Does the internet make developers lazy?

  Eagie 08:47 22 May 2003

What happened in the dark old days before the internet? Did software work or were crashing and conflicting programs the norm?

Having looked through various threads in on this forum, a common bit of advice is to update your drivers or download a patch but what did we do before this was available to us? Before the internet were developers more responsible? Or does the safety net of an easy way to make updates available mean that software comes out without quite so much testing?

Also, what do you do without broadband? I downloaded the patch for James Bond: Nightfire the other day and it was 11mb - so tough if you only have a standard dialup.

Or does it mean that we are now getting more than before? Do we really need all these updates - I mean I never flashed my bios before and it didn't seem to cause any problems. Shouldn't something work when you buy it without the need to constantly check for an update?

What do people think about all this?

  davidg_richmond 09:20 22 May 2003

Getting the latest drivers for hardware is simply good practice. It also makes sure that all components of the system are at the same level. For instance, with games the latest graphics card drivers make sure that the game plays properly and DirectX is fully supported, as this gets updated every so often. It also helps to renew drivers already installed on the system to ensure that any file corruption is rectified.

I agree that a lot of updates are too large for people with normal dial-up. Normally the updates are available by magazine cover CDs if they are too large, or orderable on CD for certain products. It also appears true that drivers and software are released before they are perfect - it is logical that no large piece of software can be released 'perfect' within any decent production time and costs, especially in such a fast-moving industry where if you are late with a game or product, you lose money and momentum and potentially delay any further projects.

Regarding flashing the BIOS, the BIOS in my PC was released about six months before I got the PC. In the time between, a lot of new hardware and software had been developed and it only makes sense that a new firmware had to be developed to keep this BIOS up-to-date. It seemed to cure one or two problems with my machine after I had updated a few things and installed some hardware that was initially problematic.

So I think this problem is here to stay.

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