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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Installing New Software Is Risky

Installing New Software Is Risky

When you get a new computer, you'll want to install yourfavorite software and get everything running just the way youwant it to. Then you'll likely add some new stuff, possibly over a period of the next couple of months. Beyond this point,hesitate to add more. Here's why.

Shared Library Files

Many software firms use DLL (Dynamic Linked Libraries) indeveloping programs. They are kind of like a tool box from whichthe programmer chooses the one needed. Even though the programbeing created may need only a couple of "tools" from this DLL,using them saves programming time, which is expensive. This is a safe and efficient procedure, for the code in the library is well tested and will run reliably.

Other software developers use the same library. Some DLLsare used in many programs. For you, this means less disk spacerequired on your system, for only one copy of the library isneeded.

You also benefit in that you pay less for the software and it runs reliably. It's hard to see anything negative in such a procedure. Or in software using any other shared procedures.For example, you might have several programs that use a common routine that is part of connecting your system to the Web over a phone line.

All About Versions

Most companies developing software will use the latestversion of a DLL. It contains changes and enhancements over earlier ones. Thus differences exist between them.

This is true of different versions of other software. Thelatest version of IE (Internet Explorer), for example, containschanges and enhancements over the previous one. Migrating from the current version to the latest, can mean installing whatamounts to almost a new program.

The Catch In Upgrading Or Installing Software

When you install an upgrade or a new piece of software, anyDLLs used will also be installed. Windows makes the rules inthis. An older version of a DLL is not allowed to overwrite alater one. But a newer one IS allowed to overwrite an older one. Here's how things can go wrong.

Suppose you have a program call SPLAT, another called SPRANG,and a third call SPUNK. Suppose they all use a DLL called STUFF. If you upgrade SPUNK, and the upgrade includes a new version ofSTUFF, then quite suddenly SPLAT and SPRANG may not run properly. That is, they are now forced to use a version of STUFF theprogrammer had not planed for.

While it's quite likely a new DLL will run just fine witholder programs, it may not. If your older programs won't runwell enough to suit your needs, you may be forced to upgrade tolater versions. Unfortunately, this may not solve the problem if the older DLL is still in use.

A Horror Story

I personally do not install upgrades unless literally forced to do so. (And I do not install new software except when absolutely required.) Some time back while using an earlier version of IE, I was forced to upgrade. The results were disastrous.

I first tried upgrading IE to the latest version, 5.5. But I never could get it to run. I dropped back to version 5.1, which ran, but unpredictably.

My system became unstable. Lots of memory collisions (GPFs)that crashed some program maybe two dozen times a day. Even IEwas not running properly and became the program most likely tocrash. Other stuff was happening that required restarting thecomputer 5-6 times each day. If you have been there, you knowhow much this slows you down.

Further, several of the programs I use routinely, such asEudora, began failing with troubling regularity. And two wouldno longer run at all.

My only option was to retire a perfectly good computer lessthan two years old and buy a new one. Then install all thelatest software all at once. This meant chucking some stuff I liked, then hunting up replacements. Both time consuming and tedious.

So What Went Wrong?

I have no idea, really. But the most likely cause of thisfailure was in overwriting one or more DLLs with later versionsrequired by IE that my other software could not handle. That is,my other programs were designed to run on the previous versions,not the latest.

What This Means To You

If you are a casual user of your computer, and load upsomething new about once a month, the chances are you will neverface the problem described above. The worst that is likely tohappen is that as new software is added, older programs do notrun in quite the same way.

If you are a serious computer user, and depend upon one as an integral part of your business, take the position you won'tupgrade or install new software unless you are absolutely forcedto do so.

My tale is not an isolated case. All heavy users ofcontemporary PCs have had this experience, even if not quite so severe.

If you need a program, by all means install it and go. But be hesitant in playing the gamePsychology Articles, "I think I'll try this." Why risk it?

Article Tags: Other Software

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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