Update Age

In the last two months I faced a task again and again that continuously consumes time: Software Updates.

Not, that this is something unusual on a PC, but two years ago updating software was a task only limited to computers.

Yesterday I had to got to the mechanic because of a security software update for my car!

Without thinking too much I have the following items to maintain with software updates to keep them secure and (hope to) fix annoying bugs:
  • Computer at work
  • Computer at home
  • Mobile phone of my wife
  • My own mobile phone
  • Our car
  • SAT receiver
And I am not talking about the details - e.g. different behaviour or new bugs after applying several updates. On Windows it is extremely more time intensive to keep all the software pieces up to date. Some pieces don't have an autoupdate implemented and often I disable it to avoid annoying popups all the time notifying about the updates. I prefer to do it - depending on usage - in bigger time intervals (often more than a month between updates). But anyway it is time consuming.

This is very annoying! When the economic crisis has passed we will be in the middle of the Update age. I am just waiting for our washing machine to need a bugfix update because not stopping to rotate any more "under some circumstances".

And I don't see a real solution: I can choose between keeping everything secure or being hacked and having an incident while driving home.

My humble suggestions to minimize the effort:
  1. When planning new IT systems take into consideration how easy to maintain and update.
  2. Prefer simple and easy solutions - those have less (security) issues.
  3. Reduce the amount of needed systems.


Why I don't need Twitter

Lately I read a lot about how useful Twitter is. I can't see much sense in this web application and I have mentioned that earlier in "What is useful software" talking more generally.

Now I want to go a little into detail regarding particular use cases:

  • The main reason why Twitter was started was - as far as I noticed - to answer the question "What are you doing?".
    There are plenty of other applications and services that can be used to do the same. I noticed that Facebook can be used to do quite the same. The advantage of Facebook is that it has more features and combines networking with chit-chat like Twitter without the need to go to a separate site. Even on Skype you can set a current message containing an information about what you are currently doing.

  • Let others know what you think.
    I think, that blogs are much more important and useful to let others know about my opinions. Twitter messages are limited to a few characters - not enough to explain personal theories or philosophical opinions.

  • Chat
    For real chat (with single persons or particular groups) there are also plenty of other applications, this is nothing new. And again the limited message length reminds me to old days when data transfer rates where veeeery slow. Those were the times abbrevations like ROTFL or ASFAIK were invented to make the text short (and surely also to save time and effort). This is such annoying as when you want to add data in a database field and you notice it is too short.
Related post: What is useful software?