Everyone always says how user-friendly Windows is, and as I sit here waiting for my Windows computer to endlessly update itself, I am struck by how much harder it is to update my Windows laptop than all of my Linux (Debian) servers put together.
On Debian: Type "aptitude", "u" (for get latest updates). Check list to see if I want to install all of them; there aren't any interesting bug fixes, but some new features, and minor bugs. "g" (for go). Check configuration files for correct updates and check them into my source control in case I need to restore anything.


On Windows: Wonder why my computer is suddenly running so slow after installing Word Viewer.   Check the task manager as see that the windows update utility is using a hundred megs of RAM, and the associated service is also using a hundred megs of RAM.  Since my machine only has 256MB, now I know why it is running so slow.  Note that there isn't a windows update icon on the task try, but check the windows update log, and see that indeed, it is downloading various updates (I set it to download automatically, and then let me review them before installing).  The computer is unusable, so wait around for the downloads to finish.  About halfway through the download, the task tray icon appears.  Once the updates are downloaded, install the 7 updates for Word Viewer, all of which say, "this update fixes a bug that allows random people to access your computer".  After it finishes (at least it didn't make me reboot like usual), notice that my computer is still running slowly, so back to the task manager - windows updates are still doing something, though only taking up a combind 80 MB of memory.  Run Microsoft Update manually from the start bar to see if there is something else to download.  Strangely enough, Microsoft Update tells me I need to install Microsoft Update to continue, which of course, needs to download the Genuine Advantage tool for the 57th time.  Wait around for that to complete, and then can check for updates.  There aren't any required/high priority ones (I update all the time), but there are some optional software ones, like .NET, which various programs require, so I download those too.  A half hour later, still not completed, and my computer is barely usable this entire time.

Hrm, still waiting for the Windows Updates to install, so just for fun, I'll go update my servers while I am waiting. 45 seconds to download the update list.  A couple critical fixes, and since this machine is currently being used by lots of people, I'll hold off on updating the web server and the sasl login.  But, I'll install the other 40 updates now (I run the "testing" version, so there are lots of regular updates).  Note, that none of these updates say anything like, "this update protects you from the bug where if you open a random file it could potentially erase your entire hard disk".  5 minutes later, the system is completely updated.  Still waiting for the Microsoft updates to finish, so I'll go ahead and update the web server and sasl login, while they are being used, since the downtime will probably be so small, that no one will notice.

... Update is done, turns out apache and sasl both had somewhat significant upgrades.  Due to a previous bug in apache, there was about 10 seconds of downtime, but the good news is that in this release, that bug has been fixed, so I'll stop having the couple seconds of downtime during upgrades.

Hrm.  Microsoft Update is still going... 

Posted by Jon Daley on August 23, 2007, 6:53 am | Read 46013 times
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Ah, finally finished. Except of course, it has to reboot. I guess Windows users just get used to rebooting their machines all the time. I'll bet I could count the number of times my Linux machines have been rebooted on one hand, and three of those reboots are due to moving the server to different locations.

Posted by Jon Daley on August 23, 2007, 7:33 am

I'll say. Rebooting is my standard remedy for whatever ails my machine and much of the time it works.

I do wonder why that Genuine Advantage tool needs to be installed so often. Can't they remember that I paid for my copy of Windows?

Posted by SursumCorda on August 23, 2007, 8:13 am

Hrm. And five more Windows Updates this morning. And again, everything got really slow for a while before it told me what it was doing. I have changed the updates to not download them, but just notify me. I'll see if that makes it any better.

If that doesn't work, I'll have to turn them off completely, and just do it manually.

Update #1: On non-English versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, some text in the print dialog box unexpectedly appears in English after you install the .NET Framework 3.0

Update #2: Windows CardSpace hotfix rollup package

Update #3: FIX: Subscription services cannot extract metering data when the services try to synchronize metering data on a client computer that is running the Windows Media Format 11 SDK

Update #4: Vulnerabilities in Windows Media Player Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Update #5: Vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Gotta love those "remote code execution" bugs that come out every week. Note that these are fixes are due to bugs in the bug fixes I downloaded yesterday. You'd think they could combine them, so they wouldn't have made my computer vulnerable to remote code execution since yesterday. At least one of these updates was released in February. Why don't they remove the vulnerable code so no one else downloads it?

Posted by Jon Daley on August 24, 2007, 7:49 am

Turning off updates is mildly annoying, since then a popup comes up every time I turn on the computer telling me that updates are turned off.

So, I turned them back on to "notify me but not download", since presumably that shouldn't take very much memory. Wrong. It still takes 100MB of RAM (plus the 50 megs of swap). There was an update to media player and daylight savings time (? I thought that was updated a long time ago). I let it download and install them. The process went up to 200MB of RAM (I didn't check the swap) and 100% CPU. Crazy.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 3, 2007, 11:34 am

I remember when you used to like I.E.

Shame on you.

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 7:02 pm

Well, that was compared to Netscape... Since 1998, I have been pretty happy with Linux. I hadn't really given it a fair chance prior to that, since I had only used really old hardware, so of course it was slower and not as good as my faster Windows machine. I have always said that Windows XP SP2 was a good release, and better than anything that had been released since Windows 95. But, it seems that even XP has started to decline <insert conspiracy theory about Microsoft purposely slowing down XP to get people to switch to Vista, since the sales aren't so good -- Microsoft has pushed back the deadline for when they are forcing some of their OEM vendors to upgrade to June 2008, which was nice for my company, since we really didn't want to upgrade>
Posted by Jon Daley on September 30, 2007, 7:36 pm

>Well, that was compared to Netscape...

telnet is better than I.E.

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 8:42 pm

Well, if we were comparing telnet and IE, I would have picked IE, that is correct.

Posted by Jon Daley on October 3, 2007, 10:18 am

And you would be wrong :-P

Posted by Mike on October 3, 2007, 7:26 pm

hi there guys!
well i totally agree with you guys and it`s weird cause as it turns out everybody has something to say about whether or not to stick to this buggy windows.
unluckily though i must point out that i kinda have to, cause otherwise i have to figure out a way to get those Adobe design apps running on Debian.
if somebody happens to have something about that please let me know.

Posted by sam on July 13, 2008, 10:31 am

Which apps are you talking about?

Posted by jondaley on July 13, 2008, 9:25 pm
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