25 December 2007

In the Spirit

... of the season, our friends in the Land of Redmond issued a fairly important security update to Windows XP today, concerning the core XML system. I'm one of those paranoid individuals who does not allow automatic updates to run on my machine: I manually update everything. That way, I can make sure that I never have two installation programs running at the same time.

Perhaps somebody in the Land of Redmond should have looked at the calendar to see if there was some reason that lots and lots of people would be installing new software on the Tuesday and Wednesday of this week; if any of it just might be affected by/require accurate references to the XML core (like the help systems in many games); and if the idiotic "you need to restart your computer" message just might benefit from saying what installation program(s) want to restart the computer.

Or, better yet, they could have realized that "fairly important" is not the same thing as "critical," and deferred the patch until next week. Or even just until Friday, after the massive wave of people installing new software on their old computers, or new software on their new computers, is likely to have already crashed.

Oooh. Crashed. Not a good word to use about computers...

And Apple gets even less credit for the way it has handled XWindows in Leopard, thereby breaking OpenOffice. One would think that Apple would have taken some steps to ensure that the only viable cross-platform competitor to the office suite from the Land of Redmond continued to work when upgrading from Tiger to Leopard. However, it appears that all of Apple's efforts have gone into those pathetic commercials that never reveal that the user-friendly OS X is built on the successor to the operating system that both invented and perfected user hostility.