Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Microsoft Update

So, its just some more techno-babble, but something some of you may find interesting/helpful.

Most of you are familiar with Windows Update, the technology that searches your computer and notifies you if there are any available critical updates or software patches for your computer. This can either be done by turning on automatic updates and you will get a small icon in your taskbar that tells you when updates are available or by manually visiting www.windowsupdate.com.

However, the problem was always that your windows was updated and secure, but your other Microsoft products such as Office or other applications were not updated through that process. You always also had to visit sites like http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdate/default.aspx to update that software manually.

Well, with version 6 of their Updating tools, Microsoft has released "Microsoft Update." This searches for applicable updates for all Microsoft products on your computer. So, with one fell swoop, you can update Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc to the latest, patched version.

I recommend that you install the Microsoft Update tool by going to http://update.microsoft.com. However, it is imperative that you understand several caveats:

  • Please ensure that you have a legal copy of your Microsoft software. Or, if you don't, and you still download this software, please have a plan in place that involves sending your children somewhere safe besides my house while you are in prison. I will, however, keep an eye on any money that you want watched while you are in the clink.
  • You will have to install several ActiveX controls and agree to several License Agreements. Please read carefully and ensure that anything you install is published by a trusted source such as Microsoft Corporation.
  • I recommend that you back up any and all critical data before installing any of the updates. Many of these updates are system critical and can have adverse effects on your system if not configured properly.
  • I recommend that you NEVER install any of the recommended Hardware updates. Only install driver updates from the manufacturer of your computer. (I have had serious, unrecoverable issues from installing these driver updates--in particular, Video driver upgrades. It is very tricky to recover from an issue when you cannot see anything on your screen.)

Any other questions, post them here.

Till next time,

Jorin Slaybaugh

2 Comments:

At 6/29/2005 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Brian Blair said...

Please explain ActiveX in non-techno-babble terms.

 
At 6/30/2005 08:35:00 AM, Blogger Jorin Slaybaugh said...

ActiveX is a technology that Microsoft invented to display and execute dynamic content across platforms (Windows, Web, etc.)

In non-techno-babble, it is simply a program that you must install. It is very small and light weight and will load when the page loads. You will then be presented with an option to install or not install. YOU SHOULD NEVER INSTALL SOMETHING THAT YOU DONT KNOW WHERE IT COMES FROM OR ARE NOT EXPECTING. ONLY INSTALL FROM TRUSTED SOURCES SUCH AS MICROSOFT.

If you have Windows XP Service Pack 2, this dialog will be displayed via the Information Bar at the top of the browser window.

Once you choose to install the component, the page will reload and the component will install.

It is through this technology that Microsoft can determine what is and is not installed on your computer so they know which updates apply to you.

 

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