Don't forget to update your machine
I hope you made it to my column today in one piece.
Surely there was no traffic
on the trip to work, no wrecks to get in your way and no coffee to spill
on that new "Dukes
of Hazzard" tie your grandmother
gave you for Christmas. Just like any other day, I bet you walked into your
office or computer room, started up your computer and immediately accessed
the Web, right?
OK, so maybe something did go wrong. Perhaps your computer was
frozen and you had to restart. Possibly your Internet connection was down.
Worse yet, maybe
someone has been using your system to store old TV sitcom episodes, and your
computer is running out of space.
It doesn't matter what kind of computer you
have. At some point, you will have minor glitches within your operating system.
The only way to avoid this is
to stop using your computer altogether. I would highly recommend not doing
this, mainly because it would be difficult to do anything on your computer
if you didn't use it. Also, it would be difficult to read my column, at least
until I finished developing a program to send it out via Morse
our friends at (fill in the company who made your operating system) are working
diligently at correcting bugs. Well, who knows if they are working
diligently, but at the very least, they are working at it. What most people
don't realize, though, is that many of these operating system fixes are easy
to implement almost immediately on their computers.
For Windows users, there
should be a link in your Start menu for Windows
Update. At this juncture, you
have the ability to scan for new updates based on your
current operating system. The list is divided into three categories: Critical
Updates and Service Packs, Windows (your OS) and Driver Updates. The Critical
Updates (hence the name) are the most important to perform. Usually these include
items regarding security or patches in regularly used software, like Internet
If the computer recommends I perform an update, I usually do it. Especially
when it comes to Microsoft and security, it seems as if there are updates fairly
often. For instance, I found out Wednesday that Microsoft
plugged three more security holes.
announced Thursday the
company found a serious networking flaw its software. They are trying awfully hard to not allow people to store
old sitcoms on other people's
of Hazzard" fans
don't give up that
Update in OS X on a Mac works similarly, as the system fetches
the appropriate additions to your operating system and applications. The
about Software Update is you can schedule it to search for updates on a regular
basis, instead of having to remember to do it by yourself.
But for both Macs
and PCs, not all updates are good. In fact, many times companies issue an
update, then release an update to that update a couple
of days later.
Luckily for us, there are plenty of guinea pigs out there to tell us if
running particular updates actually go the way the are planned. If you are
if a specific update, whether it's hardware- or software-based, is right
for you, just check your favorite computer news site or message board.
good to know that system providers are making strides each day to make your
day go a little smoother. You'll probably still run into problems
on a daily basis, but by keeping your computer up to date, you stand
a greater chance of surviving another week in the tech world. Now getting
from the office, that's a different story. Hopefully Boss Hogg has already
his daily rounds near your area.