Brian Wayne Maki knows how frustrated computer users can be by the annoying little updates constantly popping up on their computer screens, interrupting their work, and leaving them confused as to whether or not to accept the update. Brian has been involved with computers since they first became household products, and he founded Maki Consulting in 1991 to help people use their computers, including having taught thousands of people about computers through community classes he has developed.
Brian walks the reader through a series of chapters, detailing various programs, the updates needed for them, and how to install or uninstall programs and updates. Updates include Flash Player, Java, iTunes and many others. I was surprised to learn from Brian how much trouble toolbars are because they track your digital footprint and invade your privacy so it’s in your best interest to remove them. Brian also discusses various browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla, offering advice on updates as well as suggestions on which to use. I especially appreciated his advice to renew your antivirus programs annually—not for five years at a time—because you never know whether in another year there won’t be a better program than the one you currently have.
The book’s chapters are laid out in similar patterns with step-by-step installation instructions, histories of the products and the companies that produce them, and discussions of users’ typical experiences in using the products, along with Brian’s own experiences with his clients in terms of what they have found helpful or troublesome.
Brian offers recommendations for how often to perform updates, as well as the history of various programs’ updates in the past, as well as when the next version to update will be available. He also offers steps on how to uninstall old programs and when it is necessary to do so.