Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Getting re-booted in the behind

I went to one of my machines at work and found this message popping up from the system tray in this everything's-all-right-with-the-world green background color:

Microsoft Windows has automatically installed a critical update to your computer and has rebooted your system. This update was so important that whatever work you were doing on your machine had to be stopped. We were nice enough to ask you whether you wanted to reboot at 3AM. You were in front of your computer, weren't you? We even gave you a full ten minutes to answer. You should thank us. We own you.


OK, so, the message didn't say precisely that. But, it gets the basic idea right. Apparently, there are a lot of web pages dedicated to turning off this “feature” and its associated nag screen. Is that an idiotic default setting or what?

By the way, for a number of years, Debian and its derived GNU/Linux distributions have been able to update application programs, libraries, servers, etc. on a system (with the exception of the kernel) in-place, with no reboot required. Why is it that I have to reboot a Windows machine once a week?

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