We call it maintenance for a reason.

I drive a Volkswagen Passat. It’s reliable, well built and comfortable. It takes me all over our vast country and sometimes far into the vast country south of our border. I can and do rely on it daily. In sales, a good car is mission-critical equipment.

So when it’s time for an oil change, my car gets it. The German engine requires synthetic oil and the bill is always in excess of $100.00. A tune up is north of $500.00. 4 wheel brake service for that car exceeds $1000.00. I don’t skip these things when they are due.

I don’t enjoy forking over the cash. But I enjoy walking down the side of the highway even less, if you get my meaning.

The oil change or tune up is really a marginal increase in performance. It’s scarcely noticeable.

Maintenance items add no new capabilities. New brakes and fresh tires do not convert my car into tractor or a Ferarri or a power boat. Obviously. But that’s not the point of maintenance.

Maintenance prevents problems in the future. Maintenance provides a smooth and reliable continuation of the benefits my car has given me since I got it.

I count on my car, so I can make my living. Taking care of it makes sense. It almost goes without saying.

Except when you have to say it.

We’ve all seen rolling death-traps on the roads. A contractor’s truck, flakes of rust spraying in every direction with each pothole, bouncing beachball suspension that long-dead shock absorbers have given up on. One headlight works. Neither taillight does. There’s some sort of cable dragging sparks down the pavement. And it’s leaking…something. Under the grime and rust and dents is a company name and phone number. Not only is this a bloody awful representation of as business but it’s a clear case of neglect for something that is important to conducting business at all. Stranded on the shoulder of the road, or worse, upside-down in the ditch is no way to get a day’s work done.

Being frugal, carefully watching expenses – these are good business practices. Letting your capital investments rot away in neglect is neither frugal or careful. Some might actually call that irresponsible. I’ll just say it’s not a good idea.

You get my point.

‘Hey, isn’t this blog supposed to have something to do with software?’

Well, yes.

I like cars. I like driving cars. And as regards the citizens across the wide vistas of North America, pretty much everybody understands the benefits – the necessity – of automobiles.

So rather than attempting to explain the good sense of yearly software maintenance, which may involve forays into the unfamiliar (or incomprehensible) digital world, I use my go-to analogy – cars.

If something was worthwhile buying and is important to use, then look after it. Your cars, trucks, machinery and software investments – if they provide you a living, update them regularly – and they’ll continue doing so into the future.

Oh, and by the way, when you update your Alphacam software, you get 2 full releases during the one year coverage period as well as a year of tech support. So that’s like getting 2 new cars every year with a brand new warranty each year.

Just sayin’.

And now for a barely-related mention.

Consider:

One of the most popular uses of the internet is the dissemination of cat pictures.

One of the least popular uses of the internet is reading somebody’s blog post.

But, a very popular other use for the internet is viewing videos. Youtube and Netflix are huge hits.

So, coming in the near future, Vectorline posts, where something is worth mentioning, will be mentioned in video format.

Stay tuned.

And here’s a picture of a cat. Enjoy.

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