Firefox 1.0.7!?

I used my father-in-law’s laptop recently. I had installed Firefox on it for him when he bought it, and I was happy to see it was still the default browser. I thought it was a little odd that it opened new windows by default instead of new tabs, and then I had a terrible suspicion and checked “Help -> About Firefox” and discovered to some dismay that he was still running Firefox 1.0.7.

Needless to say I installed an up-to-date version immediately. I wonder how many other people might have no clue that their applications are incredibly out of date. I also wonder why his security software (virus scanner/firewall) wouldn’t warn him about such an important aspect of system security.

Atom Feed for Comments 10 Responses to “Firefox 1.0.7!?”

  1. Stuart Ballard Says:

    Firefox 1.5 was the first version to come with automatic updates enabled by default, wasn’t it? Of course 1.0.7 it would never have gotten updated!

    Just like Windows XPSP2 was the first version to enable Windows Update out of the box so there are a ton of original-version-XP boxes out there.

    And ITunes/Quicktime/Safari/Java/Acrobat/… all come with infuriating nag software that makes you do a multi-step process to update them rather than just doing it.

    Trying to keep a windows system up to date is a nightmare. Not all Linux systems have it right, either – it doesn’t seem to be possible to configure Ubuntu to just install all updates unprompted, although it does at least seem possible to do that for security updates.

  2. Kroc Camen Says:

    Firefox 1.0’s update mechanism sucked, end of. Imagine your car had a single red light on the dash with a cryptic up-arrow that lit up when the tyres needed changing. You would have no clue what this meant unless you read the manual. Have you ever read your car’s manual??

    Mozilla have done the Internet as a whole a real helping hand by implementing AUS and not nitpicking with a million preferences for it like in the MozSuite days.

    Doesn’t the Firefox 1.0 default home page contain a warning to update?

  3. Boris Says:

    > Have you ever read your car’s manual??

    When I buy a car, I sure will! I did read through the ones Dad bought when I was still living at home (right after he’d read them). It’s amazing the things you can learn in there (like how to turn off the annoying auto-lock-once-moving feature).

    On the other hand, Mom wouldn’t have read them if Dad hadn’t forced her to, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many others don’t either.

    Of course a web browser, unlike a car, is not a major equipment purchase. And the manual-reading experience sucks. A lot. Starting with lack of a good index or table of contents and lack of skimming ability (lots of little bits in a tree is how the manual for Firefox looks), and ending with the fact that reading anything on a computer screen pretty much sucks by default compared to reading the same thing in bound book(let) form.

    The only reasonably formatted electronic manuals I have yet to see in the computer world are Unix manpages (NOT info pages, note), and those only when viewed with a pager that allows backing up and searching (so not ‘more’, for example). Of course a lot of those are shot down by the content being cryptic and badly presented…

  4. aarfing Says:

    Well, I guess it was your job to keep it updated, not your fathers-in-laws – as it was you who installed it in the first place. I bet your he never would have thought of installing it himself, as early adoptation was primarily done by tech-savvy people. But your point is valid. A lot of these tech-people who installed early versions of Firefox on computers for friends and family should think of doing a checkup on these computers – because as Kroc Camen just said: “Firefox 1.0’s update mechanism sucked”. I personally first stopped checking up on friends and family, when I saw Firefox 1.5.0.x automatically update to Firefox 2. I guess it’s all in the work of being a good nerd :)

  5. Rob... Says:

    No-one ever updates their software unless it does it for them or stops reading files that you need. People never think about it. I know for certain that my mum would never ever go looking for a new version of the software that’s on her computer.



  6. pd Says:

    A case could easily be made for someone rightfully believing that Mozilla’s dubious claims re the update mechanism of 1.x were legit.

    If I didn’t know better, I might have got sucked into the propaganda that my browser would never need me to manually update it again, when I installed Firefox 1.x. Unfortunately, despite the diligent efforts of the community, as Kroc stated, Firefox’s much trumpeted update mechanism was a dog’s breakfast. Unfortunately since nobody in the community acknowledged this and just hoped everyone wouldn’t notice until it was fixed in 1.5, perhaps people have a right to be that far behind, having expected mozilla to live up to it’s more secure claims?

  7. basic Says:

    At least he has virus-scanner/firewall. I know of at least half a dozen people (some even competent programmers) who do not care about security or even their system getting hacked (as long as whoever abuses their pc doesn’t get in their way). All they care about is having a system to use without worries (even if that means putting their heads in the sand, pretending that there’s no malicious/criminal activity going on their pc). Updating is the last thing they think about (until the pc is so infested with trojans that it’s impossible to use, then reinstall). I doubt anything could be done for these folks, but wish there was a way to prevent them from being added to the botnet.

  8. Update Is Noticeable | Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage Says:

    […] morning I saw Benjamin Smedberg wrote: I wonder how many other people might have no clue that their applications are incredibly out of […]

  9. alanjstr Says:

    There are several update-checking programs out there, but the one I installed was Secunia’s PSI. I chose it because 1) I stumbled across a link to it, 2) It was free, and 3) It seemed to do a good job. It was able to find multiple older versions of Flash Player I had installed and even provided links to their uninstallers.

    One thing I found was that my office PC (maintained by the company) had quite a few older versions of things. Some packages come bundled with their own JRE and don’t let you just use system-wide ones.

  10. Ant Bryan Says:

    Appupdater is nice for people who don’t pay attention to updates.

Leave a Reply