Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Would You Like to Reboot?

I made a mistake today. I was in the middle of putting a level together. My hands were sweaty, almost shaking, as I cautiously maneuvered a toilet into position. I placed it and then grabbed a sink. That was placed near the toilet (but not too near!) and I went for the toilet paper holder. Yes, I was building yet another bathroom and I was in a groove. This would be the single greatest bathroom ever.

And then it happened.

A box appeared in the middle of my screen. I didn’t want to be distracted, so I absently clicked on it to get it out of the way (which was the mistake. It minimized and I went back to the difficult and demanding task before me: placing a light switch just so. I placed a few more items, the intensity of my stare almost melting the monitor in front of me.

All of a sudden a message appeared: ‘The updates have been successfully installed. Your machine must reboot for the updates to take effect. Reboot now? Reboot later?’

I, of course, clicked on ‘Reboot later.’ Nothing would deter me from finding the exact ducky texture needed to finish the bathroom.

Two minutes later: Reboot Now? Reboot Later?

‘Catnuts!’ I half-shouted, scaring my office-mates. Reboot Later was pressed again. Two minutes later, the same thing.

I was stuck. I had to reboot the damn machine to get rid of the message.

Why does that message have to appear so frequently? ‘Reboot Later’ shouldn’t mean ‘Pester me until I reboot,’ it should mean ‘I’ll reboot when I’m ready to reboot.’ Bathrooms won’t build themselves after all and who wants an interruption when they’re in the middle of working? It’s even worse when it’s in the middle of gaming and just as some orc is trying to floss his teeth on your hamstring, that message pops up. By the time you get it off your screen, said orc has already worked his way up to your knees.

A major problem? No, but an ‘aaaagh!’ moment nonetheless.



Rasputin said...

You could stop the automatic updates service so it stops bugging you, just type net stop wuauserv in "run" on the start-menu and it should stop.

Gillsing said...

Yeah, my automatic updates are disabled, and I pity the fool who has to suffer through such things. This morning though, I found out the hard way what holding down the right shift key for 8 seconds can do. It brought up an 'accessibility option' for ignoring keys that are held down for too long. I cancelled it, because I was just holding down that shift key so that I could cleverly use the shift+backspace combo to let my browser take a step forward in the webcomic archive I was reading (the Drowtales Wasteland ads appealed to me, and this time I actually found the main comic).

But apparently Windows felt that from here on, anything I left-clicked on should automatically have 'shift' added to it. So instead of merely selecting browser tabs, it closed them down. And clicking on my MP3 player USB drive in order to open it also selected the empty A: drive. There was much cursing, and I had to reboot in order to get the computer to work the way it was supposed to. And from this day, I have disabled "hold right shift key down for 8 seconds" as a shortcut to that accessibility option.

mrbene said...

It's people with Auto-Update disabled that help the spread of worms like Downadup/Conflicker (a decent synopsis here: Updated software means you significantly reduce the chance that your computer will become compromised and used as an origin for spam and/or other attacks.

In terms of "annoying" - I was quite happy to see that Vista introduced a "remind me in 10 minutes / 1 hours / 4 hours" drop-box to the Auto-Update notification. Not so happy about UAC prompts.