I have a dear friend who is fond of saying “Google rules the world”. Said friend believes that humanity would be incapable of surviving without Google. So much more than a search engine, the Google Empire includes gmail, youtube.com, google-docs, maps, calendar, blogs, photo albums, and a whole lot more. But even Google, with all its vast powers, is not immune to error. Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar, reported on Google’s blog that on February 27, 2011 when Google released a software update, the contents of about 20,000 email accounts was deleted by an unexpected bug. While this is merely .02% of Google’s users, it certainly caused a fright. The good news is that Google has everything backed up, and though it took a bit longer than expected, they have been able to restore the contents of the emptied inboxes.
Upgrading software can be scary. They often mean changes to the look, feel and user interface of a product. While there are those who welcome change, it’s fairly common to shy away from it. I myself am often hesitant to accept an upgrade in software, if only because I like what I have and see no reason to change.
Change, however, can often bring improvements. I recently upgraded my WhiteSmoke Software from the 2010 version to WhiteSmoke 2011. WhiteSmoke is a fantastic tool which scans texts from nearly any application and checks it for spelling, grammar, and stylistic errors. When I saw there was a “new and improved” version, I was extremely hesitant to upgrade. It turns out that was one of the most worthwhile upgrades I’ve ever gone through with. The new WhiteSmoke, in addition to being faster and looking nicer, also includes templates which make writing a breeze. The best part, though, is the WhiteSmoke Translator tab. The WhiteSmoke Translator supports full-text translations into 9 different languages.
So the next time I see an opportunity to upgrade, although the Google snafu will be in the back of my mind, I will recall WhiteSmoke 2011 with the Translator tab and say “Yes!” to change.