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KB981793 appeared as an important Windows 7 Update — today.

When I saw ‘revised daylight saving time and time zone laws in several countries‘ I was IMMEDIATELY on the alert. I know the code words. ‘Several countries’ invariably means NOT USA.

So I checked. Yes, there is a Microsoft Support article about this update.

Well this update appears to fix problems with standard time in:

  • Bangladesh
  • Fiji
  • Kamchatka
  • Morocco
  • Pacific SA
  • Paraguay
  • Syria

Well I don’t live or deal with any of those countries. In the case of Bangladesh it says ‘Cancels DST.’ Thank Ballmer in Drag for that. Bangladesh is unlikely to have needed time changes.

I had to look up where Kamchatka was. Appears to be where Sarah Palin comes from. Now all is clear.

So I am giving this a miss.

I have also not installed the latest Windows Defender. Yes, it has been popping up for a week.

Hope this helps. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

The prior KB915597 Windows Defender Update, May 4, 2010, was for Definition Set 1.81.874.0.

The latest KB915597, for Definition Set 1.81.1622.0, is the second for May 2010 — and was dated May 12 though I didn’t install it until today, viz. May 14.

We had seven Windows Defender updates in April 2010, three by the fourteenth of the month.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

1.81.1622.0 has already been superseded. There are four new Definition Sets, the latest being 1.81.17699.0. So we will most likely get another KB915597 early next week.

I installed  KB915597 and did a restart. That was fine.

Then went to do a scan using Windows Defender. Told me that the service was stopped and that my computer was not protected! Strange hadn’t seen that before. Obviously I didn’t stop it. Anyway, restarting only required a click of a button. Came up no problem. Didn’t have the time for a full scan. Did a quick scan. Took about 2 minutes. All appears to be fine.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

I saw KB978542 appear as an update on Tuesday, i.e., few days ago. Since I have Windows Updates TURNED OFF, I only see updates if I manually check for them — and knowing Microsoft’s schedule I usually check every Tuesday night and then again towards the end of the week.

I didn’t check the details on KB978542 until today. Noticed that all the reported problems had to do with it clobbering Windows Mail and Outlook. So dug a bit deeper.

KB978542 is SPECIFIC to Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail. Here is the Microsoft Security Bulletin <click>.

I haven’t used Outlook or Outlook Express in over 3 years. I think Outlook is the anti-christ! I try to convince as many people that I know to stop using Outlook.

I use Web mail … but not from Microsoft. The GoDaddy version. It isn’t the greatest but it plods along, and that is good enough.

So I opted to skip (and now HIDE) KB978542.

If you are not using any of the three mail packages, I suggest you skip this update too. Appears that Windows Mail is not supposed to work with Windows 7. Those that have managed to get hacked versions to work on Windows 7 are discovering that KB978542 disables Windows Mail altogether. So be aware.

I did, however, install, per rote, the May 2010, KB890830, Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. I do that just for the sport. I haven’t restarted the PC since … so I am keeping my ankles crossed.

That is it. Good luck.

Anura Guruge

The prior KB915597 Windows Defender Update, dated April 30, was for Definition Set 1.81.660.0.

The latest KB915597, for Definition Set 1.81.874.0, is the first for May 2010 — and was dated May 3 though I didn’t install it until today, viz. May 4.

We had seven Windows Defender updates in April 2010.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

1.81.874.0 has already been superseded. There are three new Definition Sets, the latest being 1.81.949.0. So we will most likely get another KB915597 by the coming weekend or Monday.

I installed  KB915597 and did a restart. Then did a full scan using Windows Defender. All appears to be fine.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

The prior KB915597 Windows Defender Update, dated April 22, was for Definition Set 1.81.149.0.

The latest KB915597, for Definition Set 1.81.66.0, is the seventh, and most likely last, for April 2010. 1.81.660.0 is a ‘BIG’ one — i.e., claims to fix a long list of  ‘severe’ threats.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

1.81.660.0 has already been superseded. There are three new Definition Sets, the latest being 1.81.729.0. So we will most likely get another KB915597 this weekend or Monday to get us started up for May 2010.

I installed today’s update along with KBKB980408 — the latest stability and reliability update. I had to restart. All is well from what I can see.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

I took a few days off and took the kids to New York City.

When I got back, today, KB980408 was waiting along with two optional updates that were not applicable to this system. One was to do with BitLocker and I definitely stay clear of that.

KB980408 is SUPPOSED to be another stability and reliability update, and some of us remember what happened with one such other before Christmas. But, I went and read the detailed report. < here > As far as I could see there was nothing there that applied to me, but I decided to go ahead and install it.

I did.

It required a RESTART. That was around 10:30 this morning. Restart went fine. I have used it for about 3 hours since then — taking a break to go pick up our golden, Ulysses.

I haven’t bothered to check if others were having issues with KB980408. As I have mentioned, I can, now that “The Next Pope” book is done, afford to be more cavalier.

So, I am giving a thumbs up to KB980408.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

Today, April 25, 2010, when I checked my updates, on a whim, I found an optional NVIDIA update for my GTX 260 Video Card.

Starting when I first started using PCs, in anger, in 1998 (me having till then being the most avowed of Mac bigots with 6 Macs ALL to myself in 1998) I discovered that updating Video Card microcode isn’t a bad thing. in those days each new update upped the ante. I still remember that I used to have issues with the ‘slide view’ display of my highly multi-media PowerPoint presentations. Then we updated the video card microcode. BINGO. Since then I try to keep up to-date with video card software updates.

So I agreed to the update. It was BIG, 147MB. Took a few minutes to download and install. Both my screens (yes, I have dual monitor set-up) went BLANK for a few minutes and when they came up again, the update Window had, magically (and kind of cutely), moved from my right-hand (axillary) monitor to my left-hand (primary) monitor.

It didn’t ask for a restart. But, to be on the safe side I did a restart. My PC HUNG! Sacre bloody bleu! But, to be fair, I am not sure what happened.

I forced another restart by jabbing on my Power button. System then came up. Since I am paranoid, I have tried restarting the system three times since then. No problems. So I can’t really pin the original restart quirk to NVIDIA. [Also to be fair, I very rarely restart this machine. This was probably the first time in months. So I can’t claim to be an expert on the restart behavior of this rig.]

Bottom line, however, is that all seems well.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge