Take a service stop and clean your windows

Of course, this is about Windows XP Service Pack 2, but as my co-worker Alain wrote in 'About backward compatibility of XP SP2: Life has changed ...', I also have my own view on this.

It actually struck me when driving towards the south of France, a week ago. It is a good 8 hours drive, in sunny summer weather conditions. Luckily my sturdy Audi A4 (I love that car!) has airco and the heat did not bother me. But as you are driving along on the highway, did you ever notice these little flying insects (aka 'bugs') that tend to end up being squashed on your windscreen (aka 'window'). They also tend to leave quite a sticky and messy trace on the windscreen. Some worse than others. Using the built in windscreenwiper and the little waterjet, only results in somewhat of an improvement, but you need a lot of water and a long time of windscreenwiping going on to really get a clean window again. And that in mid summer, you can imagine some gestures and looks you get from the kids on the backseat of cars that are overtaking you. Now there are the bugs that bump and leave some (bigger) bodyparts behind, these ones tend to clean up nicely. But you also have the ones that go 'splat!' and leave a trace of semi-transparent, or somewhat yellowish goo. These are the really nasty ones, as a quick windscreenwiper action only results in more blurr and goo being spread across the window. And even then there is a difference in where the bug hits the windscreen. When I'm driving I do not mind the ones that target the viewing area of the passenger, and these just become cosmetic bugs, but the ones that 'land' in my viewing area really pose a problem in visibility and thus in safety. So after a long trip, it is imperative that you take some time out to stop along the road in a service station, take a spunge and wipe the windscreen clean, to ensure your own safety and to be a responsible secure driver on the road..

Now doesn't that sound a lot like Windows XP SP2? After having done good milage with Windows XP, it is also time to take a service stop, and clean up your machine and get rid of many bugs. Especially as some of these bugs create a dangerous environment for you to work in safely. Like the ones plasterd all over your windscreen, which can seriously hamper your field of vision. These I compare to the security bugs that have been fixed in SP2. And here is where I like to continue the comparison. When driving on a busy highway, every driver needs to take responsibility to have clean windows. Drivers with dirty windows pose a risk not only to themselves but also to others on the highway. This is the same for the information highway. Unserviced Windows machines can pose a risk for others on the same highway.

Aah, I'm getting on a really serious tone here, but hey... I personally think this is serious. Statements of individuals that they will not apply the service pack because some app might stop working are, to me, wrong. One should demand from the app vendor a fix to make it work. I do however understand big companies holding off for now, because they are still waiting for fixes for applications. (I was thinking, thats what the previews and release candidates were for, to get these fixes by the time the SP rtm'ed)

Oh, for the non-techies: do not take a spunge and clean your computer, that is not what I am talking about 😉

Comments (8)
  1. Sam Dahan says:

    Installed XP SP2 gold, love it (much better than RC1).

    However, it *does* make a few of my regular websites less functional than before. Some of those I do not want to make ‘trusted’. I visit them but I want to filter a bit what comes out. So the problem is, I have to constantly fiddle with the security settings that SP2, I am getting tired of it. I wish there was a way to save my IE security settings in a file somehow, and I could just reload that as my *own* default. I hope that feature comes in with the next IE version.

  2. dragon_x says:

    Pop-up blocking is long over due. I have not installed SP2 yet.. it could be some time. I’ve spent a lot of money and time getting this PC to the point where I can trust it. Now MS thinks it has done one better? Maybe they should have thought about security before they starting selling the bloated and crappy Windows systems???

    Maybe I will go back to Mac – full time!

  3. Tyrone Enright says:

    Given the low IQ of Microsoft sychophants and quislings, they deserve the OS whose teat they suck at. The rest of us are forced into this because of software not yet available with Linux.

    Given that of the 200 Software products listed(and Growing) that can fail under the new XP service pack, are such wonders as XP Office, ( as well as other MS Office products), you will forgive me for considering this another of Mr Gates arrogant blunders. He creates an OS, people have to upgrade their software and peripherals to survive with , and then because OS is so defective, a fix is made that renders expensive upgraded software inoperative, including MR Gates’s inflated ware, and then we are supposed to blame whom?

    Obviously none of you MS Sychophants are programmers, because none of you can follow any line of logic, unless that is, you are yourselves the producers of this heavyweight schlock employed by MS… That would explain the defensiveness of the indefensible

  4. David says:

    "One should demand from the app vendor a fix to make it work."

    Nice attitude. Maybe us techs should demand that users RTFM. How about taking 30 minutes a day to learn a thing or two about computers and how they work. I run a firewall, I block specific ports, I turn off dangerous services, I’ve never had a virus, my PC runs 24 – 7 and it has never been hacked.

    You think I woke up one day and just knew how to do all that stuff. No. I read books, I look this stuff up online, it’s not hard, yes it takes effort, but the information is out there. How about not opening email attachments that you have not requested. That step alone could virtually wipe out virus issues, but no… Joe Blow computer user just has to fall for that old trick time after time.

    These are the same people that get taken for a ride when they go to a mechanic to get their car worked on. Guess what, if you don’t know at least some basic facts about cars, your going to get talked out of your hard earned money for no reason other than ignorance.

    Ignorance is bliss… complacency is pathetic.

  5. Andrew says:

    >> "I run a firewall, I block specific ports, I turn off dangerous services, I’ve never had a virus, my PC runs 24 – 7 and it has never been hacked. "

    I agree, and i do the same. I dont even run an anti virus, and i too have never had a virus.

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