The Trailing Edge
There was a time when I lived on the leading edge, or as some would put it, the bleeding edge. For reasons that mostly had to do with making money, I spent a lot of time running software that was not only not shipped product, nor beta versions, but software that was not even ready for alpha status. Same thing, really, for hardware – I had a lot of bleeding edge hardware. Fast computers – among the fastest available – I had’em.
Somewhere along the line, though, I lost the taste for it. I just wanted things to work. And so I relaxed a bit, feathered away from the leading edge. I still had fast computers, but they were no longer the fastest possible. I didn’t run beta software, just the current versions.
And today, somehow, I find myself on the trailing edge. I’m not running on the latest hardware (although everything got an upgrade when we switched to Macs). And I’m not running the latest software.
Apple is making noises about releasing OS X 10.6. We have six Macs (Oh, god. Don’t ask why so many. Just don’t. It’s an addiction.) and only four of them are running 10.5, the current version. Two of them (two of the most heavily used, in fact) are still running 10.4. And I’m running Adobe Creative Suite CS3, one version back.
My main camera (a Canon EOS 5d) is one generation back. My handy camera (a Canon G9) is one generation back. My favorite lens is so old, it’s not even a USM lens. That’s old, and although I’m often tempted to sample the current version, I’m afraid it won’t live up to the excellence of the one I’ve got.
Somewhere along the way, computers got fast enough, and operating systems got powerful enough, and the constant urge to have the latest and greatest drained out of my body. Somewhere along the way, the cameras got good enough, and lenses got good enough.
I still upgrade stuff, to avoid that ugliness that you get when you fall off the trailing edge. But, I have to say, life is a whole lot less stress when you’re not constantly banging your head against leading edge problems.