Software updates or software interruption

I’ve been trying in last few months to reduce the level of interruption I get while working. When I really get focused on doing things, I can achieve level a of productivity that sometimes is difficult to get.

Somethings I’ve done include turning off Outlook email notifications, not entering twitter and avoiding as much as possible using Instant Messaging while totally focused. The findings have been great. It turns out not all email needs to be answered immediately (it’s even better if you wait as you can think of a better response). Also twitter can wait, I can answer messages using the same system as with email.

Although I’ve diminish to the most these kind of interruptions, there are some that have been impossible for me to achieve, or even block, and those are software updates.

It’s unbelievable the amount of popups I get asking to install updates for this and updates for that. For example:

  1. Windows: Every week there’s something new that needs to be updated. Some security patch or software update or component. The great thing about these updates is that the computer needs to be restarted. There’s no single or small update that doesn’t. Since I start hearing the hard drive screaming and I notice the update icon on the clock bar, I start sweating right way. I start planning to stop what I’m doing, or what  if I get up to take a glass a water and find Windows has already restarted the computer for me (thank you) when I comeback and I’ve lost whatever I was doing.
  2. Adobe Reader: Really? Adobe Reader needs that much updating? Last week I had it and went to their site to check what was being updated. Like 70% of the list is made of security updates. Yes, security updates. Is Adobe Reader that hackable?
  3. Apple: Yes, I have to generalize here. This little Apple window opens up every time one of their products needs an update. I’ve manage myself to meeting some of the Apple product line up by this update window. I have installed some Apple products I didn’t even know of, and yes, all of them requires me to restart my computer.
  4. McAfee antivirus: I know, this needs to be updated to refresh the virus list, but the core software? In the last couple of months I received like 3 major updates to the core and if I don’t restart the computer it starts pooping out messages that I might be at risk. I turned off the whole thing and still keeps popping out messages of risks and restarting. Come on!

In conclusion, keep in mind when developing software to:

  • Be gentle when asking to upgrade.
  • Try to make it at least once a month (if possible once every quarter).
  • Avoid restarting the machine once updates are installed. This is an architecture issue, it’s possible to do it.
  • If a restart is needed, just ask me once. I know how to read.

PS. Windows updates have asked me thee times to restart the thing while writing this post. So long, I have to restart.

What software update annoys you the most?