The occasion of rebuilding a computer means that you can clear away the clutter of years of aggregated software installs, previous versions and flat-out mistakes in strategies. It also means that old, disused, obsolete and no-longer-compatible software doesn’t make the cut.
Recently I decided to take my powerful quad-core machine up a notch and doubled the RAM so that I could extend its life another year or so. This meant I had to go to a new OS-in this case Windows 7 64 Bit. As I stared at that fresh drive with a pristine OS I could finally undo some of the mistakes and clear the clutter.
The computer had been running long enough to accumulate multiple versions of CorelDraw and Adobe CS. In addition, there were four or five additional web browsers and other flotsam. My various plug-ins for image editing were scattered in many directories. Fonts were everywhere. All that was to change with this build however. No older versions of current programs were to be installed. Scattered items were consolidated in a fashion that made sense logically and intuitively.
There were also those applications that I had been clinging to for a decade or more. A shareware app called Super Convert that was installed originally under Windows 95 was finally cast aside. Used for 15 years and lovingly transferred across many computers it at last fell by the wayside. I can still restore it from a backup but will likely not ever do so. My Droid has an app for that.
Other software was tougher to cull. Bryce 5, migrated through several manufacturers including Corel, hadn’t been touched in two years. Poser fared similarly. I used to spend hours a week in these two applications only to find that I hadn’t used them in the Vista era. No sense cluttering the drive and trying to get them to work in the new OS.
Other programs hadn’t worked in years. Fontographer purchased ages ago by FontLab never received its promised upgrade. It lives in my memories now. KPT Tools from Corel similarly is out-dated and has no prospect for updating.
As I made my way through the many boxes of software on my shelf, I came across a beloved partner: Ventura 10 from Corel. It is probably the finest pure publishing program ever created and arguably still holds its own in today’s world. This program had been my workhorse for nearly 15 years. I started using it with Version 5 in 1995 or 96. Ventura and the CorelWorld User Conferences hosted by Rick Altman in the early part of the decade are a big reason I am where I am today. The Ventura Summit in 2002 was a turning point in professional life as well as a quantum leap in my understanding of all things software and graphic design.
The last version of Corel Ventura came out in beta form about the time of that 2002 summit and everyone was excited about the finally released of Version 10 which replaced the 4-plus year-old Version 8. For nearly a decade hence, the program has done much of the heavy lifting in both my corporate and free-lance life. As the promise of an update faded and the prospects of new less-compatible OS’s loomed, Ventura struggled to remain in my arsenal.
As a volunteer on the CorelDraw.com user-to-user form, I championed the program where I could. In fact, I and a handful of others, worked over a period of weeks to get the program to install and run successfully on the 64 bit operating systems. The last version of the Ventura FAQ published in 2008 has the instructions by yours truly and a cast of a couple.
It is 2010 now and I have rebuilt my computer with Win 7 64. It has been 20 days since and Ventura still hasn’t been installed. With the difficulties porting it into Vista and the lack of involvement from the development staff at Corel, I decided to begin moving my smaller publications (4 page and less) to Draw. Before I upgraded to the 64 bit version of Win 7, I did a rolling screen capture (thank you Snagit!) of my Control Panel’s, Programs and Features screen so that I could see how often I used various programs. Ventura sadly was in the “Rarely” category.
It is possible a client will come in one day with an old project needing resurrection and that will encourage me to reinstall my old friend. If that happens, I will. Until then, Ventura will be returned to the non-current software shelf in my office until Corel decides (most wisely-but not likely (editorial comment)) to upgrade the package.
Software we’ve used for decades have become too comfortable and cherished to just relegate to the trash heap-at least just yet.
Rikk Flohr © 2010