Monthly Archives: February 2006

Suspicious Update Messages

Firefox 1.5 now has an update to 1.5.0.1. I’m not sure what happened to the in-product indicator, but it seems to have been replaced by a new dialog (see below). Maybe the in-product icon was too subtle and hard to notice, but this new dialog looks a lot like those pop-up ads that proclaim “Your PC may be infected! Click now!”.

On the positive side, the update does have a link to learn more about the update, compatibility warning for extensions that might not work, and the opportunity to update later.

To be most effective and not appear to be a random or malicious pop-up, I think update messages need to be well integrated into the application itself. If the colored icon didn’t attract enough attention, maybe some UI tweaks could make it more noticeable (short of the return of the <blink> tag).

Firefox Update Prompt

Why Reboot?

Today Jeremy pointed to an application called Why Reboot?, which, in the words of its author:

… is a small (~60KB) Windows application that displays a list of pending file operations that will occur after rebooting your computer. We hope this helps you determine the extent of any post-reboot changes made by an installer.

This looks to take the same approach as PendMoves from the Sysinternals folks. Because part of my team’s responsibility is our product installers, we’re always on the lookout for unnecessary system reboots. When folks in QA or other users report that our installer prompted for a reboot, the output from PendMoves is usually helpful.

It looks like the two utilities take the same approach and check the same registry keys. The Why Reboot? page has a little more narrative explaining the keys it’s checking, while Sysinternals also includes a command-line tool called MoveFile that will let you copy/rename/delete in-use files at the next start.

(Via Jeremy’s Linkblog)

Update 2001-01-22: Changed Sysinternals URL now that they are part of Microsoft.