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How To Update Radio

If one dog year equals seven human years (who came up with that anyway?), one software year equals a hundred human years. Or is it worse than that?

Anyway, for untold millenia in software years, you waited a few (human) months or a few years for the next version of an application. The new version came on floppy disks (when the cave-men were still alive in the early 1990s) or, more recently, CD-ROM disks.

(I exclude AOL which sent you disks in the mail each day without ever delivering a new version at all .... neat trick, that).

Point Releases vs Updates

To be sure, Userland also delivers entirely new versions (9.0 will be next) as well as different point releases (Radio 8.05, 8.06. 8.07 ...) and updates (unnumbered) just like a real software vendor. This is because Userland is a real software vendor.

Versions? Point releases? Updates? Huh?

Herewith the jargon alert:

Near daily Radio.root updates include corrections for errors in the software (what the biz terms 'fixes' for 'bugs') as well as small enhancements that add new features.

(Much though not all of Radio Userland's functionality is embedded within the Radio.root database).

Many of the small enhancements included in Radio updates would be held back for a point release by most vendors. Userland's crew is so excited by Radio's improvements that they want to share them with us yesterday, if possible. If not, then today or, at the latest, tomorrow will do.

Userland delivers periodic point releases (8.05, 8.06, 8.98) as well. These cover corrections and enhancements to the entire product. I will cover the download of Radio's point releases at some later ... point.

From time to time (typically once a year), Userland will package a number of BIG enhancements together as an entirely new release (Radio 9.0, 10.0, 1037.0).

Userland's annual subscription model is a big help here. You have the right to receive all new version, point releases and product updates during the period of your annual subscription. This is not only cool for us but simplifies the update process administratively for Userland.

The rest of this page concentrates on Radio.root updates.

Here are two ways to update Radio and keep your current version current:

Way Number One

1. Launch Radio from your operating system. (If it is already open, skip to 2. below).

2. Right-click the radio icon in the Windows status bar.

3. Select 'Update Radio.root'.

4. Click 'ok' to the query 'Connect with to get latest update of Radio.root'.

5. Behind the scenes, your 'little' Radio version will hold a dialogue with the 'big' Radio version at Userland. They will compare each other's ... private parts. If the big version has new parts, these are downloaded into your version. A small window will pop-up, telling you how many new parts have been added.

6. You're done. That's it. I include step six because many vendor update processes would expect us to do something more ourselves now - say, reboot the machine or restart Radio itself. Don't have to. You're done, I tell ye.

Way Number Two

1. Launch Radio from your operating system. (If it is already open, skip to 2. below).

2. Click on the Prefs menu item at the top of your weblog home page.

3. Select the 'Periodic Updates' item from the 'Internet and Server Settings' preference category.

4. Make sure there is a checkmark visible in the 'Check this box if you want to update Radio.root every night.'. If there isn't, click your mouse inside the empty checkbox.

5. You're done. In the still of the night, your version and Userland's version will do their thing without even pestering you for a response.

(Note: for both ways to work, Radio must not only be 'open' (that is, running) but you must be online (that is, connected to Userland). For most of us all the time, this will be the default condition. In other words, if you haven't messed with the Work Offline command, you will always be online.)

Way Cool

I have come to take Userland's update capability for granted. Alas, it remains extraordinary compared to nearly all other vendors.

Explaining why this is so would take us into deep philosophical waters and the ancient history of Userland's software architecture, design and implementation decisions - decisions which were quite revolutionary.

If updating Radio so frequently strikes you as a dicey proposition, relax. Do not worry that updating Radio will cause problems with Radio or your weblog content.

(Those of you managing software for corporations should be drooling with anticipation at the reduced workload Userland bequeaths ...).

To the contrary, obtaining the latest Radio.root updates will give you the latest corrections for known software problems. Userland will assume for purposes of support - understandably - that you are running the most recent point release (say, 8.05) and have a current set of Radio.root updates.

Before you share a problem or question on the support discussion forum or otherwise contact Userland, be sure to update Radio.root as I have described above. 

Userland's updates don't rise to the level of inventing the wheel or discovering fire but they do resemble the significant invention of the coffee travel cup - and where would we be without that?

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Copyright 2002 © Russ Lipton.
Last update: 4/9/02; 8:07:28 PM.
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