Friday, January 7, 2011

A tale of two updates

My boss lost data from his Blackberry because a Windows Update screwed up Outlook's auto archiving function. Of course, Windows didn't tell us it did this, that would just be too helpful - nah, it just dumped data and the update removed the user's ability to turn off auto-archiving. 

Tech support people at various organizations kept telling us to go to Tools|Options...blah blah and then click Auto-archiving to turn it off...but the button wasn't there, and no one knew what to do about it.

I ultimately found solid guidance from as well as How-to Outlook - what we did was to remove Update KB2412171, and at least got the button back so I could turn the feature off.

Meanwhile, I had installed 64-bit Ubuntu, and couldn't get Skype to work. It installed fine, but when I entered my log in info it wouldn't complete the process. 

Ubuntu regularly let's you know when there are system updates available. I ran the latest and, on a whim, I intuitively thought "what the heck, let's try installing Skype again." So I did, and whaddya know? Say it with me - it just works.

By the way, this system update took about 3 minutes and did not require a system restart. I trust Ubuntu updates.

Windows? Not so much.

I should mention one more thing, about using Ubuntu. I saw a comment on another site where a user lamented "sometimes it feels like Ubuntu is not made for humans," as an application required compiling in order to use.

My blog here is called non-techie talk because I am not a programmer, not a web designer, not a coder. And there are a few people out there like me, believe it or not. In fact, compared to many of my acquaintances, I'm relatively technically-inclined. But I've yet to do anything with the terminal.

After installing the 64-bit Ubuntu, I couldn't get Skype to work. I found all kinds of information showing how to tweak files through the terminal in order to make Skype work, and I threw up my hands and said "forget it." It can be technically daunting to make Ubuntu do what you want it to do, and it would be wrong to give the impression that everything is easy as pie in Ubuntu.

However, this is a great example of what makes Ubuntu so much fun - in this particular instance, I didn't have to attempt to figure out all those crazy instructions. A system update came along, I ran the update, and the intuitive thought to give it another shot paid off - it works now. No terminal, no trying to figure out arcane computer language...