Perhaps it is just because we are in the heat of a hotly contested political season, but I'm finding myself intolerant of the spin about Windows 8. It's not even out yet and the Internet is all abuzz with flame throwers and defenders. What is it about software that engenders such over-the-top emotional reactions in so many? What ever happened to "live and let live?" To quote a recent ex-president, "Can't we all just get along?"
A few observations from over the years:
- When looking at prints in a gallery setting, I've never once wondered what enlarger was used. Similarly, but with digital prints, I've never once wondered if the photographer was Mac or a PC person. Not once. I tend to look at the finished piece of work and evaluate it on its merits alone.
- Any camera, any lens, any computer, any operating system, any set of tools whatsoever can make interesting artwork if the mind behind it is in control, inventive, and creative. Isn't this obvious?
- How many of you just assume we use Macs to produce LensWork because most photographers do? (This always reminds me of that liberal columnist who was amazed that Reagan won the presidency in a 49-state landslide because she "didn't know anyone who voted for Reagan." Maybe she needed to broaden her social network a bit.) We use PCs, have always used PCs, and have never once found a limitation that held us back. As I often say, perhaps — someday, when we step up to Macs — we might be able to produce a really good magazine. Ahem. The days when one system was "better" than the other are long gone. Work with whatever works best for you and don't look back. It's the old and tiresome Ford or Chevy argument updated for the new millennium.
- Windows 8 may suck. It may be great. I have no idea. One thing that is absolutely certain, however, is that Window 8.1 will be an improvement. Its just the way the world of software works — it evolves, and quickly, to fix and improve capabilities. Every single day of my life I'm grateful that we have moved beyond the GEM operating system and Publish It! — the software we used to produce LensWork #1-4 back in 1993. Yikes.
- Huntington Witherill referred to this as "the hamster wheel of progress" in a article in LensWork Extended #59 back in 2005 — probably written with chisel and hammer in stone, or the Mac functional equivalent, Tiger. Since he wrote that article, there have been Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and the soon to be released Snagglepuss. (Couldn't resist.) Life changes. Get used to it or become a Luddite.
- Complaining about technology has become a pastime. Get used to it or become a hermit.
- Change is hard. In my experience with software, change is worth it. Can you honestly think of a previous version of any software you would willingly go back to — after, that is, you get used to the new one?
Will we immediately jump on Window 8? Probably not — half our computers are still running XP. Will we eventually jump on Windows 8? Undoubtedly, but maybe we'll just wait for Windows 9 or Android Sushi Gummyball, or iOSwhycAntwEleArntokeEPOFFThesHifTKey. (Trivia of the day: this is known as CamelCase punctuation. And yes, here at LensWork we are guilty of it. But we started using it in 1993 before it was a plague.)
We just sent off the press the first issue of LensWork produced with Adobe CS6 software — which Adobe introduced last April. I think back now about all those issues we produced with CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, and CS5 and think, if only . . .