The clever rebooting by Windows Update

If I ever meet the guy who cleverly decided that, after automatically installing an update, Windows should reboot unless you explicitly postpone, even if you're doing other things on the computer, and cannot see the damn Postpone window - well, if I ever run into that fellow... I'm going to kick him in the balls, and I'm going to keep kicking until my foot hurts.

Several times now, me and my wife have played games, and it has happened that Windows helpfully went and rebooted itself while playing. This is because no one clicked the Postpone button, you see, and if no one clicked that button, then obviously no one cares. The fact that no one sees the Postpone dialog because a game is running full screen, well, apparently that didn't enter anyone's equation.

The manager responsible for this feature, please present yourself to Frigate Bay so I can kick you in the balls.

Bring spare balls. I'll kick you once for each time this has happened.

Yes. I know I can switch the updates to manual. I have now done so on the machine I use for games. But I shouldn't have to. The stupid dialog shouldn't reboot if the computer is playing content full screen, or if someone is interacting with the PC.


Daniel said...

You are talking about Vista or XP ?
I'm using the latter(with SP3) and have never experienced(nor with SP2) anything like that. The updates download automaticaly every day and install as I turn off the computer.

denis bider said...

That's what seems to normally happen if you use your machine every day. However, if you don't, Windows apparently senses that it needs to seize whatever opportunity arises, and then it seems to trigger installation immediately. Since I don't use the gaming machine every day, when I do... sometimes this happened.

Chris said...

I'm with you denis. I'd prefer a throat punch followed with an elbow uppercut to the jaw...

XP rebooted my home surveillance camera without asking and forced me to set it to auto-login(just in case it rebooted in the future), don't auto-reboot, etc etc.

fcking windows... i've learned to hate it in so many ways. but, you were right on: it's the mgr that allowed that braindead feature into the code that is the fcking problem.

ms wants to be everything and that's an impossible business model...


painful it is.

btw, just recommended your products to a colleague. hope they give you a try.

denis bider said...

Well - that said, Microsoft does beat the various flavors of Unix hands down in terms of usability. And while some people are agog over Apple's products, I dislike their over-simplicity. With Apple's products, it seems as though if Steve Jobs decided that users shouldn't do something, there's no way to do it.

Microsoft's products did suck in general 10 years ago... but that's now 10 years ago.

Chris said...

yeah, i understand. the popularity of apple is a tad annoying in the sense that it's still overpriced h/w with brilliant marketing. but, good for them. ms takes most of their design cues from them anyway so it eventually benefits the win users of the world, so that's good for me.

as a c++ geek, i do admire the sheer size and feature-set of the win api. it's like the cisc chip OS vs scaled, lean risc chip OSes like *nix. and, from a programmer's perspective, i think the improved stability and richness of the api over these past 13 years since win32's inception are great. i agree, it's easy to use, plugNplay h/w arch and it's stable. great stuff.

but, in an attempt to be everything to everybody they must play the odds game when evaluating feature inclusion. and they probably said "90% of our users will never notice it auto rebooted and therefore they will be patched and we'll not have to listen to this Windows isn't secure bs as often in the media" and for the 10% that actually care, fck em.

so, yeah, it's tough to be everything to everybody b/c you can't. but that same drive to deliver the *allness* is what gives us some great features to code against. (in reality, the delivering allness is a desire to be the ONLY s/w company and no one should ever forget that)

but, i personally think a memorable quote from ballmer many years ago "we don't want to be in th bios business" is a mindset that will have to change within the windows team eventually. the sheer weight of the new code base for vista is what killed delivery dates.

they need to apply the "microkernel" mindset to the business model that drives product/brand fragmentation. i think, for instance, the headless install of win2k8 server is a move in that direction. and, maybe it will permeate the entire brand one day.

and we can pick and choose the pieces we want to execute... i would choose a lightweight win box with on-demand loadable GUI guts with a core server install for my surveillance box. for my laptop, something else. for my 8 core workstation, something else...

and maybe i can then bitch about...something else. ;)

denis bider said...

Chris: agreed.

Minor nitpick though. What you are arguing is not in fact that they are trying to be all things to all people. Your complaint is that they did not succeed in doing so by ignoring the needs of 10% of their users. This is actually against what Microsoft has historically tended to do - the general crapiness reputation they acquired in the past is largely because they refused to enter compromises that would benefit most users but be inconvenient for some.

In other respects, yeah, good points.