Aug 20, 2007

Micro$oft Updates

How many of you out there are not fond of the Microsoft Update site? I am sure there are many of you. How many of you are fed up with the Genuine Advantage nonsense every time you want to make sure you are up to date? Not to mention if you have a "legally questionable" Windows or Office installation. Don't fret, there are other methods for getting your updates so you can stay patched up. I will talk about two of my favorites.

The first one I like is called Autopatcher. Every few months they create a core distribution, almost like a service pack, which contains all previous patches. Then every month they come out with a big update that you install to keep your system patched up. Autopatcher is really nice if you don't like to reboot. How many times have you built a new machine and installed Windows from scratch, then tried to patch it up? You have to reboot about 3 times before everything is patched up! With Autopatcher, everything patches at once, and you only have to reboot once! Autpatcher is also nice because it comes with some cool, optional, tweaks and other apps for a more enjoyable Windows experience. If you want to download the latest Autopatcher core and monthly updates directly from Autopatcher's website, they only offer it as a bit torrent. If you are not fond of bit torrent like me, you can slow download the installers from FTP here.

My other favorite is Windiz Updates. I mentioned them once in a previous post, but never really got into it. Windiz Updates is good if you want to completely remove Internet Explorer out of your browsing equation. If you go to Microsoft's update site, they require you to use Internet Explorer because they use active x controls which Firefox doesn't support. Windiz Updates allows you to use other browsers including Firefox, Netscape, Firebird, Opera, and K-Meleon. If you still need convincing, they offer these ten reasons why you should use them:

  • No personally identifiable information is collected from your computer.
  • No more unwanted spyware -- Microsoft Internet Explorer can finally be removed from your computer (if that were possible).
  • It lists just the updates you need. If an update has been superceded by a newer one, it will not ask you to install the older one.
  • Using enhanced data from MBSA, WindizUpdate will find more security patches needed for your O/S than the "other" website.
  • If there is a security issue with a component that is not yet installed, it will not ask you to update it. For example, if you have not installed hyperterminal, it will not update it.
  • It is not restricted to just Microsoft products. Software from other vendors can also be updated.
  • Upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer is not considered a Critical Update!
  • Works on Windows versions no longer supported by Microsoft -- Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95
  • Our plugin is not an ActiveX control.
  • Integrated download manager with error detection -- you can cancel downloads at any time, and the next time you wish to install the cancelled update, it will continue from where it left off. Only corrupted sections of the file are re-downloaded.
If you know of other alternatives to update your Microsoft system, let us know about it in the comments!

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