Beverly Kurtin, a former Microsoft engineer, wrote in and noted that I had left out one important tip. She suggests to check your system for adware and spyware prior to installing XP SP2 because it has the potential to cause installation problems. She also recommended a great piece of software that she had found to help keep her system protected, the latest version of Spybot. Spybot is a freeware program that detects and removes spyware. Learn more about it on the company's site at www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html.
Murray, the New Zealand reader, is a dial-up user who stated that it took him five hours to download SP2, including the setup files, and it ended up being a whopping 101MB in size. Otherwise, his experience with SP2 has been a pleasant one. Please keep in mind that your download size may vary according to how often you visit Windows Update prior to your SP2 download visit.
Others wrote in about their SP2 horrors. Within a week, one writer experienced about 10 times more adware after the upgrade than in the two years prior to the update - on the same machine. Another reader, after downloading the update, had to get the CD directly from Microsoft to fix a problem that was encountered.
By the way, the delivery times I stated in last week's column were per Microsoft's site. One reader received the CD in a week's time so your wait time may vary.
The latest news in regards to XP SP2 is that Microsoft has extended the temporary automatic update until April 2005. This will enable those who haven't done the update to wait a bit longer for the biggest portion of kinks to get worked out before updating. However, according to Microsoft, after April 2005, the update will be automatically pushed to all systems running XP. Read more.
Mac OS X patch alert
Apple has released a patch to address 15 security flaws in the Mac OS X operating system. The patch can be downloaded from the company's Web site or via its automatic update service. To learn more about the exploits, visit the company's site. This Security Update is available for the following system versions: Mac OS X 10.2.8, 10.3.4 and 10.3.5 and Mac OS X Server versions 10.2.8, 10.3.4, and 10.3.5.
* A free production database for Linux has been released by Sybase. The database will be called Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) Express Edition for Linux. Learn more.
* The teenager hijacker of eBay's German Web site at the end of August has been found. Read more