Saturday, April 04, 2009

Updating software

In the previous post, I wrote about my frustrations with Windows and updating the software to fix perceived performance problems. My biggest beef is with the amount of stuff I have to download and how often I have to hit the Update Windows button.

I mentioned that I after I installed SP3 I had to go to the Update Windows page again to get additional updates. Prior to getting to the page for the updates, it had to update the authorization program. (If memory serves me correctly.) Why can't the MS update software download everything all at once and update the system?

On Fedora/RedHat/Ubuntu and many other systems, when it discovers update it downloads them all at once and installs them. I realize that Windows locks certain files and won't allow changes until it reboots, but why doesn't it continue installing the other things that is needed?

Also, why can't I download all of the updates and run them separately while not being connected? (Yes, I know the reason. Control of the software.) I can do that for the above Linux based systems. I can download all of the updates to a DVD and carry them to another machine and have it update the machine.

Fedora makes it even easier. If you have multiple machines on a network, you can have one of those machines act as the repository for updates. This means that when the repository machine is updated, the other machines can pull the updates from there minimizing your network traffic.

This means a lot now that you have providers such as Comcast and Time Warner capping data transfers. Which would you rather spend your bandwidth allotment on watching Hulu or downloading Windows updates to the 1 - X machines in your home? If you have 5 machines in your home and you had to pull down 200MB worth of updates, you just used 1GB of your data allotment.

It's not only Windows, but the latest release of Acrobat from Adobe asked me to install a language pack update that was 19MB when I clicked update. The Acrobat installer also installed Air which I didn't ask for.

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