With the ever changing landscape of applications and patches, its pretty hard to keep up from time to time. Not only has it become extremely important to update your operating system to keep hackers and misbehaving software to ruin your day. There is a lot more to take into account. What if you are running an older version of an application that has known vulnerabilities ? ( For example the previous version of quicktime). Its hard to keep track of what’s on your system and what third party software has been recently updated.
Thank heavens that most applications these days phone home after bootup to check if there is a new version available (and nagg the crap out of you to install it). Although this might be seen as a mixed blessing ( I hate stuff calling home whenever I want to use it) it is the only way to keep your stuff up to date.
Or is it ? In OSX its pretty simple : The Apple software updater checks OS updates and sees if there are any new versions for their own apps, Microsoft kinda does the same. But the winner must be Ubuntu. By issuing two simple commands in the command line (or if you are using Gnome, the system will do it automatically) Ubuntu will check a giant repository of software (that you use to install your applications from) and see if there are any new versions for the software you installed. Issuing “Sudo apt-get update and Sudo apt-get upgrade” into the command line window, sends your ubuntu into updating mode and you’ll have the newest versions of every single bit of software you have installed from the repositories.
Now .. Is Windows catching up ? Looks like it. This morning I found this great article about a peace of software that kind of does the same thing. It indexes what software you have and compares this to an online repository. If there is a new version out there .. it will download and install it. APPUPDATER.EXE is a command you can access from the command line. By typing in “appupdater –update” and “appupdater –upgrade” you’ll index and update any third party software that you might have (and that is on the list).
Much like win-get (another cool utility to install software using a ubuntu-like-command-line-style command ) this will enable you to script a lot of work you otherwise had to do by hand. But before you dive into this : Make sure you take note of the hazards of an invention like win-get and appupdater. First of all : These apps both go look for software or updates of software on a certain THIRD PARTY repository. If your app isn’t on the list ? You can’t install or update it. Second : Its a THIRD PARTY repository. So whenever you use these things you are telling the good people that invented this thing just what software you are installing and what software you are updating. Do you realy want that. And last but not least : Who says you are downloading the REAL copy of acrobat reader.. and not some add-aware improved version just to pay the bandwidth bills for winget or appupdater ? Its the same risk you run by using automatix. Convenient for sure .. but there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Links : Appupdater and Win-get .