Bad programming

Note: This blog weas originally posted on my web site on April 12, 2008. Since it is a bit of old news, I’ve decided to disable comments.

In this first blog, I’m going to comment a bit on recent legal issues in the software world and some bad software programming.

In case you haven’t kept up with the legal news, Microsoft has been in hot water – particular with the European commissions – regarding what they call a monopolistic attitude that Microsoft has. In particularly, bundling software into their Windows operating systems (and installed by default) while to get a competing software, you’ll have to download it. This includes Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
In comparison, Apple has bundled it’s QuickTime media player and Safari web browser with their operating system – but no legal action. Now, Apple intends on shoving the Safari web browser up most people’s noses. How? Next time (probably) you get an updated version of iTunes, iPod software or QuickTime, included will be an updated Apple software updated. By default, Safari will be checked off as a software to download and install.
I wonder how fast savvy tech people will comment on the description of Safari in the update software: “…is the fastest and easiest-to-use web browser for the PC. It displays web pages faster than any other browser and is filled with innovative features– all delivered in an efficient and elegant user interface.” Hmmm. Is that why Safari had 13 security flaws that were (probably) fixed in March 2008 and more in April? How hard is it to use a web browser (“easiest to use”)? I think most don’t want their web browser to look pretty (“elegant”), just that it works correctly.
I don’t know the actual install base but last I heard, it was quite small – even smaller on the Windows side. Even most Mac fans tend to use Firefox.

It’s been twice in the last 6 months where Apple released one of their operating system updates (each of them are quite big) and buggered their own software. They get released roughly every second month and include mostly security fixes and are not cumulative. The March edition corrected something like 87 flaws – and this excluded Safari (which had something like 13 flaws on it’s own as mentioned above).
Back to what they buggered up, one of these updates were released in the fall of 2007. In some cases, it did a nasty job to the mail, address book and Safari web browser. You could not send or receive mail, access the web or other things. Initially, it was thought to be a network issue. But in my case (where I worked), way down deep somewhere in the OS was an old copy of Internet Explorer for the Mac. Sure enough web access was still there – just not in Safari. After a bit of checking around using Internet Explorer for the Mac, someone posted in a forum to delete 3 files. Sure enough, everything works.
In March 2008, they released another update. While the ones between the fall update and this update didn’t cause any problems, the March update caused the same problem.
Also recently there was a report that a specific iPod Nano music player were frying because of faulty batteries. iPods require iTunes to transfer music. No other software will work. [Personally I prefer a more generic MP3 player. Cheaper in price, sometimes better in quality and features. Little or no proprietary problems.]
So I’m wondering if Apple is getting a bit too big and are relaxing various standards in order to get their product out. Funny. A little over 10 years ago, Apple almost was on the verge of dying. Who possibly bailed them out financially? The evil empire. Yes. Microsoft.



About ebraiter
computer guy

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