Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tech Tuesday Tip

Note, this is part two of a 2-parter...

Sometimes at work, my coworkers come to me if they have a problem with their computer.I don't have all the answers. But I am always looking for them.

This is from a newsletter I get each week Windows Secrets. One of the best ways to make sure your computer is functioning properly is to keep all the software up to date. I'm not talking about buying the "latest & greatest". I'm referring to the free updates and upgrades....

The best way to manage multiple app updates

Secunia's free-for-personal-use Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) Version 1 was already in my must-have security software collection. Version 2 is even better, with a new look (see Figure 5) and enhanced updating tools.

Like the original, PSI 2.0 scans your installed software and builds a database of application version numbers. It then compares what it found on your system to Secunia's central database of latest-available version numbers. (The central database contains version information on a huge range of software.)

PSI v2 interface
Figure 5. Secunia Personal Software Inspector 2.0 sports an entirely new look and feel. But more important, it now can completely automate the process of keeping almost all your software up-to-date.

When PSI detects that you're running an out-of-date version, it alerts you: it tells you the risk of using the older version and gives you a ready-made link to download the latest software patch, upgrade, or update from the software's publisher (as shown in Figure 6).

PSI v2 updates score
Figure 6. PSI 2.0 gives you a detailed assessment of whether your software is current.

But PSI version 2 adds a new wrinkle: If you allow it (see Figure 7), PSI automatically downloads and installs the latest versions of your apps for you — fully automatically or by first giving you a chance to review what's going to be updated.

PSI v2 updates score
Figure 7. Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 2.0 automatic-update option.

I heartily recommend PSI 2.0 because it eliminates the need to have lots of small, separate, auto-update programs running — you know, the Apple updater, the Adobe updater, the Java updater, and so on. Instead, this one tool makes keeping your key software up-to-date a nearly effortless task.

You'll find the download link for PSI 2.0 on its info page. Installation is easy; just follow the prompts. If you have the original PSI version installed, the 2.0's setup will automatically uninstall it for you.

Start the new year right, and get all your software updated today!

The Windows Secrets Newsletter is published weekly on the 1st through 4th Thursdays of each month, plus occasional news updates. We skip an issue on the 5th Thursday of any month, the week of Thanksgiving, and the last week of December. Windows Secrets is a continuation of four merged publications: Brian's Buzz on Windows and Woody's Windows Watch in 2004, the LangaList in 2006, and the Support Alert Newsletter in 2008.

Publisher: WindowsSecrets.com, 1218 Third Ave., Suite 1515, Seattle, WA 98101 USA. Vendors, please send no unsolicited packages to this address (readers' letters are fine).

Editor in chief: Tracey Capen. Senior editors: Fred Langa, Woody Leonhard. Associate editor: Kathleen Atkins. Copyeditor: Roberta Scholz. Program director: Tony Johnston. Contributing editors: Yardena Arar, Susan Bradley, Michael Lasky, Scott Mace, Ryan Russell, Lincoln Spector, Robert Vamosi, Becky Waring. Product manager: Andy Boyd. Advertising director: Eric Gilley. Subscription manager: Revia Romberg.

Trademarks: Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. The Windows Secrets series of books is published by Wiley Publishing Inc. The Windows Secrets Newsletter, WindowsSecrets.com, Support Alert, LangaList, LangaList Plus, WinFind, Security Baseline, Patch Watch, Perimeter Scan, Wacky Web Week, the Logo Design (W, S or road, and Star), and the slogan Everything Microsoft Forgot to Mention all are trademarks and service marks of WindowsSecrets.com. All other marks are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

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