Patches And Fixes

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A patch is simply a small piece of software that is designed to fix a problem in a bigger piece of software. This week we have patches from the usual suspects, and a couple of surprise guests.

Microsoft Windows and Office

Microsoft released several security patches, a patch to fix a problem in Publisher, and two more patches to fix what broke after people installed patches issued by Microsoft last month. Be sure to get your Windows Updates. If you don’t have your computer set to look for these automagically, check for the latest collection of fixes, er, “enhancements.” If you use Publisher, you’ll need to visit Office Update.

Apple QuickTime Player

Apple also issued a patch to fix several security problems in QuickTime. (But of course, their patches are so much hipper, and just for smart people, right?). The current version of QuickTime player is 7.1.3. You can download it here. You don’t have to install iTunes in order to have the QT player. You can choose either configuration on that page. And it’s a good thing we all know how to remove QuickTime from our startup group (http://rlis.com/columns/column59.htm), because simply installing the player put it back in mine, without bothering to ask. I hate it when that happens.

Adobe Flash Player

The weirdest patch I applied this week was from Adobe, who now owns Flash Player, which used to be Macromedia Flash Player. First, it’s good to know what version of Flash you have. So I looked at this page. This told me I had, which meant I was out of date. So I went here: P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash to get the newest version, 9,0,16,0. When I installed the file, there was a brief display saying what files were being installed and then…nothing. No confirmation dialog, no license to agree to, no button to click to “Finish.” I have gotten so used to verbose installers that I wasn’t sure I’d installed the player correctly! But when I visited the version confirmation page again, it told me I had 9,0,16,0. And the player works.

Thank you everyone for your questions and comments. Please keep them coming, because they are often the source of topics for this column! I am working on a column about recycling computers and peripherals, and how to safely remove your information before you do that. I’m especially interested in any questions or tips you would like to pass along. Please email me on that or any computer-related topic.

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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