Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The New PC Experience

A coworker bought a new Acer laptop at Best Buy. I'm setting it up and installing Office and Creative Suite for her. Now, is this a perfectly usable piece of hardware? Yes, mostly, if you don't count the trackpad.

But boy, do they cut just about every possible corner on a $500 PC laptop. Uneven screen lighting, unusable trackpad, bloated with crapware, crappy keyboard, ugh. I'm not that much of a snob, though. This PC will, basically, get you from Point A to Point B.

Why Do Automated Updates Require Me To Click "Okay" For Three Hours? Downloading all of the required Windows updates took two or three hours. The current state of Windows system updates is downright magical compared to the way they were say, ten years ago. Remember the days of Windows patches and hot fixes that had to be applied in exactly the right order, lest you render your OS more or less ruined?

The current system is commendably foolproof. But why do I have to hit "okay" to authorize a Windows Update reboot so many times? The procedure seems to be:

  1. Launch Windows Update
  2. Pull down and install all available updates
  3. Wait between 5 and 30 minutes
  4. Click "Yes" to allow a reboot (or wait for the timer)
  5. System reboots
  6. Oh, hey, a bunch more Windows Update updates are now available, presumably because the last batch of updates fulfilled a bunch of prerequisites/dependencies. Windows Update will find these in the background, eventually, or you can manually launch Windows Update in case you actually want your system updated, you know, now. Return to Step 1. Repeat four or five times.

What's aggravating is that this could be totally automated. There is no reason to even involve me, and no technical reason why there couldn't be a "Download and install every possible update and reboot as many goddamn times as you need to, and let me know when you're finished" button.

OSX is basically guilty of the same omission.

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