Upfront: It’s in the Way That You Use it

There it was, stuck to my monitor, a Post-It Note saying that Office 97 and Internet Explorer 4.01 had been installed on my PC, a day I had been dreading.

While I’ve noticed some benefits from my new tools, I can’t say that this upgrade has made my job any easier. Word 97 misreads quotation marks and apostrophes in Word 95 files, forcing me to go back and redo them. I can’t cut and paste text from IE4 into Exchange without having to completely re-organize the paragraphs. It worked better with older versions. IE4 in general seems a bit unwieldy. Opening a page from my “Favorites” list practically induces vertigo.

I’m sure there are some people out there who needed or wanted this upgrade. But I could have gotten along fine without it.

Which gets me thinking about V4R3 of OS/400. Many of you are reading the articles about the AS/400’s third OS release in the past year and saying, “So what?” You’re on V3R7 or older, your system does everything you need it to do, Java and e-business are still a few years down the road for your organization. So why bother with the expense and possible disruption of an OS upgrade now?

Others reading this are already on V4R3 because they’re doing serious work in Java and needed the new enhancements right away, or needed to conserve DASD or set up a Virtual Private Network for e-business transactions.

Upgrades – software or hardware – are generally designed for the most leading-edge, power users. If your system does everything you need it to, stay where you are until your needs outgrow what you have. The AS/400 customer base is often criticized for being conservative like this and slow to upgrade. I wish the rest of us could be more like them.