Forget IE6 – Update Your Windows XP

So I was given another friends’ computer to fix. They were having overheating issues, which was easily deduced to a blocked fan. Nonetheless, when I turned it on I was greeted with the same issues that so many have not taken care of.

It was still on XP Service Pack 1.

What this meant was I was stuck doing the upgrades. I really don’t mind, but it made me think a bit about how people look at and use their computers; How they say they’re “Computer Stupid” and don’t know all the technical jargon I spew.

I hate that term – “Computer Stupid”.

To begin with, it’s not grammatically correct. With that aside, it’s not about if you know how to put together a computer. It’s about whether you read the signs – after all, if you didn’t read the road signs while driving, you might get lost. Then again, I know people that DO read the signs and still get lost…

So you turn on the computer and the first thing that pops up is an error message. What do you do? Do you 1. try to deduce the problem. 2. Consult a fellow IT friend or 3. Ignore the message altogether and select through it?

It’s amazing how many people do #3. Just like looking at that little “Change Oil” light in the car. After all, it looks so pretty when it’s on for the next 12 thousand miles…

Funny thing about these computers is the Windows Update feature is turned on. It says on the bottom there are updates to be run. Probably has said that on this computer for a long time. After all, I had to install Service Pack 2.

Recently, an initiative has come out trying to make people aware to the fact that they need to upgrade from IE 6. The initial push to IE 7 was slow simply because the added features caused online programs to not function and security holes to be created. The job at the time definitely did not want to make the upgrade because the banking software (for one) didn’t work with IE7.

Awareness has shown the masses that IE might not be the browser to run: The “Million Download” Firefox attempt brought more awareness to what we use for a browser. Still – 8 million downloads (now the Guinness record) is a far cry from as many computers that are out there. Since then Firefox has boasted 1 billion downloads – but how many computers really have the software on and how many people just didn’t go back to IE6?

It’s all about awareness. If the dirty dish is in the sink and you need to use it – you wash it. If the bag is in the hallway and you are coming through, you move it. Therefore, if the computer is telling you to update… You get the picture.

That’s not being “Computer Stupid”. It’s about being aware.

It’s even understandable if you select off it a couple times simply because you are working on something. But eventually, you should really just “Do it”. After all, it’s not going to go away. You might just end up paying for waiting in malware issues. In fact I am surprised this computer is not riddled with malware – especially since there is no Anti-Virus on it.

But that’s a whole other subject.

For now, don’t ignore the issue. Update the computer.

About J Powers

Podcaster, Blogger, IT Specialist. Been working in IT for over 15 years. Supported Windows 95 upon initial Launch and have worked in desktop, server and Web site support roles. Started Geekazine in 2007 and launched 5 shows from it. Speaker on many topics in Podcasting and technology. Also a musician.