We take delivery of our next Mac update this friday. New hardware and software for everyone in the studio, moving us on to the CS 4 operating system I believe. A reasonable amount of money is involved in updating the entire studio and of course in 3 years time these state-of-the-art computers will most likely be obsolete, outdated and practically worthless. The irony is that the Macs haven’t really given us any bother, in fact I don’t remember the last time we had to call someone in to look at one of them. Yet it still makes sense for us to do this. We learned a long time ago that preventing problems is better than fixing them. It actually saves us money to update every three years rather than to hold off for another couple of years and deal with the inevitable problems as they happen. The cost of fixing any problems are dwarfed by the cost of studio downtime and the hold-up in work flow too.

We have the same policy for our PC Microsoft based computers yet we seem to have someone in looking at them every week. I’m unsure why this is. Certainly the Mac operators rely on their computers for their living, perhaps they take better care of them because of this. I’d also say they have more interest and knowledge of the actual computer and the software it uses so maybe they are able to fix minor problems themselves where average PC users aren’t. Or it might be simply that PCs just aren’t as good. Whatever the reason the difference seems to exist. In the PCs favour is cost of course, they are considerably less expensive than Macs and it is far easier to find someone to help you with them than Macs which still seem to run a closed shop when it comes to sales and servicing.

It was tempting, with all the uncertainty in the world and in business in particular, not to update them. It would have been easy to justify holding off the investment for 12 months ‘just to see how things go’ as I keep hearing people tell me. But it would have been a mistake. If we’re serious about coming out the other end of this period we need to be as strong as possible and having a studio that’s focussing entirely on the clients problems rather than their own seems sensible.