Sunday, January 30, 2005

More on What You Need

My friend Larry, aka Eclectrix, had commented on the What You Need entry, and made some points that I think it makes sense to address.

1. Windows XP Professional (XP Pro) is the way to go. Windows XP Home Edition has been hobbled. I agree -- Get XP Pro. Software companies put their best efforts into the business versions of their software, and tend to "dumb-down" their consumer versions.

2. He mentioned an issue with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) in which "Microsoft is trying to take too much control of the machine or something." Frankly, I think that you are going to run Microsoft software, or not. If you are, you need to trust them to a certain degree. SP2 is such a significant upgrade that it is required if you are to run XP. If you don't want to run Windows XP, get an Apple or go full-on techno-nerd and go Linux.

3. He has an issue with Automatic Updates being Automatic. Sometimes an update breaks something. I full agree with him on that, which is why I mentioned that a fully funded Information Technology department should review updates prior to distributing them. That is their function. To review all releases prior to applying them is a full-time job, and takes up a lot of attention. The average non-technical user really can't do this, and will not do this. So, if the updates are not automatic, the updates will not get done, and their computer is in grave danger of being hacked. This is not good. So, unless you are a professional, do not try this at home. Just turn on the auto-update.