Blogging against presumptuous computing
Dennis Kennedy has a discussion / rant on the trend of every software application to decide that it needs to automatically update itself and screw up your machine. Even the worthwhile ones, like Microsoft's automatic update (security reasons), do things the wrong way. Namely, they break my work and my workflow.
...There's a presumptive, condescending approach to users that's becoming too common, and a general approach that it's OK for programs to do what they please on computers without considering the host, without picking up after their messes, and without making their beds and hanging up the towels, let alone compensating us for our generosity and for the inconvenience they cause.
It's hard to add more to this. Vendors release software before it is finished (beta; insecure; untested), so there is a need for a mechanism to update. And there are always interesting new features. But come on. iTunes updated itself three times in the past week (it seems), including at least one required reboot. And PersonalBrain reminded me about an update and then (after the update) suggested that I check out an even newer update that had an advanced feature. Good gravy.
The core issue here is that the power users and early adopters, who tend to be using many applications and many "beta" applications, are the very ones who do not have standard setups on their computers. Don't assume that you can just send the "shut down" signal and have all applications close correctly. (Microsoft can't even figure out how to do this.) One of my pet peeves is the applications that want to look for updates or do other things on the 'net when the machine wakes from hibernation. This usually bogs me down in the morning, right when I am ready to start work. Don't presume that you know what is best for me or my machine!
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