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Can You Actually Work On Your PC Any More

Self-Updating Program Overload!

     
12:06 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed that more and more programs are using self updating programs, which require a restart of your computer. Given that I don't want to restart my computer when I'm trying to work on it, these can get a little irritating, especially the ones that ask whether you want to update every time you open them.

Some particularly irritating specimens include:

Adobe Acrobat Reader
Firefox

12:28 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think the other thing is how noisy some of the programs are when asking you to update - how about a little icon or something as opposed to blocking program access?

You can use package managers like GetIt [puchisoft.com], but admittedly they're not for everyone.

1:41 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Firefox doesn't require a restart of the computer, AND it usually restarts itself with the same pages you were viewing when the update ran. All you lose is a minute.
1:53 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes it usually restarts itself - B

But sometimes its updater leaves an annoying pop-up box saying there is an update which sits on top of every other window on your desktop.

Also if you are viewing sites which are password protected, you have to reenter the usernames and passwords and the restart process makes a real mess of these. You'll get one password request start typing, all your text disappears as another password request comes up. Its at least 10 minutes to wait for all the sites to comeback and get the UN/PW into all the requests.

2:13 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This was one of the reasons that I dropped Acrobat Reader.
2:52 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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its amazing to see how todays nuances compare to, geez, not even 15 years ago...

maybe mid to late 90's you wouldnt have even thought about a self updating program making people just dump the program itslef becuase of a informational screen.

back then it woudl have been what...? cold callers? those door hangers for carpet cleaners?

i can only imagine what people will be griping about another 15 years from now..

"is it me, or is it soooo annoying when your android maid touches your heiny when waking you up. Its like really? could you keep you hands off my rump"

or

"i cant believe my jet pack is only getting 40 miles to the tank. i fly pretty economically, i wonder if i need to drop a few pounds."

6:29 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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or..

"This friggin' black hole emulator... I'm taking it back for a refund. I specifically keyed in August 5th, 2127 and it dumped me on July 5th. Piece of junk."

7:04 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Note that some of these programs and plug-ins have options in their updaters to simply download the update, but ask you when they're ready to install instead of starting the update without your permission. Others have options to update at a particular time of day.

Digging through the update options and setting them appropriately can save an awful lot of annoyance.

Or you can simply disable all of the auto-updaters, and use a program like Secunia's PSI to find all your programs that need to be updated once per week or month on a particular day. Or run it manually if you're not prone to forget to do it.

Jim

9:28 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just some of the things that popped up in the last 48 hours:

- Windows Update
- Apple Software Update
- HP PC Healthcheck
- Firefox Update
- Chrome Update
- Google Toolbar Notifier Update
- Open Office Updater
- Adobe Acrobat Update
- Adobe Air Update
- ZoneAlarm Upgrade
- AVG Upgrade (updates are silent - hurrah!)

... almost no time for getting any work done.

11:20 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I would like to add Java to the list.

And unlike the others it does not remove the old version.

...

11:46 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Oh yes, there's several other things that only pop up now and again that I didn't mention above.
11:55 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, if I want nagware I'll ask my wife for money. :-)

j/k, but had to be said.

12:21 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I find the apple software update particularly annoying as it frequently wants to install new programs that you didn't ask for - not just update existing ones.
1:47 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes that is particularly obnoxious - one of the updaters consistently tries to install the Yahoo toolbar and you have to uncheck a box to stop it.
1:49 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I get annoyed with Itunes - it doesn't have a new version, but every two weeks it asks me if I want to install bonjour. No way to get it to stop asking. It's fairly frustrating.

I wonder if brands like Apple realise that the few installs that they get is far outweighed by negative brand experience the stupid installer creates.

7:28 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I cannot understand why an update of a application should require you to restart. Can anyone explain why that is necessary? Why can the updated app simply not run the new version next time you start it.

I use Linux so every single bit of software is updated in the same way. I do get the update applet asking to do updates every so often, but I have not had to reboot for years, or even close a app I had not finished with for months.

2:31 pm on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I cannot understand why an update of a application should require you to restart.

There are two main reasons
1) Sloppy programming.
2) Replacing files that are open and cannot be easily closed (typically .exe and .dll files).

In reality, only OS updates (and some extensions) should ever require a restart.

Kaled.

3:52 pm on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Adobe Acrobat Reader

Grrr! I wondered if I was the only one who got really annoyed by this...

First it says the updater wants your attention, well does it now, it can join the back of the queue! Then if I finally decide to give it some attention, say yes, tell it to do it's thing. Then it says the following programs need to be closed: Mozilla Firefox, yes, that would be the program I really need to be using. Eventually I close Firefox and let it do it's thing, then 30 seconds later it's demanding a system restart!

Really annoying, constantly bugging you like a pesky kid or animal!