My computer and I aren’t soul mates – part 2

There is a saying “Intel inside, idiot outside” and when I started working on a computer, that got me furious. Of course computer companies would say that – they would think they are perfect!

But as I got to know a little more about computers and what my part in computer problems are, the more true the saying began to become. Let’s face it – a computer is ONLY a machine! You are the human, the brains, the supposed intelligence…

Sometimes I can really laugh at myself. I don’t have the newest or the biggest or the most expensive computer, but it is a computer that fits my needs – it is fast enough, big enough, has all the software I need and overall I am very happy with my desktop computer. So when it gives me trouble, I am immediately fire-and-brimstone mad! What is your problem? I do not have money to upgrade you! I take care of you? What can possibly be your problem?

Hehehehe – oops.

The wonderful world of updates. I can actually write a book about this. That little yellow icon in the right-hand side of your screen, at the bottom that says “Microsoft Updates“. Know that one? If you don’t – read on. If you do, you know what I’m talking about! So read on anyways and have a good laugh at my expense!

Microsoft – love it or hate it, we all need it. Except if you are a Linux guru or you have super-power knowledge in Apple (I’m more an Avo person…) and if you have Microsoft, you have the love-hate relationship with Microsoft Updates.

A few years back, if an update came out, everyone ran, because that meant computers crashing, hanging, bombing, stopping, blue-screens-of-death, and worse – not that I know what is worse than that horrible blue-screen-of-death! I’ve had more of those than I had … dreams of falling. But luckily Microsoft had a bright moment and upgraded their updates and updated their updates and now Microsoft updates are fairly safe for the ordinary human being to do on their computers.

So the first tip I want to give you in this post is: Microsoft Updates are safe again! You can put your updates on automatic! How? Go to Control Panel – Automatic Updates – and you will see a few options:

Microsoft Update ScreenAs you can see, mine are set on Automatic (recommended). That way my computer will download the updates automatically, install them and tell me if I must restart my computer. I love this option because then I don’t get pop-up screens telling me there is updates, or I must install updates, or even worse – my updates are not up to date!

TAKE NOTE: These updates are only the EXPRESS and ESSENTIAL updates. There are more updates available on http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ – select “custom”. (This website can also be found if you click on start – and if you scroll to the top of your menu you will see “Windows Updates”) There you will find updates that are not crucial to your computer such as hardware updates e.g. for your screen, graphics, sound, software updates for e.g. Windows Media Player, MS Office, etc. These updates you can CHOOSE to install if you want and when you want. Read the description under the update and decide.

Tip number 2: Keep those updates updated. It happened to me that my .Net Framework updates got mixed up and I skipped one update. Now don’t ask me how, I don’t have super-powers in .Net Framework, but a long story short, one .Net update did not happen and when my MS updates wanted to update again, I got error upon error upon error. The result? I had to uninstall ALL my .Net updates, and start over! And you can only download and install one update at a time, some of which you must restart your computer, of course. I was not amused.

Another update that had me flabbergasted was a Windows Media Player update – I run Windows XP (I know I know – old fashioned) and I didn’t read what the update said so I downloaded the newest Media Player there was and updated it. It didn’t work. I went into the settings, tried everything but Media Player looked at me and did nothing! So, frustrated and irritated, I uninstalled Media Player, went back to Microsoft’s site and a little light bulb appeared – read what it says. Microsoft Windows 7. OK, I knew that…. I was just … being an idiot and waste 2 hours of my time!

So tip number 3? Read what the update is about!

Overall Microsoft updates are a joy and a pleasure – it makes your computer safer, faster and fixed problems in Microsoft programs that they didn’t pick up when they programmed it. And with the hackers and spammers these days, you can never be too careful with your protection of your computer.

In my next post I will be writing about the joys of Anti Viruses (flue vaccines for computers) – I hope to see you there!

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