Tag Archives: microsoft

Keeping the software current Windows

Modern computers contains al lot of software. A fully updated fresh windows installation contains well over 50.000 files – and before it being “usable” with the most common applications, plugins, addons and extensions for the software you use on a daily basis, you’ve probably added so much more, that you’ve completely lost count of what’s been installed.

It’s a pretty bad situation in terms of security and software maintenance/updating.

WindowsUpdate has come part of the way. It’s easy and simple for even common users to use and stay fairly current with the core windows system, but it only covers a small piece of the puzzle. While most windows machines I’ve encountered seem to have Office installed, WindowsUpdate doesn’t cover it – OfficeUpdate does, but how many people know of that? – and run it on a regular basis?

Some software (a lot it seems) have build-in phone-home functions, which allow them to check for updates on a regular basis – if it’s available and you have enabled the checks, another piece is solved.

Wouldn’t a one-stop solution seem much nicer?

Well it seems Secunia has come very close to providing just that with the Secuina PSI.
The PSI – Personal Software Inspector – is a little scanner, which scans your hard drive for installed software (windows, office, drivers, applications, utilities) and checks it against a database with software versions and security issues in the various versions. If it finds issues, it describes the issue and provide links to where updates for the software can be found.

I’ve played a with it while migrating one of the Windows Machines at home to new hardware, and so far it’s been quite impressive. Give it a try – it’s available for personal use  from Secunias website.

Looking forward – looking back

There are some fundamental differences in how Microsoft and Apple does things. If you haven’t been aware of them before switching from a Windows based computer to a Mac, you’ll probably notice some of them pretty fast.

One of the first things I discovered is that things are more “binary” in the Mac world. If you have an external device it either works with the Mac or it doesn’t. There isn’t that middle ground from the windows world where it almost works, but not quite – or worse it works in even week numbers but not when the sun shine.

Another thing I fear I’ll discover after the next Apple World Wide Developer Conference is their will to leave things behind. Microsoft has an impressive – maybe even amazing – record of backwards compatibility. Almost no matter how they move forward, they never really break anything backwards. Apple on the other hand is pretty hard on legacy – if you can’t keep up, you’re left behind. They were among the first to drop the disk drive, and they been much more efficient in moving their user base to the current version of their OSX (not quite like Microsoft, which seem to have a hard time getting their users on to Vista).
a
I’m afraid they’ll announce that the next version of OS X – the 10.6 – is Intel-only – leaving my PowerG5 behind. It doesn’t feel like an old nor slow machine, but once Apple decided it’s too old – it really doesn’t matter – and I better start saving some cash for a new Mac.

Office: remove hidden data

Microsoft Office has gotten a lot of nice and helpful features in the latest version. One of the nice features is virtually unlimited undo capabilities. Unfortunately this feature can also leave some tracks for recipients of your documents – a new tool from Microsoft lets you clean your office documents before further distribution.
Continue reading Office: remove hidden data