Why you probably shouldn’t check this box - Macenstein

Why you probably shouldn’t check this box

Ever since getting my MacBook, my Mac Pro has been sitting in the basement, a bit neglected. Its sole job these days is to record Howard Stern off Sirius and throw bookmarkable audio files into iTunes for me. I use Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba to handle the recordings, and I had read last month that apparently the latest 10.5.2 update and/or Leopard security update were causing some troubles with ssh and Rogue Amoeba software in particular was throwing “internal access” errors. Since I didn’t want to rock the boat, I had let software update build up a healthy queue of updates it WANTED to install, but I wasn’t quite ready to let it do them.

Well, enter the Bride of Macenstein. She went downstairs tonight to burn some SpongeBob DVDs for the kiddies, and low and behold, the computer freezes. Now, I am not necessarily saying it is her fault, but the fact is the computer has been up for about 3 months prior without a hitch, and electronics seem to fear her sweet touch.

Anyway, long story short (too late) I had to reboot. Unfortunately, apparently at some point I had checked off that “Download important updates automatically” checkbox in Software Update (possibly even years ago on another machine I migrated to the Mac Pro) and upon reboot all those various OS, security, iTunes and QuickTime updates installed themselves.

I have since checked, and Audio Hijack does have an update that is supposed to fix the problems it was experiencing (I guess I’ll know for sure tomorrow morning if the recordings fire correctly), but let this be a lesson. That “Download important updates automatically” checkbox is likely a throw back to the times of slow internet connections, and has little place in the life of FiOS users and broadband users in general. Sure, these updates can come in at hundreds of MB, but what is that? 5-10 minutes? I can see checking that box on your grandma’s Mac because otherwise nothing will ever be updated, but for most users, I say it is better to be in control of what goes into your computer and when, even if Apple deems the updates “important”.

8 Responses to “Why you probably shouldn’t check this box”
  1. Brian Burns says:

    Neglected Mac Pro!?

    Please see the following article:


  2. I know, I was asking for that.
    well, it is neglected for another Mac, at least.
    -The Doc

  3. Dangr says:

    Luckily, the update does indeed fix it (… But it’s frustrating that it exists. I’m with you.

    My problem actually screwed up printing but not the computer itself (so I guess I was lucky!) but it was still the interaction between Audio Hijack Pro and the Security Update. It’s so weird…

    (anyway, my post on the subject is here: http://nightstrike.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/technological-frustration/ )

  4. Joe says:

    Hey Doc:

    Give us more info on your setup for recording Sirius… This sounds interesting to me….

  5. Imagine says:

    That checkbox is whether to _Download_ important update automatically…not _Install_

  6. EXACTLY, Imagine,

    Yet here we are.
    Try it.
    -The Doc

  7. Cabbage says:

    Dr. Macenstein,

    Go lookup the word Download. It is not a synonym for Install. Stop spreading lies. Wifey clicked the install button.

  8. Cabbage,

    The Bride of Macenstein would have had to enter my password about 4 times, and she doesn’t know it.
    Try it yourself. Leave that box checked, run software update when a major “important” update comes out. Then force power-off your machine and reboot.

    -The Doc

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