Why Did I Upgrade Again?

23 06 2009


I upgraded my Linux Mint 6 system to version 7 a few weeks ago.  Why? You know what, I honestly can’t say.

I pointed out in an earlier post that I did a not-so-simple-but-easy-enough upgrade from version 6 to 7.  Since upgrading, I faced an annoying slow graphics issue with my Thinkpad X200 that grew frustrating enough that I almost gave up on Linux (if you’re experiencing similar problems, check out these helpful hints in the Mint or Ubuntu sites).  My opinion on version 7 may be jaded because of this problem, but I couldn’t see anything really new with version 7.  If nothing else, it just made my notebook feel slower!

That experience made me reflect on my actions: why did I upgrade again?

Call me careless and naive, and I wouldn’t take it against you.  I didn’t really read all the release notes and great new features in the new version.  I barely skimmed them over, as I imagine most regular people would do.  I realize now that I’m programmed to reflexively upgrade to the latest and greatest without thinking twice. Some examples:

  • Windows Update is going to download and install updates… sure!
  • Apple OS X has new updates to download… Okay!
  • New version of Firefox ready for installation… YES!

My past experiences with upgrading have always been a positive, or an uneventful experience at the very least.  I understand being free and open source, Linux Mint can’t economically be tested on all types of hardware before it releases an update, so it will always have a higher probability of breaking something.  But I’ve since learned my lesson in the world of open source Linux: unless you know you want the new useful features available in the upgrade, stick with what you have. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is too bad.  Not a very user-friendly proposition, I think.

And I still don’t have a good answer to this post’s title question!




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