In an ideal world

Wouldn’t it be grand if, when countless software companies are urging you to perform constant updates to your system, that these updates actually improved things rather than fucking them up? I know, I’m being unrealistic here, but a man can dream, can’t he? And if he can, I can…

I’m perfectly serious. I usually shut off automatic updates, especially with Windows and Firefox, because they’re not just frequent, they’re time-consuming and rarely do anything useful. However, somehow, without my making any changes to the settings at all, Windows has started telling me that I need to perform updates, and according to all of my searches, they have disabled any and all methods of eradicating these constant reminders from my system. And yes, it’s daily, often twice a day, and they even, out of the remarkable goodness of their hearts, keep reinstalling an update icon on my desktop. Silly me, I though that was for my personal settings and the programs that I actually have a use for, but it appears I was wrong – Microsoft knows better than I do (except for the perpetual “security holes” that they want to keep repairing, but that’s not either gross incompetence or attempts to phish information from my computer, I’m sure.)

Just now, noticing some faintly squirrelly behavior on a couple of websites, I thought perhaps updating Firefox might be a good idea. I have been completely cured of such radical and irrational thinking, however, as the latest release (56.0) was seriously buggy, with the bookmarks icon being worthless and an truly astounding amount of utterly fucking useless shit being added to the right-click menu. While I find it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind couple possibly have a use for right-click menu items that stretch off of the fucking screen, I’m pretty goddamn sure that having access to your bookmarks in the exact same manner as you were accustomed is the primary fucking purpose of a web browser. But we’ve already established that I’m weird.

I’ve been online routinely since 1998. In that time, the amount of security breaches or issues that I’ve had with unupdated software has been trivial – less than five times in my memory. This is mostly because a) I maintain decent anti-virus and anti-malware software, and b) I don’t fuck around with sketchy sites. However, the amount of times that performing updates has changed something that I use routinely, or outright disabled the software itself, is staggering – beyond my ability to count, which is what prompted my update-aversion in the first place. I wish I could fathom why such a state of affairs exists.

So, again, AVOID FIREFOX VERSION 56.0 AT ALL COSTS. If you need to roll back, 55.0.3 is readily available for download at several sites. And if you want to prevent such Firefox crashes from occurring without your input, here’s your quick guide:

1. Click on the menu bar at the top right of your screen – it will be three horizontal bars.

2. Click on Options (little cog wheel)

3. Click on Advanced

4. Click on Update

5. Click on Never Check For Updates (it will say Not Recommended, but that’s an outright lie – I am heartily recommending it.)

All set – you can close the Options tab.

By the way, there’s a little plugin for Firefox (and by extension, IceDragon) called uMatrix, which blocks scripts and bullshit from running on webpages per your own choices and settings – on some sites, this will significantly enhance your use of the site without countless bits of utter bullshit cluttering up the screen or, much worse, trying to fuck around with your system. Since far too many web developers like masturbating with the latest fads in scripts and effects, and advertisers seem to believe they should be snagging info from your computer, this can be a damn handy plugin to have running. But I’ll warn you, configuring it might be frustrating to some, especially if your favorite sites rely on constant content from YouTube, social media, or the more pervasive kinds of advertisers. YouTube alone is notorious for ‘bootstrapping’ scripts – permit the first, which has to load another (which you will also have to permit in uMatrix,) which loads another, and eventually the fucking video will play. Is this necessary? Of course not – Vimeo doesn’t have a problem with simply playing a video, which is why I switched to hosting my videos over there, since who knows what kind of bullshit all of those scripts are performing? I try to keep this site clean and safe; you will never see an ad here, and if anything on here sends up some flags, even just outside links, tell me.

Anyway, rant over – now I can return to what I’d planned to spend my time on today. Good luck trying to use your software without ongoing issues and needless stupidity.

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