back to article Adobe relieves Reader and Acrobat update blues

Adobe Systems has introduced a new software updater for its Reader and Acrobat applications, one of several additions released Tuesday to protect users against a growing wave of malware attacks. The new updater was included in in the latest versions of Reader and Acrobat, which Adobe released to fix almost 30 security …

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Hurrah

Christ, how nice of Adobe to allow administrators 'granular' control over which JavaScript API calls can be executed. Because sysadmins don't already have enough to do, we can now spend time learning about and selectively closing the security holes Adobe has so kindly left open for us. For f***'s sake, it's a f*****g document viewer, what's JavaScript doing in there anyway?

And while I'm at it, the free McAfee scan can f**k off. Does a company as large as Adobe need to push this shit on its users? I'm still waiting for an option to download Reader without Acrobat.com and AIR...

But hurrah, at least they're finally serving the latest version of Reader from the download page, rather than the ridiculous situation we've had for the past few months where brand new installations needed immediate patching.

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WTF?

B L O A T

i'm off acrobat reader now, after the last install took up 200Mb. TWO HUNDRED???!!! WHAT ON EARTH???

I'm now using Sumatra PDF, which is tiny, and seems ok (Not that I'm a PDF-viewing master).

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ABAR

That's "Anything But Adobe Reader".

Docu-Track's Pdf-XChange viewer portable does a commendable job, and 5-1/2 Meg at that.

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Anonymous Coward

Keep it offline

Personally I never allow Acrobat to open in a browser window, (crap connection speeds can make this a very slow process) and my firewall prevents this from accidently happening. I prefer to download the .pdf file and read it from my drive so I rarely take updates from Adobe. I've never felt the need to turn a website into a .pdf so I'm not missing out by only using the reader offline...

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FAIL

@noogie

I agree. Adobe takes the prize for the biggest bloated software. Followed by HP who required me to download a 156MB printer driver for my new printer !

Adobe reader is epic fail. huge software bloat, open to all the above described vulnerabilities and people still can't copy and paste normally from this p.o.s.

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Anonymous Coward

<Sigh>

Oh great. The 26Mb download is ok but then I have to install... lose my custom toolbar preferences... uninstall AIR... uninstall Acrobat.com... disable speed launch service... keep clicking, no I don't want the chinese font pack... and in the back of my mind wonder where 400Mb of disk space went.

Is this the reason I only have Acrobat Reader on 1 PC now? gsview - clunky but functional!

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Anonymous Coward

No AIR! Yey!

Haha... after moaning about AIR & the website saying it is included in the 40Mb download... it isn't! They must have forgotten to package it & the download is only 26Mb. Hahahaha....

Ahem.

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FAIL

Bye Bye Adobe

I moved away from Adobe reader a while back (went with Foxit) and have never looked back. No more crashing my browser or making it hang while I wait for the almighty bloat to do whatever the hell it was doing while my PC slowed to a crawl.

Crap bloaty software, good riddance.

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Silver badge

Too big

Reader just pissed me off, slow to load, bulky and, like others, I wanted my browser back.

Using Foxit with an option in FFox to open in new tab/window or external.

Foxit takes very little time to load.

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Better - but not much

Just installed Reader 9.2 - Massive download, install takes ages and then those dreaded words 'Restart Required'! AAARRRGGG - Why is this necessary for a PDF reader!

I replied 'don't restart now' and the installer reports - Installation failed! Which of course it hadn't.

Still can't find a way to actually download the 9.2 exe - web site has a 'download' here link - but it isn't a download - it runs the installer prgram which downloads and installs. I have 45 PCs to update - I want to put the installion exe on a shared drive - not navigate to the adobe download page and download 30Mb EVERY TIME!

Other irritations:

The installer program encouraging the user to install google toolbar and other 'crap' - It's hard enough stopping users install this unsupported crap as it is.

The progress bar getting to 100% - and then another progress bar appears and then another...

Personnaly I use Foxit - but am currently forced to use Adobe throughout organisation. 95% of people think you have to use Adobe to view PDFs. This is not helped by EVERY website that has pdfs availble for download including the 'You need Adobe Reader to view these files' - why? It's not true....This just perpetuates the lie.

And why does Adobes new patch cycle concide with MSs cycle. Like I don't have enough to do this morning coping with the tidal wave of MS updates I also have Adobe to deal with - perhaps the third Tuesady would have been better....

Goinf for a lie down now.

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Update frequency?

Article suggests update can be set to more frequently than weekly - I can't find any reference to this in the preferences of 9.2...

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@Andy Brown 3

That's why Adobe have the "Distribute Adobe Reader" link underneath the link to download the partial readier install, so IT bods can get a full executable.

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Won't someone please think about the v8.x users?

@Andy Brown -

Full installer link (If you browse the update site with Chrome it won't try to install that stupid download manager):

http://ardownload.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/9.x/9.2/enu/AdbeRdr920_en_US.exe

However a bigger problem for me is the v8.x update, as we have a lot of v8 installs we don't want to upgrade right now. The previous current version was v8.13, then you had to patch it to v8.16. When I follow the link for "Other operating systems" and select "XP SP3" it gives the download link to the old v8.13. You have to manally drill through the Support site to Adobe Reader and then Downloads. Even weirder the .MSP v8.17 "update" is 32.5MB, whereas the v8.13 full .EXE installer is only 21.2Mb. (Possibly because the v8.17 only seems to be available in an International all-languages version.) Still, at least it didn't ask to reboot afterwards.

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adobe

I think it was an update to adobe,

that promised an update and a restart.

But, no restart was in my future.

Recently, within 3 days.

From my tray.

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Should hack Foxit

No, but if I did crack Foxit and load nasty infectious PDF onto all your PCs, I'd wipe the smug smiles off your smug faces, wouldn't I?

That's assuming that Foxit has exploitable bugs - less likely if there isn't Javascript, but possible - and that Foxit doesn't provide prompt security updates - well, small outfits don't, and I haven't heard of any.

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@Andy Brown

"Still can't find a way to actually download the 9.2 exe - web site has a 'download' here link - but it isn't a download - it runs the installer prgram which downloads and installs."

Adobe usually provides a Reader installer for enterprise deployment, which does not include AIR or Acrobat.com, but you have to hunt around for it. It looks like 9.2 package that is being distributed is the enterprise version. Get the .msi instead of the .exe here:

ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/9.x/9.2/enu/

"I have 45 PCs to update - I want to put the installion exe on a shared drive - not navigate to the adobe download page and download 30Mb EVERY TIME!"

You have more PCs than where software distribution systems start to be very handy. If you're not using one, you certainly need one. If you use Active Directory, set up a Group Policy for Reader installation. Adobe provides a document with instructions. You could probably set a Group Policy up from this document the first time in less time than it would take you to install Reader on five or ten PCs, especially if they're downloading the whole thing each time.:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/pdfs/gpo_ad_9.pdf

That's how I'm deploying Reader 9.2 to over 500 computers.

If you can do that, you may also find the customization wizard rather handy. You can set your Reader deployment to automatically accept the EULA, or disable Javascript, for instance:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=3993

There's even a trick to use a Javascript file to hide menu items in Reader:

http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/deployment/deploying-adobe-reader-9-for-windows

"And why does Adobes new patch cycle concide with MSs cycle."

So that beleaguered admins know when the patches come out, as opposed to the previous method, where I usually found out there was a new patch when I was looking for something else. Deploying Reader versions is easy for me, and I much prefer this method.

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Thanks to all

Not only did venting my spleen here make me feel much better...but turned out to be truely helpful - Thanks all:

@The Beer Monster: Looked passed the 'Distribute Adobe Reader' link many times - so thanks for pointing this out. Still - don't see why I should need to fill out a "Adobe Reader Distribution Agreement" just to get hold of 'free' software that is available without the agreement via the installer. Also, why can't the Adobe Reader download page just have two links 'download with installer' and 'download full .exe file' ?!!

@Aunty Dan: Thanks for the link - but begs the question - Why don't Adobe publish this link on the front Reader download page? (And why should I bother with the "Adobe Reader Distribution Agreement" now ?

@Chris Beattie: Thanks for link - but again why do Adobe think I have time to 'hunt around' - after all I wouldn't need to p*** around downloading and installing if the software was secure to start with...

And HUGE thanks re Group Policy distribution etc. - haven't checked out your links yet but will be sure to do so.

My point regards 'patch Tuesday' was not why do they have a scheduled day (of course this makes sense rather than the 'we will release when we fancy it' approach) - but why the scheduled day is the same as MS's. Why not fourth Tuesday or something?

Best

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