Friday, July 29, 2005

Why hasn't the web site been updated lately?!?

Almost two weeks ago on a Monday, we upgraded our entire computer system. We're talking the whole shebang - a new server plus new operating system for all the computers and a major upgrade on our inventory/invoicing software system.

***Warning!! Personal opinions stated below; also includes Computer Geek-Speak***
For those of you who don't know, Bracker's is a Mac-based company. I started off as a Mac graphic design geek (my first computer was an Apple IIc in elementary school). I quickly fell in love with Aldus Pagemaker 2, and then when Adobe bought out Aldus, I further fell in love with all things Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc.). About 8 or 9 years ago, when we decided to computerize our store, the Mac operating system was light years ahead of Windows 3.whatever. Considering that I was the only computer-savvy person at Bracker's, I knew that I had to pick something that would be as easy-to-use as possible. At this time in my life, I was not as anti-Microsoft as I am now, so I *did* consider Windows systems. But I found a great Mac-based software system called M.Y.O.B. which actually does stand for Mind Your Own Business. It was a simple, yet elegant entry-level program that worked for all our needs.

Skip ahead a couple of years and we've completely outgrown M.Y.O.B. and I'm looking for a new software solution. Again, I considered Windows...but not too much this time because my anti-Microsoft sentiment had grown by leaps and bounds... and again I found an awesome program that was just right for us. Big Business is a program that has continued to grow with us. It's a lot more expensive than the $100 or so M.Y.O.B., but it has greatly expanded functionality and the company provides AMAZING customer service (Spencer, if you're reading this: thank you, thank you, thank you!). So we've been cruising along on Mac OS 9 and Big Business 3 for several years. In the meantime, Mac introduced OS X and Big Business introduced versions 4 AND 5. But we stayed with the existing setup because it was working well for us and we had very, very few glitches with the system. But Spencer and his crack team of software developers kept introducing really cool new features with each upgrade. I finally realized I could no longer live without these new features and so I convinced Mom and Cindy to take the plunge. But, upgrading to the new Big Business also meant upgrading to Mac OS X (or "Tiger" as the latest version is known). We decided to go one step further with the XServe technology. This was a good thing, too - there are many snazzy new features in the operating system.

So, two Mondays ago, we installed the new hardware and software. It's running very smoothly, but there's still a LOT of adjusting that has to happen with such a major upgrade. All of our custom forms (invoices, orders, etc.) had to be tweaked or rebuilt because of new stuff. Email, browser cookies, passwords, and bookmarks had to be converted and reorganized. Computers had to be relocated. Printer drivers needed to be reinstalled. And so on. But, the more time I spend doing a little computer house cleaning now, the more efficient everyone will be for a LONG time after.

Anyway, that's the sorta-long version of why there haven't been any web updates lately. We'll get back to it soon, I promise. If you have a suggestion for what I need to update next, leave a comment here and I'll get to it next.

No comments: