update this

I decided tonight would be a good time to run the Automatic Updates program on my laptop. This downloads and installs the monthly “Patch Tuesday” updates from Microsoft. I always hate it, because it downloads the new software updates while the computer is running, then installs them when you shut the computer off. And typically, if I don’t plan ahead, it happens when I’m tired and I want to go to bed. Then I have to wait around another 3 minutes, maybe 5, to make sure the computer shuts down properly. So tonight I’m doing it early; it’s not quite bedtime, is my point.

I started the shut down procedure at 8:24 and it just shut down. It’s 8:53pm.That’s 29 minutes. Half an hour, just to install the monthly patches. There were 58 of them for XP, which I guess is some kind of record.  

Arstechnica reports: Compared to last month’s record Patch Tuesday, this one is massive. In fact, this is the highest number of bulletins Microsoft has ever released in one month, as well as the most vulnerabilities that are being fixed. The last record was just two months ago: 14 bulletins and 34 vulnerabilities.

I suppose one should appreciate that Microsoft is on the ball, keeping our machines up to date and as secure as possible. But it also kind of gets on my nerves. I always worry that something will go wrong and my computer won’t work right – or won’t wake up again at all – after so much change being done so blithely and remotely. 

Also, it’s putting pounds and reems of new space-wasting goo on my hard drive. It’s stuff that I can’t even play with.

Most of these patches are made to counter vulnerabilities to the acts of evildoers. Hackers and the like. Wouldn’t it be a lot better, easier, and less costly for everyone, just to hunt down the people who mess with other people’s computers, and hang them in the nearest sturdy tree? I know, it’s a luddite’s approach to the problem, but it worked for our ancestors. And this hacker-spammer-virus spewer types must be easier to track down than, say, Al Queda. After all, they tethered to the same Internet we all are.

A modest proposal, which I think would be a real boon to the economy. Couldn’t make it worse.

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