haven’t gotten involved with WordPress; but quite disappointed that I was only able to use Muse once. I really loved that software.

  2. Bob

    I love your rant…I don’t use wordpress other than to check on several bloggers so it won’t affect me much if at all. But I do have other sites where things when they change cause me the same
    kind of issues but a lot less smaller. So Mind if I just send them a copy of your blog and change the names ??. You likely don’t mind but I’m kidding of course. I’ve just given up. We will allow you to use us as a valve release. Breath my friend.

    1. I think half the problem is being stuck inside since last Wednesday. Haven’t set foot outside. Can’t tell you how much I miss my walks. I literally have not set food outside since then except once to grocery shop. Have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning so will go there.

  3. Carol

    I agree! Once I learn how to do something on my Mac and it works for me, I don’t want an update with more “un-needed bells and whistles!” I can’t update my Mac because the new updates will not allow me to transfer my photos from my old Kodak camera to iPhotos…

    1. Interesting Carol. Can you get the photos off the camera at all? If you can and it just won’t convert them to Photos, send one one of the files as an e-mail attachment and I will see if I can convert it for you.

  4. Hello Jim, I followed a link from your CC profile to get here. As a fellow WordPress user I am in 100% agreement with you about the block editor. I self host so am able to use a plug-in which replicates the classic editor.
    My main gripe is you can spend a lot of time and effort developing something to look a certain way then then they change how the software makes it look. I just recently changed my theme to try and get it back to the way i wanted it. Not a 5 minute job and in the end I used one of the official themes (Twenty Sixteen) to replicate what I wanted.
    I think the whole blame for this developing things for the better can be laid at the door of smart phones and tablets, they have become the most predominant way of browsing the web these days and everything seems to have been developed with that platform being the first one developers use. Us old PC users are now way down the list. I hate having to scroll down a web page set out for a phone where the developer has not bothered or been able to format it for a bigger screen. At least WordPress sort of has this in hand. Not perfect but not the worst.

    1. Greetings Mike!

      Thanks for tracking me down. What’s your screen name on CC?

      Thanks too for validation. I am not sure how old you are but the older I get, the more I am just tired of having to learn new software when I am very happy with my old software. There are so many other things I would rather spend my time doing. And you are correct, it’s all because of phones and tablets…but mostly phones. And yes, WP does to a decent job of making that. I have been using other Adobe software to design for years and there I had to pretty much do three sites (one for each type of device).

      This really bugs me because as a photographer, I hate it when people see shots I love as a little, tiny postage stamp photo on their phones. A few of my older sites I just put notes on the phone pages saying, “Please go look at this on a desktop or large tablet:”

      I keep thinking about moving this to my own server but it is so big now it would take a lot of work. If I am going to do it, I need to do it before December when my renewal is up. It’s fairly spendy to continue so there is every possibility I will do that.

      Liked your blog. We’ve been on a lot of the same ships but you cruise more than we do. Being in the UK you have much better choices than we do to take a cruise. Where we are in Seattle the only place we can go without a flight is Alaska (been 8 times) and that gets old. It’s not like the Caribbean where at least you can go to different islands. We have had four cancelled this year, including Flora to the Galapagos, a Viking Christmas Market cruise and a couple of short ones. Moved them all to 2021 and just hoping we will get to go.

      Good meeting you. Look forward to following your future travel if we ever get to go.

      1. My name on Cruise Critic is the same here, Wansbrough. I was the original poster on the “The Demise of the Solstice Deck” topic and just wanted to make my feelings known. My feelings are that we will probably look elsewhere first for cruises in future, as much as I enjoy the Celebrity product, I don’t like the fact they are taking things away from the steerage passengers. I would love to cruise Viking or Azamara, we would rather take to two cheaper cruises than a more expensive one, we have enjoyed Costa on many occasions but even they have no loyalty to those who have been loyal. Much like you its all about the travel experience for us and we have recently discovered river cruises are not as bad as we thought so we are doing more looking into that aspect of cruising. I do have my eyes on Myanmar for the future along with the Ganges but it could be some time before we get any where near those two countries.
        We have not done an Alaska cruise yet but it is on the list and we have deliberately not taken too many ex UK cruises to date as we would like to do the far flung places while we are still fit enough to do long hauls.This sort of extends to European river cruises as well but they may end up being the only offerings as things start to go back to normal so who knows. What I can say for certain is that I love waking up somewhere new every day and the last year has been torture.
        Very envious of the Flora cruise, you are very fortunate to have got a cabin as I hear they are like gold dust. I look forward to hearing about it when you get to go.
        Well, we have gone way off topic but its been nice to have a natter with a travel enthusiast (note I didn’t say the b word).
        Roll on a vaccine!!!

  5. So totally agree !! And the hammer analogy “nails” it perfectly! 😉 Also agree that the new Expedia website is much more cumbersome to use . . . The young tech hounds are always going to buy the new stuff, so why can’t they just leave the older program versions alone for those of us who have older brains ( internal hard drives) and more difficulty learning (limited data and RAM capacity) and frankly aging operating systems that just don’t update well anymore !?! And it ain’t like we can go out and get a new version of ourselves!!

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