Well I only recently got my machine so new to me but 2nd hand. I've been longing for hoops bigger then 4x4 and the 6x10 is lovely to have now :) I checked before I bought this machine that it had had it's firmware/internal software version upgraded to version 4.01 (I think) so yes, my machine can read newer designs. Not sure how you get the designs into the machine with your ULT2003 but with my ULT2001 I have only floppy disk or the Brother PED card to transfer designs from my computer to the embroidery machine, so I have PED Basic, updated to version 1.07 so that it too can "see" the newer designs. (as in after .pes version 4).
To check if the machine's software has been updated to v4.01: after turning on the machine, press the buttons to inintialise the embroidery unit (only button showing on this screen anyway) then press the ok button on the next screen (it tells you the carriage will move). Then if you look up in the top right hand corner of the screen there is an icon that looks like a piece of paper with a list and ticks/check marks on it, touch that button (its the settings button). Now down the bottom of this screen, just above the "close" button it says Software Version: and a number.
.. gosh hope this answered your questions.
Personally I'd recommend it if you're getting a good deal. I jumped at the opportunity to buy the ULT2001 which is even older than the one you're looking at .. so yeah, go for it. Don't get me wrong, I know how lucky I was to even own an embroidery machine, but it sure is lovely to have one with much bigger hoops :D Going from 4x4 to 6x10 (or even the 5x7) doesn't sound like much in inches, but in design size that you can sew, well .. lovely like I said heh
Oh, and I answered in a separate answer so that you'd seen another reply, sorry for not answering sooner but it seems that adding to answers doesn't seem to bump the post up on the list of new posts (lol did that even make sense?) xXx
I have the ULT2001 (called Super Galaxie 3000 here in Aust) which is similar, can I maybe help you? Or maybe Ann could: http://www.annsultfixit.com/UltFi... :) xXx
Thanks for commenting/info.I am looking at the ult2003 to purchase. It has a 6x10 emb field but it is an older machine. A friend of mine says they are like computers. She is afraid the newer designs won't work with the older machines, so she doesn't recommend I buy this one. How do you feel and have you had problems with any new designs?