The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Automatic software update download!

Since I got Leopard, OS X automatically downloads new software updates and only warns me when they are ready to be installed. I think that would be great if I had a super speedy internet connection. My high speed internet connection really suffers when it is downloading updates in the background and there is really no visible way of stopping the system from downloading these updates. It is however possible to disable the automatic downloads. Here is where it is done:

1. Open System Preferences.
2. Click on "Software Update".
3. Uncheck the checkbox next to "Download important updates automatically".


Blogger Nick said...

When Software Update requires a restart, is there a way to merely shut down after installing updates - instead of restarting? I install updates at the end of the day (when I was shutting down anyway) and don't want to reboot only to have to shut down again.

In Tiger this was possible but not in Leopard - is there a reason why this is no longer possible?

February 19, 2008 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

One thing to note about this post is that if you are logging in as a "Standard" user as opposed to an Admin account. As a Standard user, you won't be prompted about new updates.

For safety, users should run Standard accounts. You will be able to install most software that you want without needing the admin password.

I did try this for quite some time, but decided that I really didn't need to worry about any issues with viruses or other nasties. I preferred being told that there were software updates ready to install when my computer checked, not when I read about them later.

@Nick: I'm pretty sure that you will need to "reboot" instead of just shutting down. Before Leopard, this wasn't an issue, you would be able to shutdown after installing updates if a reboot was needed. However, when I see updates after installing Leopard, I get prompted to reboot to install updates. The OS shuts down, then the software is installed.

I would suspect that if Quicktime needs to be updated, that you won't need to reboot in order to install, but for system updates, a reboot will probably be necessary.

Fortunately, since Apple allows you to download updates before installing, the update process doesn't really take that much time. However, I can see why you would want to do what you do.

You could always go into the System Preferences Energy saver preferences and click the "Schedule..." button. Then set the Sleep checkbox and tell it to sleep about 30 minutes later. It's not a full power down, but it's about 95% powered down. Just an option...

February 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

thanks Dave, does shuting down everyday put extra wear and tear on the computer? how often do you shut down?

February 21, 2008 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I never shut down my systems. I don't even let them go to sleep. Most of the time I'm doing "something" on them. Torrenting something here, uploading something there...

I would say that the turning off/leaving on a computer system is as strong of a debate as the Mac vrs. PC debate is.

I have heard arguments on both sides. I probably would allow my system to sleep/hibernate if I wasn't doing something with the systems every night. I would have to say that computers are designed to handle being turned off and on. In fact, I would say hard disks would probably last longer if they were left off overnight. I hate when systems allow HDD's (Hard Disk Drives) to shutdown when a system becomes 'inactive'. If the setting is set to too short a time, that might mean the drive is turned off and one many times a day. I would suggest allowing the drive to turn off if there is more than an hour of inactivity. Less than that, and you will probably be turning it off and on way too often.

I do allow my monitor to shut off when I leave my system for long periods of time. I have a corner of my screen setup so that when I put the mouse in it, the powersaver feature kicks in and shuts down the monitors. When you consider how much power is used to power monitors and how much heat is generated, I figure I can afford to do that. Plus, even LCD monitors will have burn-in issues. My main monitor has this issue right now. I understand that there is a way to fix the problem.

February 23, 2008 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

thanks, how do you set up a corner of your screen like that?

February 26, 2008 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

In System Preferences, use the Exposé & Spaces preference pane. In the Exposé tab there is a group box called "Active Screen Corners". There are 4 Comboboxes (drop downs, drop lists, what ever OS X folks call them). They start out as a dash ("-"), but you can set them to a bunch of different things.

I have mine as:
UpperLeft: Disable Screen Saver
UpperRight: Start Screen Saver
LowerLeft: Spaces
LowerRight: Sleep Display

Also, if you have one of the new really thin aluminum keyboards and don't like the single Exposé key, I have changed the Exposé key settings to:
All Windows: F16
Application Windows: F17
Show Desktop: F18
Hide and show Dashboard: F19

That makes them basically the same layout as with the older white keyboard, on the very far right of the Fkeys on the keyboard.

I really love how configurable the Mac and OS X is!

February 27, 2008 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I do too, thanks again

February 27, 2008 at 9:50 PM  
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