Should You Upgrade Your Computer Components?

Computer software and hardware is expensive to most people and businesses so upgrading can be a pricy decision, so people usually decide not to take on upgrading or settle for the a slightly older version. We have all done that and I am no exception but it comes to a point in time when efficiency outweighs expense and the upgrade has to be done. A lot of designers are using software that is too far behind the latest software and are probably wasting more time by using it than swallowing the pill and purchasing a new edition. If you have been in business for a while then you should have some idea of the equipment and software that is really needed for your process. Believe me mismatched software can really eat up your time and creative juices.

I recently went through this with my Wacom tablet. I have been using one that I have had for about ten years. It is a very small one and the pen doesn’t have the flexibility that many of the new products do. Although I liked using it very much I had two issues that were driving me crazy. The first was that the tablet live area was too small. I had to use a mouse in my right hand and the pen in my left hand to reposition the mouse as I moved around the screen. The second item was that the tablet surface was so slippery it was very hard to get nice clean lines in my drawings so I wouldn’t draw with it. I used it to basically colour my cartoons that had been drawn on paper. Now I was able to live with this for quite a while and was happy to do so until this year. In my art classes I have started to use my tablet and computer more for demos. The line quality wasn’t there and I had to do a lot of adjusting on the page. The real kicker was a few weeks ago as I was working on another project for our business where I was creating the illustration from scratch right on the computer. It looked terrible and not of the quality that I was looking to have. Finally so fed up with the tablet I hopped right into the car and headed off to the computer store to check out new tablets. The new Bamboo tablet I had heard of and checked out on line, but was concerned that the tablet live area size would still be too small. In the store I found five different sizes, two were out of my price range without a thought. Two looked liked the size of my current tablet which all I could see were the same hardships I had been working through before. The last one was letter size and seemed to have the same functionality as the rest. I bought the tablet and rushed home hoping I hadn’t made another mistake, I make many you know. The new tablet was a dream; the features, functionality, and efficiency are totally different from the old one and in fact have saved me money. If I choose to I could eliminate one whole step in my process that will save me time on projects. So that one computer upgrade will save me big dollars over my time of use with the program.

So how do you know when you should upgrade? Don’t feel the need to upgrade each time a new product comes out. I generally like to upgrade on the second version of the program, not the first. Try to upgrade every three years and make a list of products that you really need. Keep any software that you use daily should be newer so that you are maximizing your efficiency. It is a challenge to stay on top of the latest stuff, but if you go about it smartly it can actually save you time and money. All the best with your upgrade and remember time is money!


About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an illustrator and cartoonist from Southern Ontario. He offers art instruction, caricature entertainment. Information can be found on his website at

About Bruce

Bruce is an artist, author, consultant, and speaker specializing in caricature and cartoons and his presentations are on business, leadership, and creativity. Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services for clients with a special focus in live caricature entertainment. The company is a division of Outridge Enterprises Inc. and you can learn more about Bruce on his website or

Posted on June 21, 2011, in Articles on business for Creatives, Design Work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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