Updates: Can’t Live With Em–Can’t Live Without Em

Do I need to do the updates? is a common question I get from clients.   Well, they are pretty hard to avoid in many instances.  Software updates to our devices bring us feature improvements (or new features), security and stability fixes.  Due to the fact that I deal primarily with an older client base, new features don’t tend to WOW “Bobby from Southington” that much.  However, one new feature that I think is pretty cool is that iOS 13 now offers a light mode and a dark mode. It can even automatically switch between the 2 at night which is very easy on my eyes.  The Mac and Windows operating systems had a dark mode previously.  Primarily, I think updates are important because they patch holes that attackers can use to penetrate your system.   I try to be consistent in the language I use with you.  Updates are the little fixes that come out all the time, for example 13.1.2 that just came out for iOS and iPad.  Upgrades are the major new versions of the operating system.  For Macs and iOS devices — these come out once a year.  Windows has been rolling out 2 new versions of Windows per year since 2017 — which is one version too many.  I usually put my Windows clients on a delay when possible.  In general, I like the idea of setting devices to update automatically.  Set it and forget it (no I did not pay for the trademark!).

Updates Can Wreak Havoc

Though Windows 10 has generally been very stable for my clients since it launched in July 2015, there have been more than half dozen new upgrades / new versions of Windows 10 released since then — all called Windows 10.  HOW CONFUSING RIGHT?  I think that a Windows 10 upgrade has only trashed a client’s computer three times and two of those times were with the same client. Sad, but true.  I think their PC was never really meant to be supported by the manufacturer for Windows 10 in the long haul.  I am not a commissioned salesperson, but that is why I always recommend letting me order a business class Windows computer for you.   My wife has been using a Dell Optiplex desktop — purchased in 2008 — with upgrades to hardware over the years — to this day.  It has gotten all the new versions of Windows 10 since 2015.  Minor updates can cause problems too.  On October 4th, Microsoft pushed out an update for Windows 10 that was supposed to improve Internet Explorer (who uses that anymore?) and printing functions.  Unfortunately, it blocked printing for a small but ticked off percentage of Windows users including one of my clients.   An update to the update was put out on October 7th to fix this.   Are you keeping score at home?  Good, because I’m not.  🙂

Be Careful About the New Version of Mac OS Released Yesterday

Mac OS 10.15 – code named Catalina – was released yesterday.  I often tell my Mac clients, with compatible Macs (2012 and newer in this case) to upgrade. It doesn’t have to be right away but within the first couple months is fine.  I also make myself available to clients to manage the upgrade for them and make a backup of the installer.  Things can go wrong and most feel that a 2 hour appointment for this is well worth it.   However,  for 10.15  I am pumping the brakes and telling you to do the same — IF — you have a lot of software on your computer dating back years.   Mac OS 10.15 does not support 32-bit Mac apps.  These are usually apps that are more than 5 years old that have not been updated recently.  Those apps may be very important to you.   If so, hold off on 10.15.   Microsoft Office 2016 will be fine.   All current Apple apps are fine.  However, your case may be the exception.   Reach out and ask for help if you think you may have an issue.   OS 10.15 will be great, but you may want to give yourself time to work out alternatives.