I have had a couple experiences lately where new versions of software I have been using simply didn’t cut it. The older versions did a better job of it and I wound up removing the new versions and restoring the older ones.
One example is Adobe Reader 7.0 (formerly Adobe’s Acrobat Reader). I am curious if anyone else has had the same experience as me. The main issue I had was copying text from a pdf document and pasting it in a word processing program. It just doesn’t translate and I crashed my word processor (OpenOffice.org) twice till I worked out there is a glitch with Adobe Reader. That alone was enought to put me off so I went and removed it and reinstalled version 6.0. I am a huge fan of pdf’s and I use them often to preserve documents I send by email or store so I was really disappointed with Adobe Reader 7.0.
Another piece of software which let me down a bit is OpenOffice.org version 1.9.65. This issue is a little different so I am going to qualify what I am about to say. First this is a preview version of the soon to be released version 2.0 so it is a little buggy and that is likely the cause of the problems I experienced last night. So perhaps this should really serve as a caveat for those out there who, like me, tend to download the new one immediately and expect it to be perfect. Anyway, I have been working on a manual for Reiki classes I am going to be giving at the end of the month and I have already completed about two thirds of it (44 pages and counting). I had just downloaded and installed two Microsoft Security patches (a-ha! some may say) and I was being prompted to reboot my PC to complete the installation (which I didn’t want to do right away because I would lose the decent dial-up connection I managed to secure for that session). Right about then OpenOffice.org started acting very strangely and froze up. To make things worse, it refused to open my manual. I had visions of going back to some old version and spending another 2 months rewriting my manual.
I tried to repair the installation and even removed it from my PC altogether and then reinstalled it. Still, it refused to open my manual. It does get worse. After the reinstallation, it opened other documents I had on disc and my backup on my USB memory device also didn’t open. Right about now I had a vision of two corrupt versions and more gnashing of teeth. My last resort was to reinstall version 1.1.3 (the current stable version is version 1.1.4) and that opened the manual perfectly! Yay! After I managed that feat, the new version (which I kept on my PC) also opened the manual and all was good and thoroughly backed up! Just goes to show that the new version (especially the beta versions) are not always better than the older ones. It does pay to wait for the new one to be finalised and released as a stable version.
I would like to point out that I won’t move to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice.org is a pretty amazing piece of software and the fact that it is free is even better! If you can’t afford Microsoft Office, install OpenOffice.org and give it a go.