Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Muddy footprints

A man enters your house, even though the front door and windows are locked. You’ve left the back door wide open. He sneaks up to your TV and changes the channel settings. Then he gets the remote and hides it behind a cushion on the settee. He sneaks out again and, as all this has taken place while you were asleep, you know nothing about it. Next time you try to use the TV everything has gone haywire and the manual is no use because it doesn’t bear any relationship to what is happening on the screen. The only clue that something has happened behind your back is the muddy footprints on the carpet.

Sound familiar? It should do. It’s what happens every time Microsoft and others do one of those ‘essential’ updates on your computer. I have my updates set to automatic on my desktop computer but I’ve got so fed up of this happening on my laptop that I turned off the updates twelve months ago. So far nothing on the laptop has exploded despite the threat of viruses that the updates are supposed to kill. But the hassle of finding my way around revised systems on the desktop has kept me busy for ages. Today all the settings on my windows mail have been revised behind my back. More work to do....

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