Countdown to a spanking

XP: Are you SURE you don’t want to restart now?

A constant thorn in my side from our use of Windows XP as our primary workstations is the Automatic Updates feature. In explaining my frustration to others, I’ve inevitably compared it to very similar behavior in Mac OS X, which for some reason does not drive me insane. I’ve been unable to put my finger on the difference until just this morning. Where OS X also presents a modal (non-closeable) dialog that requires an action, Windows floats that dialog above everything else, forcing the issue. With OS X, I can happily continue about my day, and decide to restart only when it is convenient for me. XP on the other hand, requires a ‘Restart Now’ or a ‘Restart Later’ before it gets out of my way, and choosing ‘Restart Later’ begins a Sisyphean cycle of misery until finally the computer has had enough of your sandbagging and counts down an automatic restart, like a mother counting down the time you have left before you get a spanking.

What a difference being able to click away makes.

Daniel Kuo

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