Thundering YAPUs

Diogenes's picture

I have been stampeded by a herd of YAPUs recently. A YAPU is my acronymn for Yet Another Program Update.

YAPUs are the speed bumps of the internet highway. They slow you down, sometimes even demanding that you restart your engine. But we reluctantly accept them because they are there for our safety.

A YAPU might show up on the doorstep of your computer when you turn it on; as you check your email; or open a web page; click on something in a web page; or even when you plug in an iPod.

Most YAPUs bleat something about security updates or bug fixes when they arrive. Some YAPUs offer obscure gifts of enhancement; it's like being offered frankincense and myrrh when you live in a barn. You will have no idea what they are or how you can use them, but maybe the place will smell nice.

Most of us are very familiar with the Adobe Acrobat YAPU that appears often and for no apparent reason at all. But I digress.

Sometimes the YAPU that arrives is a complete surprise, offering to update some application that you were not even aware you had.

Opening the barn door

Once you have opened the barn door to allow the YAPU in, it helps itself to most of your computer resources as it downloads and installs a great big folder somewhere in your computer. There is no point trying to do something else while this is happening, unless you have laundry to do. Your computer is simply too busy.

Before the install process is complete, the YAPU might belch out a EULA, or End User License Agreement. The EULA is long winded and smells bad, but most of us politely hold our noses and confirm that we agree.

One must get on with life, after all.

Your security software then starts to ask you about trusted sources and changes to the registry. Huh? Whatever.

Some YAPUs strongly suggest that you restart your machine NOW, and keep reminding you every 10 minutes until you simply give up. Or they restart your computer for you when you are not looking (or putting in another load of laundry).

Most of us accept YAPUs as one of those nusances in life, like parking tickets, speed bumps or condoms. Safe computing and all that.

A herd of YAPUs on the doorstep

This month, in addition to the usual Microsoft yapu, there have been 7 others. There were four Apple yapus - Quicktime, Itunes, BigIpod and nanoIpod; two Mozilla yapus - Firefox and Thunderbird; and a Sun Microsystems yapu - Java.

It is important to know the names of each yapu you let in the barn door.

Mixed results

My new Thunderbird email program now advises me that almost everything I recieve is spam.

I can forgive this. The simple truth is I don't get spam email anymore; I think Thunderbird is getting stressed out trying to find some spam (actually, I hardly get any email these days, but that's another topic).

What is really bugs me is the warning messages that now appear on most of the emails in my Sent folder...

emailScam (7K)

This may explain why my email receipts are declining, but, I digress. …

Now for some Good News

The good news is that this web page, when used with Firefox or Apple Quicktime 7.2 (or maybe both in combination) no longer crashes the browser - at least on my system.