Question

Regarding automatic software program updaters

Jan 10, 2020 7:17AM PST

For years, on a daily basis, I have gone to the major geeks website to check if there were any updates to the programs that I have on my PC. Maybe didn’t really need to do this, but that’s what I do. It’s not that I want the next best thing, as the programs seem to work just fine, as we have been led to believe that there are always “fixes” that need to be done, to these programs. I have a few that have never been ‘updated’ and they work just fine.

Anyway, I decided to try one of these ‘auto’ updater’s, ‘Patch My PC’, and it messed up my PC, just a little, which I was able to quickly fix. Of course I don’t want a program that’s going to mess up my PC, so I uninstalled it. Point being is it worthwhile to keep ‘updating’ like I’m doing or this there a better way.

I should note that some programs, like Firefox and Thunderbird, do automatic updates as a matter of routine. So there is that.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

Post was last edited on January 10, 2020 7:35 AM PST

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Answer
Re: update programs
Jan 10, 2020 7:55AM PST

Some programs (like antivirus, Flash, Adobe Reader, Java) run an automatic check via the Windows scheduler, even if you don't use them, but just turn on the PC.

Some Microsoft programs (like Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge and MS Office) are updated (if necessary) automatically once a month via Windows Update.

Other programs (like Firefox, Ultrasearch, TreeSize, Notepad++) if you run them. No need to it earlier, since they aren't run.

Other programs never check themselves, but are included in the version check I can run in the antivirus Avast. I have no fixed schedule to do that, maybe a few times a year, and even then I don't always update if they are on the list (for example iTunes, because the old version still works fine with an old iPad).

Then I have some free programs (giveaways) that don't include updates in the giveaway version. But, for example, the giveaway version of XYPlorer I installed in 2012 still runs fine, even on other machines, and so does the still older version of Powerdesk.

And there are programs that are so old, that they aren't updated anymore (like MS Access 2003 or Fritz 7). No problem. They do what I want to do with them.

And I might have programs that are just freeware and I just use as they are, or don't use at all anymore although they are installed for, well, you never know, and I never update either.

Doing what you say you're doing (check each day) seems totally unneccessary.

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Understood
Jan 10, 2020 11:38AM PST

1) As previously stated, and you agreed, some programs auto update - Not talking about those
2) Some programs, when you run them, tell you there is an update - Not talking about those either.
3) However, there are a few that don't tell you there are updates - And that's why I check

That said, from time to time, I run the program - SumoLite. When run, it tells you what programs you have, their "version's" and if there is an update.

Anyway, I was asking about an "automatic" program. So that we wouldn't have to do any of this 'checking'. Maybe there isn't one, but that's what I was 'basically asking.

Thanks for replying.

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I've changed my mind about updates over time.
Jan 10, 2020 11:44AM PST

Given how updates can often introduce a new bug I won't update except:

1. Our Android Studio dev system.
2. LibreOffice (man, those people are good.)
3. Java.

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really depends on the program
Jan 10, 2020 2:47PM PST

are you having issues with those programs that are not checking or auto updating. If are not, then I would not worry about it. basically you are stuck manually checking for updates.

Post was last edited on January 10, 2020 2:58 PM PST

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Chrome updates when you
Jan 13, 2020 12:35PM PST

Help and then about google chrome.

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Answer
Old School says...
Jan 11, 2020 1:13AM PST

...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But you do miss out on any enhancements that was. (Bugs count as "broke" under this approach).

As Kees_B suggested, some anti-virus programs will automatically check other applications for updates - Kaspersky does this automatically (you have an exclusion list) and will do the updates for you if you wish. It isn't free, though and some who should know better don't like it!

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Just a final note
Jan 11, 2020 7:46AM PST

Apparently, since no one has mentioned one, there isn't a program that automatically checks all your software programs, that work at least.

In addition, by checking the Major Geeks site, daily, which only takes about 30 seconds, from time to time I see 'something', a "new" program that seems 'interesting' and that I might want to try. No harm trying, if it doesn't seem to fill my needs, I simply uninstall. Case in point, from time to time I need to 'convert' something, word, email, etc., and it was always a challenge to figure out how to do it.

That's it.

Thanks for replying

Name of converter removed by moderator, with permission of member

Post was last edited on January 11, 2020 12:36 PM PST

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Re: final note
Jan 11, 2020 8:02AM PST

Two final notes from me:

1. You mention zamzar but that's NOT a program you can install. It's a service on the internet. You send them a file, they convert it and sent it back to you. And you hope they don't read and use the contents. Maybe you saw and ad for the service on majorgeeks in stead of a editorial download link?
So mentioning it in this discussion about updating programs that are installed on your PC is totally irrelevant. Do you mind if I delete that remark?

2. A program that would be able to check for "all programs" if they are the latest version should know for all existing programs where to find that information. Since there is no standard for that, it must be programmed separately for each existing program.
In fact, such information is not even required to exist. For example, i have a program zoekenvervang.exe on my PC that I downloaded from zcbs.nl and the author will send a mail or newsletter to the community using that program if there is a new version.

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No problem deleting Zamzar
Jan 11, 2020 8:34AM PST

You are correct in that its a free online service. And you are probably correct that I didn't find it on Major Geeks. But my point was that by going to Major Geeks on a daily basis is that, from time to time, I find something that may be of use to me. Major Geeks does mention "converters' all the time. Maybe that's where I thought to look on the Internet for a solution. At the time I was looking to see how I could convert an 'eml' file to pdf.

By the way, Sumo, while it doesn't "automatically" check what you have, when you run it, it does tell you what the latest versions are. When I run it, which is only every once in a while, I see what needs to be updated and then I go to the 'source' to download same. Oh! And I did find Sumo on Major Geeks. Not looking for it, just found it and thought it might be useful.

Thanks again

Post was last edited on January 11, 2020 9:16 AM PST

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Re: convert e-mail to pdf
Jan 11, 2020 12:42PM PST

If I should want to do that (which I never did until now) I would go into my mail program and print the mail to Windows' pdf-printer. That's a very good way to turn anything you can print (even a few pages of a large pdf) to a pdf.

If I want to 'convert' a Word document to pdf (which I often do) I use the 'save as pdf' built into Word. Much faster, and certainly not worse, than any online service.

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Actually I tried going the print route
Jan 11, 2020 1:01PM PST

but I couldn't make it work. I use Yahoo and Thunderbird and both said the same thing, and I couldn't make it work. So that's why I used Zamzar. I wasn't totally clear on the "word" thing. From time to time my sister sends me different "word" documents that her husband gets from military groups that he is involved in. So the best thing I can do for them is covert these "different" word documents, and you know there are a "lot" of different "types", and convert them to pdf which they can easily open. By the way, my LibreOffice program allows me to save as pdf, just as you mention. My sister still uses Microsoft Works, so anything I do for her on "my" computer I need to save as pdf before I send it to her.

Thanks again for your help

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Answer
I don't trust those programs
Jan 13, 2020 12:38PM PST

that update everything. The issue is if you have an OEM computer (Dell, Hp. Lenovo and the rest they sometimes modify drivers for their hardware and the updates dont work properly.

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I agree!
Jan 13, 2020 1:50PM PST

I see what needs to be updated and then I go to the 'source' to download same.

thanks for replying

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Answer
I only update when
Jan 13, 2020 3:15PM PST

(a) MS say's I need to update Windows
(b) I know my web browser(s) need be updated because MS updated Windows
or
(c) when something is acting wonky , usually because MS released an update for Windows .

With one exception, Bob had me update my BIOS from 2012

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