Ninite: helping people have time
I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t like working harder than I have to. That’s not to say that I don’t like working hard, far from it, only that I am always looking for ways to make my job easier, more efficient, and more effective; that is why I really love Ninite.
In my job of computer repair and IT solutions, I am constantly finding that people, for some reason or another, don’t seem to update their operating system or programs very often. It is not uncommon for me to start work on a computer and find out that it doesn’t have the latest Windows service pack installed (sp3 for XP, sp2 for Vista, and sp1 for Win7). Even more common, however, is to find very out-dated versions of software like Java, Adobe Acrobat Reader, FireFox, Adobe Flash, and a whole slew of other things. Now, Ill admit that I don’t always have the latest and greatest software installed on my computer either but luckily for me, because I use PCLinuxOS, all I have to do is update my system using synaptic and both my operating system and installed programs are now updated. Unfortunately, that is not that is not that case with Windows and, to a certain extent, OSX as well.
I can understand that keeping everything up to date might be a hassle, but it really is important to update, if nothing else, your operating system. Updating your operating system by itself, however, is not enough; it it also important to keep other software updated also. Just recently, there was a bug discovered in the most recent version of Java that could allow malware to be installed on a user’s computer if it visited an infected website (read an article about it here). Since the exploit’s discovery, Oracle has released an update to Java that fixes the problem, but guess what? Unless you install that updated, your computer is still vulnerable. It’s that same situation for outdated versions of other things like FireFox, Internet Explorer, Flash…etc, etc. This is where Ninite comes into the picture.
Ninite is a very simple way of installing and keeping many pieces of software up to date. All you have to do is:
- pick the software you want to install / update
- download the small Ninite installer, run it, and wait for it to do its thing.
The Ninite installer will download and install the latest version of the chosen software without you having to click next, next, next…etc. As an added bonus, the installer does not install any bundled extras like toolbars (which I hate); just the software you want.
Every time the Ninite installed is run, it will check if there is a newer version of the chosen software than the one that is installed. If there is, it will download and install it. If there is not, it will skip that software and check the next one in line. If there is a problem, it will give you a little note about what the problem was (the program is locked / open, upgrade not supported, can’t download the software…etc). The thing is that it will do this EVERY TIME IT IS RUN. No more having to visit a different website for FireFox, Java, Flash…etc to update that piece of software. No more having to endlessly accept different terms and conditions. No more having to worry about unneeded tool-bars being installed. Just run the installer and wait till it’s done.
It seems easy, but even with that, I know some people will either forget to do this, or simply cannot be bothered to do it. For those people, the best way do this would be to set up Windows to automatically run this program on a certain day. If you would like to know how to do this, let me know either in the comment section or just shoot me over an email / message. Just let me know what version of Windows you are using and I’ll tell you how to do it.