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Second Coming

August 20th, 2007

No, not Jesus; the second release candidate of InstantUpdate. It has been delayed by a dead motherboard and the bureaucracy of getting a code signing certificate. However, the release will happen this Sunday whether I have the certificate or not.

This is another big release with so many bugfixes that you'll likely see eunuch cockroaches in the streets. Plus there are new features such as multilingual support, and of which no castration jokes come to mind.

Edit (Sunday, August 26th): It will take a bit longer. These releases are supposed to be of "final release" quality, and I don't want to upload my changes until I feel it meets that standard. This means a few more days of delay.

Over the last week I've gotten some useful feedback on InstantUpdate. There were some bug reports like lack of proxy support in the client, and some rare crashes in the designer. Though the most requested feature was multilingual support.

Supporting other languages was something I had thought about briefly two years ago when I started InstantUpdate, but it quickly left my mind amid the ocean of technical puzzles. The only other time I thought about it was last week, before putting up the release candidate, when I peaked at my server logs. I noticed that around half my visitors come from countries where English isn't the official language. But, being the monolingual American that I am, I didn't connect this fact with need for multilingual support. Stupid me.

On the internet your dog's a medical doctor

As is typical with anything released on the internet, not all the feedback was so useful. One site had a bag of comments all accusing me of dishonest motives. It was summed up succinctly by a user "doc" who stated "trojan.gen.ds these idiots must think we are stupid".

You're not stupid, just inexperienced. All that "trojan.gen.ds" means is that your lousy virus scanner misinterpreted the InstantUpdate installer to be a "generic DOS trojan." If you download InstantUpdate from my site you'll find this accusation to be patently false. If I were to include a virus with InstantUpdate it would be akin to a butcher knowingly poisoning his meat; it's just bad business.

So why the virus warnings then? Simple - I use a library called ExecDos in the installer. All ExecDos does is hides the console windows when I run NGEN (an optimization program) so that all the user sees when they're installing is the normal graphical interface. Because of ExecDos's main function (hiding windows) it's been used by inept virus writers to install malicious software without the user being any the wiser.

This being the case, it's no surprise that slipshod virus scanners make a blanket statement that everything using ExecDos is a virus. In keeping with the butcher metaphor, these lousy virus scanners are acting like a police force that realizes sharp objects can kill. In the police force's haste to ensure safety, they arrest everyone that owns a sharp object. The butcher is thrown in jail and the town quickly achieves a protein deficiency.

If you need further proof, SoftPedia verified that InstantUpdate is indeed "100% clean" of viruses, spyware, and all that other nasty muck.

Release candidate 2

In about two weeks I'll upload the second release candidate with bug-fixes, interface polishing, and the beginnings of multilingual support. Until then, keep the comments coming (yes, even the bad ones).

After two years of writes and re-writes, I'm finally releasing InstantUpdate 1.0 Release Candidate. Aside from the heap of fixes, some of the notable features are:

  • Full Windows Vista compatibility
  • Overhauled designer and client interfaces
  • Uploading your updates within the designer
  • Entirely re-written update engine which includes, among other notable enhancements, restoring your software to the previous state (registry and files) if an error occurs or if the user cancels the update
  • Ability to update on non-administrator accounts

What are the system requirements?

The requirement for the both InstantUpdate Designer and Client is the .NET Framework 2.0. This is included with Windows Vista right out of the box, and is available for download on Windows Update for Windows 98, 2000, and XP. So, the ideal user of InstantUpdate is someone who programs in one of the .NET languages (C#, VB.NET, etc.) or someone who's programming solely for Windows Vista.

Documentation and forum

Also, some documentation is now online - the content ranging from simple instructions on how to distribute the InstantUpdate client, to more advanced topics like the version numbering system used in the client. I will expand the help topics when I get closer to releasing the final version of InstantUpdate. If you have any questions, comments, bug reports, or otherwise, take advantage of the forum.

Speaking of the forum, you no longer need to register to post a message. I know how much of a pain in the ass it is to sign up for forums, so I removed the requirement altogether. Of course, if you do register in the forum you'll have greater control over your posts (upload files, edit posts, etc.). But, like I said, it's no longer a necessity.

I hope you enjoy using the release candidate of InstantUpdate.

Download InstantUpdate now.

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