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back to article Obama bloats Vista by 11MB

We're very much obliged today to readers Hawkeye and Duncan Lilly for providing evidence that the Beast of Redmond's Vista is not the lean, mean fighting machine it really should be. Try this "important" update warning for size: Vista update warning That's an awful lot of megs, to be sure - just how many words are we talking …

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Mo
Stop

Fairly obvious…

WU doesn't do binary patches; the dictionaries don't store words in separate files (that way would lie madness); the update replaces the dictionaries with updated versions.

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Coat

Vista dictionary: 700 words

Vista install seems to be around 8GB - that gives a maximum dictionary size of 727 words. I thought US-English was a bit dumbed down.

Mine's the one with the OED in the pocket...

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What makes me laugh...

...is that the windows update doesn't even know if you are going to have to restart your computer or not. WTF! It's only a (very bloated) dictionary.

Guess I'm just used to only rebooting when I update my kernel.

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Gates Horns

Bloat???

More to the point perhaps, is why in the name of all that's Holy, does adding 11 words into a dictionary require a full system reboot!!!!

Even I can remember Verity's article on just restarting the Explorer.exe process, and i'm no coder....

If i was daft enough to use Vista, id skip this update - more fun to be had from blaming the worlds' ills on Obama Bin Laden if you ask meeeee!!

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Gates Horns

Thats....

30kB of adding words to the dictionary, 30MB of EULA including microsoft reserving the right to execute any future children you have and denying you the right to create atomic weapons using the new improved dictionary and 20MB of "anonymous" dictionary usage statistics gathering.

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Gates Halo

Is it just me or does this warrant the message:

"The words "Friendster," "Klum," "Nazr," "Obama," and "Racicot" are not recognized when you check the spelling in Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008."

fragment consider revising

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And the point is?

"The words "Friendster," "Klum," "Nazr," "Obama," and "Racicot" are not recognized"

Strangely enough, neither are the words "fremble", "snroon", "zmophle" or "grnerg".

...but then I wouldn't expect them to be :-)

And I wonder what the German translation of "nazr" or "klum" is?

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Paris Hilton

Oh please..

Stop with the Microsoft bashing already - I'm sure that there are at least three or four new German words in there too, and have you see some of their weird letters??

Paris, because of all the English and Germans she's had inside her (sorry...)

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Anonymous Coward

Restart the computer!!!!

You have to restart the computer just to update the dictionary? How pathetic. I thought Windows Vista did away with most of the reboots when updates are applied?

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Anonymous Coward

Says it all really...

Though to be honest, I don't believe that description for a moment,

WHY not try 'honesty', just for once? Or is that another word that isn't in the M$ vocabulary?

It's quite obvious there's more to the update than they feel able to admit to.

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Gates Horns

Bloated bloatware

Remember when the entire dictionary would fit on a floppy or two?

This one update alone is 3 times the size of the hard drive on my first PC clone.

Bah.

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Paris Hilton

Adding, or replacing?

I hate to spoil a good MS bashing, but I'm guess that 56MB file download will be overwriting an existing dictionary file of oh say 55.9MB. So not exactly the huge bloat you're trying to paint...

Paris, 'cos she's no-one could accuse her of bloat :-D

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Dead Vulture

That's not the half of it.

I had slightly less than 1GB free space on my C: partition before Tuesday's patches showed up on WU.

I applied a few of them (the security ones, but notably *not* the dictionary update).

I ran out of space on C: within 10 minutes. I don't even have a paging file on C: (it's elsewhere).

3 of 5 updates failed to apply due to lack of disk space. I freed up 200MB (temp, net cache etc) and the updates completed. I now have 200MB free space on C:.

I'd love to learn how updates weighing in at about 70MB managed to use almost 800MB of disk space.

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But wjy?

How did they manage to make this update 56.3 megs? Is 53.2 what they need for their DRM or something?

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Paris Hilton

It also

replaces the words, "I want to cut his nuts off" with "Obama is the nation's best hope". Jesse Jackson should upgrade to Vista immediately

Paris cos she wouldn't cut anyone's nuts off

Efros

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Flame

Oh, well, and then you may have to restart your computer

So it says.

How lucky me that I only have one install to be maintained. Okay, that's XP, but those restarts make one seriously angry; especially when you see what the updates do. Last night it was some Office 2007 update, forgot which.

To be followed by some, usual reboot.

I can only wonder what kind of silly architecture they have. There is only a need for a reboot when the kernel has been changed. Why would any service - worse: user process - not be simply halted and restarted?

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Anonymous Coward

Absolute proof

that Vista is a complete and utter stinking pile of dog shit. And anyone who uses Vista enjoys eating dog shit.

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Gates Horns

Obama/Osama...

That just reminds me of a homework assignment I was typing up back when New Zealand had our first female Prime Minister - the spell checker insisted, rather aptly, that "Jenny Shipley" should, in fact, be "Jenny Shapely" - probably a good thing I caught it before handing it in, though...

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Linux

One of Two Scenarios

Either Redmond is trying to fly other components under the radar by stating that this update only does one thing when there are hidden items also included.

OR

It just goes to show how little they try to do to stop bloating of software packages.

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Gates Horns

Bloated, Vista? Never!

Even if we assume 10 characters per word, plus 8 bytes of indexing, and that Microsoft are incapable of any kind of data compression, that's over <DrEvil> 3 million </DrEvil> words. Impressive, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

What?

56MB for a handful of words and criminally, you HAVE TO RESTART THE PC AFTERWARDS?

That's unforgivable for most patches, but for something this vacuous, it's just a waste of... well, everything really.

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it is a full dictionary size

Did it come to your mind that they replace full dictionary databases even when they add just 4 words? IMHO

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NB
Linux

all I can say is

L O L W I N D O W S

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Bob
Flame

"Update Type: Important"?

...my arse!

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Flame

to be fair to Microsoft..

They designed the dictionary so that whole chunks of the database have to be swapped out to change even one word, so the update seems to replace several segments of the database. Too bad the dictionay could not just be regenerated on the fly.

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N
Bronze badge

Important?

What in Gods name is so "important" about that?

along with "you may have to restart...."

More "important" Vista trash you dont need

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Boffin

So,...

...merely MENTIONING a politician's name is enough to introduce bloat into a system...

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Flame

FFS

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH VISTA, PERIOD. THE UPDATE IS THE WHOLE DICTIONARY, PERIOD.

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NB
Flame

@AC

"THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH VISTA, PERIOD. THE UPDATE IS THE WHOLE DICTIONARY, PERIOD."

I know, I know, I shouldn't feed the trolls...

You sir, are an idiot. An update to dictionary that requires the entire word file being replaced?! Seriously?! HOLY SHIT, IS DAT SUM PATHETICALLY CRAP DESIGN?!

And you say there's nothing wrong with Vista....

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Happy

@ffs

I think someone forgot to take the caps lock off after leaving the bbc's hys

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Anonymous Coward

>THE UPDATE IS THE WHOLE DICTIONARY

Whilst that explanation seems the most likely doesn't it seem a trifle, errr, f'ing stupid?

Never mind that they're unable to patch 5 words into a dictionary without transferring 56MB of data to everyone with vista.

They've labelled the patch "important"? Surely "Utterly trivial" or even "Pointless" would be more appropriate.

Besides, you can add words to a custom dictionary, so why didn't they just do that?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Even taking into account that it's the whole dictionary...

Even if you take into account that it's the whole dictionary that gets swapped out, 56Mb is a bit steep.

The full Moby wordlist (i.e. the largest list of English words in the world) is only 4Mb as a tgz:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060525214421/www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/research/ilash/Moby/mwords.html

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Anonymous Coward

space, the final frontier...

"I'd love to learn how updates weighing in at about 70MB managed to use almost 800MB of disk space."

one copy in the wutemp directory

one expanded copy in %systemroot%\softwaredistribution

one expanded copy in %systemroot%\system32

one expanded copy in the dllcache directory

one expanded copy in %temp%

multiple "uninstall" copies of the files

multiple logfiles declaring how well the install went

etc.

I recently cleaned up some of these areas and freed up about 2GB diskspace. Apparently windows keeps all the original files 'just in case'.

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Flame

Re: FFS

"THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH VISTA, PERIOD. THE UPDATE IS THE WHOLE DICTIONARY, PERIOD."

That makes sense, in a twisted Microsoft way. But it doesn't explain why a dictionary file is 56mb, when the entire works of Shakespeare can easily fit on a 1.44mb floppy disk...

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On Vista 64bit here

and the update size was 62Mb ...

Not entirely sure why the update would be bigger on 64bit architecture ...

But why oh why is it marked Important - the same level as the "This problem allows attackers to take over your computer" problems ...

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Boffin

Consider updating both dictionaries with complete new word list...

quick calculation (i haven't included my sources and have rounded numbers to make the final answer as big as possible):

estimated words in English language: 1000000

average English word length: 6 letters

bytes per letter: 1

bytes for English: 6000000 Approx 6MB

estimated words in German language: 500000

average German word length: 7 letters

bytes per letter: 1

bytes for German: 35000000 Approx 4MB

Total update for ALL words in dictionary: less than 10MB

so that leaves 46MB or so for? indexing?

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Black Helicopters

They don't make them like they used to.

"Remember when the entire dictionary would fit on a floppy or two?"

I don't even remember when it would take two. One floppy was enough for several languages, the editor, it's help file and installer, all compressed naturally. 56MB??? It had better come with a video showing the pronunciation of each and every word for that much.

@Stefan. If 70MB uncompresses to 800MB (11 to 1 is about right for plain text compressed) then what must this single update of 56MB be?

Black 'copter because it's very very clearly another rootkit/ET-phone-home/trojan thing. Yes it's a trojan, you're asked to trust it when it contains more than it says it does.

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Linux

Allow me to restate the obvious ...

since everyone else is too. This is disturbing on SO MANY levels.

The fact that they can't merge a handful of words into the database shows how poor the design is.

The fact that the database is that big to begin with is ridiculous.

The fact that a dictionary is part of the operating system is a pathetic design.

The fact that changing any part of the operating system other than the kernel requires a reboot.

The fact that MS just puts the blanket "may require a reboot" on every single patch they put out.

I question the validity of adding proper names, even those of famous people. Allow the lusers to add their own on an as needed basis. IE "Britney" is a misspelling and I don't want it in my DB even if some illiterate swamp dweller named her talentless dropping that.

The sensationalism of labeling a dictionary addition (addition!, not even a correction) as Important. Classic Boy Who Cried Wolf, and this is why they get no respect when they call something "critical". I'm with JonB on the "trivial" or "pointless".

[Where's the icon of a baby duckling blindly following the others?]

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Boffin

Can someone with Vista please....

Do a before/after comparison of the dictionary file?

And how come the system doesn't need a reboot every time I add a custom word? OK it's likely because the custom words dictionary is a separate file.

Why not add something like an updates.dic file that does something similar? 56MB for the sake of a few words...

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Gates Halo

@ ALL THE TROLLERS

Get a life. If you can develop an OS that will be deployed on god-knows-what machine with god-knows-what components and expect everything to work without any thought given by the user (i.e. you), then go do it and let us all know as you all seem to think it's a piece of cake to do. MS bashing is sooooo easy.

If you have a problem with Windows then don't use it. Don't waste energy bashing the keyboard whilst holding back the tears at your woeful attempt to sound like you've formulated a well-informed argument by creating the illusion that you know all the archictecture behind Windows Vista. All the Linux fan-boys love this type of trolling and get to feel superior and elitist because we all know Linux is 100% problem free and will need minimal configuration to get up and running - LOL.

As with probably about 99% of Vista users, I deployed the update, thought it was quite large for what it was, but didn't particularly care. Vista x64 works perfectly for me. I have more issues with Linux than I do with Windows on a daily basis. As Vista is an OS that does everything for you, the moment it doesn't do something for you, everyone starts crying and running to mummy (or forums) for comfort as they have no idea how to fix it.

Some specific things that made me laugh, the guy talking about dog shit - what??? Who let your five-year-old near the PC? What do you use then? Oh, let me guess, Linux. That seems to attract the biggest set of wankers I have met (I'm a Linux/Win admin by the way, I meet these people all the time and may well be a wanker myself).

@ The guy with 1GB free on his OS partition - I mean, you didn't future proof that very well did you? What did you expect would happen when the next service pack came out? I mean, 1GB free, you're asking for trouble, simple as that.

At everyone complaining about having to restart... it's not asking to sleep with your wife FFS. Just either reboot your machine or delay the reboot and just let nature take its course when you shut down your PC at night.

OMG, I've just become a troller... well if you can't beat 'em...

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This post has been deleted by its author

RE: Consider updating both dictionaries with complete new word list...

Of course there need to be various data for the grammar checker too - for nouns, verbs etc., a flag for proper nouns, and possibly more (e.g. an index of common misspellings to speed up auto-replacement/alternative suggestion - you wouldn't put it past them, after all drive indexing is supposedly a useful service...)

If the dictionary file also contains several non-updated languages that probably accounts for the rest of it... but why would there be more than one language in the same dictionary anyway?

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Alert

@FFS

Your car, sir, is out of Gas! do you want the new one in Red or Blue?

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Boffin

My thought

Was that the current suggested replacements for those words come up with "amusing" alternatives.

So:

Obama --> Osama

Nazr --> Nazi

Dunno who Nazr is but the first example would keep Fox News in copy till way past November.

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Important

Do they ever send out unimportant updates ?

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Boffin

Ahem ...

While 10MB may be a reasonable size to store just the root words themselves, may I remind you that the dictionary carries a little bit of metadata besides the indecies? Such as the part of speech for the grammar checker and a bunch of context flags like level of formality for the style recommendations?

G.

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Linux

Ever heard of CVS??

Why do we need to clog up our bandwidth downloading the full dictionary?

There are a few changes. OK, just let people download the diff and let the windoze CVS equivalent deal with the rest. I'm sure if a proper version control system was employed this update could be brought down to a few hundred k.

To add the the pointless reboot debate(ranting), I was in dixons Heathrow the other week and looking at some vista laptop which had a processor switch for performance Vs stamina. I flicked it and vista told me I would have to reboot. Walked out of the shop laughing out loud, and a little shocked at just how crap that is.

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Anonymous Coward

Er... so?

How important could a Vista workstation be that you can't afford four minutes to reboot it? Not like anyone would ever run something production on it....

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Couple of corrections

This is undoubtedly Unicode. Bytes per letter: 2. Double your size. (STILL doesn't make up enough space though.)

@ @ALL THE TROLLERS:

1) Some of us HAVE developed operating systems. Some of us may not have developed OSes, but we've developed applications that talk to the OS. And just a few of us might happen to know what we're talking about. Windows has a lot of ancient code and ancient backward-compat modes that mean that it really is a pest to work on.

2) 1GB free? That's actually plenty.... as long as you don't have a bloated OS. When I install a new eComStation system, I'll usually partition the disk with 1GB _total_ for the OS, including its default page file (which I move subsequently, but it fits happily into that gig). Usually, there's a whole lot of free space on that volume. I'm looking at a system here where the boot partition is on a dedicated 4GB drive; and there's 3.5GB free.

3) It's not a waste of energy to keep complaining about Windows. Apart from being highly satisfying, word sometimes gets back to the people who decide what OS you'll buy. Windows? Didn't my dev team give me fifty good reasons for not using it? Okay, let's get something else.

56MB is appalling for adding words to the dictionary.

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