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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  1. 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.

  2. Pete Randall Silver badge
    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...

  3. John

    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.

  4. Matthew Hepburn
    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!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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

  7. Rich

    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?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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...)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  11. Neil Greatorex
    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.

  12. David Cornes
    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

  13. Stefan
    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.

  14. Corrine

    But wjy?

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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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

  16. Uwe Dippel
    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?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  18. Paul Nicholls
    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...

  19. Jamie
    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  22. solnyshok

    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

  23. NB
    Linux

    all I can say is

    L O L W I N D O W S

  24. Bob
    Flame

    "Update Type: Important"?

    ...my arse!

  25. Charles
    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.

  26. N Silver 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

  27. JP Strauss
    Boffin

    So,...

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

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    FFS

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

  29. 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....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @ffs

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

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Popup

    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

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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'.

  35. Ian Ferguson
    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...

  36. Jim T

    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 ...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  38. Anonymous Bastard
    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.

  39. Eddie Johnson
    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?]

  40. Suburban Inmate
    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...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Fenwar

    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?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @FFS

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

  45. chris
    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.

  46. ShaggyDoggy

    Important

    Do they ever send out unimportant updates ?

  47. Rippy
    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.

  48. John
    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.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    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....

  50. Rosuav

    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.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Can someone with Vista please....

    > Why not add something like an updates.dic file

    Because there are millions of different people out there whole don't all do the updates as the come out and all have slightly different versions of the dictionary. So MS would have to maintain and update.dic for every version ever released to "just" send the new words not in your version. (or send you hundreds of updates each time you do want to get up to date)

    So its an Occam's razor kind of problem. Why go to the massive complexity of working out all those deltas between versions when you can just give them the latest version complete and have done with it.

    As for the size being bigger than all the words in the english language, I assume it all contains a much greater list of misspellings so it can do all that autocorrecting for all us lazy gits who can't spell.

    I can't be sure (or care) but I imagine the reboot might be necessary if some application is open that has a file handle to the dictionary open hence locking it and preventing its immediate replacement. Of course they could just build in an automatic kill on the process which has the file handle, but some picky users would get annoyed when they lost their 9 months of work that they haven't saved once but decided to take a break and do some updates.

  52. Mister Cheese
    Boffin

    To reboot or not to reboot?

    Depends on whether the files to be updated happen to be in use by the system or user at the time of the install or not. If they are in use, then the actual install will be delayed until the next time the machine is booted up. If they're not in use, they can be installed straight away for your more-instantaneous enjoyment.

    Anyway, it'll only take 30 seconds to reboot. Oh, hang on - that's my Win3.11 system...

  53. Steve Evans

    WTF...

    ... is a Friendster?

    Which incidentally was underlined in red by Firefox cos it knew it was a completely crap word! Then again, it also just underlined "Firefox", which is amusing...

  54. Humph
    IT Angle

    Sigh

    I'm somewhat flabbergasted that it is considered necessary to add these five words to the dictionary in the first place. Surely any end user who *wants* those words in their dictionary would have added them already?

    That there is no way for these words to be inserted into the main dictionary without replacing the entire database is also rather disturbing. I would have thought adding a few rows into a database was pretty trivial, even for Microsoft.

    Nice to see Microsoft taking so much care with these few words. But it's a shame that they don't update our dictionaries for us every time a new word is coined.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bytes per letter

    Surely they use UTF-8?

    >So MS would have to maintain and update.dic for every version ever released

    Not really....

    There would have to be an update to move from each version to the next version, doesn't sound so whacky now does it?

    >The reboot might be necessary if some application is open that has a file handle

    >to the dictionary open hence locking it and preventing its immediate replacement.

    Ignoring the obvious need for copy-on-write semantics in the file system there.

    The problem with the reboot thing is the 'nagger' (on by default) where it whinges every fifteen minutes and worse, if you're looking at something else the machine just reboots itself regardless of what you've got open.

    Especially bad if you have a need to leave the machine on overnight on a Tuesday.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Under 2MB In Linux

    $ ls -sh /usr/share/dict/american-english /usr/share/dict/ogerman

    916K /usr/share/dict/american-english 944K /usr/share/dict/ogerman

    Paris, cos she knows that size does matter.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Micro? not so much any more.

    Microsoft has a deal with the hard drive and other hardware companies. its the only way to explain why everything they make has become so bloated and slow.

    Either that or all their "programmers" spend most of the time in meetings saying "paradigm" and "tipping point" while showing pie charts in powerpoint.

  58. Matthew Coulson

    Stamina vs Performance switch

    Saw one of these on a Sony Vaio recently purchased here.

    It actually switches out the graphics chip being used when the machine boots up between an Intel (stamina) and Nvidia (performance). Little more than just changing power profiles.

    Sure, it could hotplug correctly instead - but on current consumer grade hardware/software? That'll add more than a bit to the price.

  59. J
    Coat

    @ Master troll

    "All the Linux fan-boys love this type of trolling and get to feel superior and elitist"

    Of course we do! It is so easy, with such a target... You know, I actually feel sort of ashamed doing it really, and try hard to avoid doing it; it's the computational equivalent of making fun of retarded people, pretty much. Not nice, no, no...

  60. Tim J
    Paris Hilton

    Black helicopters

    The answer is simple... Vista SP1 somehow broke the NSA backdoor into Vista - so MS needed an excuse to issue a patch it. Voila, not the next President Barrack Osama provided that opportunity.

    Paris... because she knows about black choppers and broken backdoors...

  61. Antoine Dubuc
    Coat

    Vista users = Paytards

    Enough said.

  62. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Joke

    typical m$

    They missed out 'sausage'.................... and 'aardvark'

  63. adrian sietsma
    Flame

    Dictionary != Names

    If a dictionary should be stuffed with names, it becomes useless. Who decides which names are important ? How can you determine what is a _real_ word, and what is a miss-spelling ?

    I'm going to sue MS 'coz MY name is not in the dictionary, which has caused a loss of self esteem.

    Bah!

  64. anarchic-teapot

    Am I the only one

    ...left wondering why personal names are included in the base dictionary when users are supposed to be bright enough to add them to their user dictionary?

    And who the hell are all these guys anyway?

  65. wobbly1
    Jobs Horns

    twigs in me beard...

    But aren't there environmental implications for routers and switches all over the world switching 56Mb per vista installation... and the reason the reboot matters is that since winodze '95 (I think , its been so long) they've been promising that reboots for updates would no longer be necessary . "not as described"

  66. Vince

    @John

    I see there is more misinformed commentary.

    So let's clear it up. The "vista laptop" is in fact a Sony Vaio, and the reason for the reboot has *nothing* to do with Vista, it'd quite happily change. Plus that feature is a Sony hardware thing. Not Vista or MS at all.

    But the reality, and bit you miss, is that while Vista will cope, many applications will break as they simply don't have any way to cope. Given that mostly, Windows supports prior versions back to god knows when, and a lot of people insist on using software from the ark, changing things like that on the fly aren't done for the greater good.

    Sadly the less informed know sod all about the actual reason and make stupid statements blaming MS or Vista for anything imaginable.

  67. Stewart Haywood
    Joke

    My mind was going to boggle..

    But I use the same memory management as Windows and couldn't find enough contiguous memory so I decided to go into a never ending reboot cycle.

  68. David Barrett Silver badge

    Best Quote Ever.

    RE: "Boris the Cockroach"

    Nice quote.

    All I use my dictionary for is looking up rude words, like turnip.

  69. Alistair Wall

    Linux

    This affects Linux as well - I have just tested it on OpenOffice/PCLinuxOS.

  70. Erik
    Unhappy

    Web Bloat

    @ @FFS

    Vista is clearly crap, every thing you type is coming out in capitals.

    I object to such bloat as it effectively costs me money. I have 3 machines at home. If all downloaded a patch like this that's 170MB. As Virgin cap me at 300MB during the evening that's 1/2 my bandwidth gone. Just because they can't figure out how to update a dictionary but take the easy option of sending the whole thing out again. Add to that the disk space wasted keeping an old copy in case I want to roll it back?!

  71. ziggyfish

    Update is more than meet's the eye.

    The fact that it requires a reboot, means that it's more then just new dictionary words. And the article was expressing that in a different form. (aspel's (the dictionary program for Unix) dictionary is 178 KB for English). If I'm wrong, I want factual proof.

  72. Tom Silver badge

    @JonB

    Windows uses UTF-16 internally for all its strings. Still doesn't explain the size.

  73. Goat Jam
    Coat

    @Boris

    Sir, I offer you my sincerest contrafibularties for your most insightful comment.

  74. david Bronze badge

    15 MB dictionary - see KB for more information

    The graphic in the article clearly shows the KB article number. If you bother to look, the lexicon takes 15MB. The other 40MB are something else.

  75. Kanhef
    Stop

    Dictionary != wordlist

    If there's an actual dictionary program, it's not that unreasonable (the reboot is, though). Apple's dictionary file is just under 128MB. Of that, 40 megs is illustrations to go with 1200 entries. Each entry contains not just the word, but also definitions, grammar, example usage, word origins, and pronunciation (US diacritical, US IPA, and British IPA. This makes it significantly larger. Picking a random example, 'quail' has 5 characters; the full entry has 620. Someone also had the radical idea of storing it in human-readable XML format, which increases the size by a factor of 3-4. Assuming just half the file is XML tags and an average of 6 letters per word, the 89,000 entries average 80 words apiece.

    Given that Microsoft probably uses a proprietary BiFF, 50MB for a dictionary file is about right, but they have no excuse for not compressing it.

  76. C
    Pirate

    @ Important

    "Do they ever send out unimportant updates ?"

    hehe there are a few ways to answer that :-p

    I think they are all unimportant, after SP2 for XP I routinely disable the update service in client PCs. AND it pays off, less annoyance, better performing systems and besides they never fix any of the *important* bugs anyways. Not only that the OS is *much* faster when the hard drive isn't unimaginably fragmented.

    And as for so called 'security', the fully updated machines running A-V software, anti-malware, and the retarded runt child called 'Windows Defender' always seem to be the ones that get loaded with undefeatable spyware and have to be wiped out and re-installed. So basically Windows security updates are less than useless.

    @ 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...."

    Firstly I agree with you Vista should not be relied upon for anything remotely important, not even personal email.

    So let me get this right ... in this 'day and age' we have computing devices that have performance measured in BILLIONS of operations per SECOND, with BILLIONS of bytes of RAM, and hard drives that have data transfer rates measured in hundreds of millions of bytes per second, and it takes the "operating system" FOUR FSKING MINUTES TO BOOT UP?!

    Something is very very wrong.

    As for me Linux is where I'm going, I can't say I'll miss the million and one stupid annoyances that Windows 2000 and XP are loaded with, and I am overjoyed that I will never have to get that familiar with this huge bloated turd called 'Vista'

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone Can't Count

    If you look at the file list in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/955020, every system has two files listed twice. They are Nlslexicons0007.dll and Nlslexicons0009.dll. The later version has an earlier date.

    Confused?

  78. Lager And Crisps
    Black Helicopters

    ...leave poor Microsoft alone!

    *Tin foil hat alert*

    Although it has been mentioned already, is this just a dictionary update or something far more sinister?

    Does everything you type into Vista/Office 2007 end up back in Redmond?

    Do certain words and phrases flag alarm bells at Microsoft HQ?

    Is this information for Microsoft and it's partners AND/OR the 'Government' of your part of the world.

    Is every Vista/Office 2007 install just another node in an 'ECHELON' type system for paying third parties to use?

    *Tin foil hat off*

    The fact that this update requires a reboot says all you need to know about product design (or lack thereof) at Microsoft.

    And to those 'Anonymous Cowards' that keep defending Microsoft no matter what, pull your head out of the sand will ya!!

    'Black Helicopters'!! no that's just me being paranoi..............................................................

  79. C Ridley

    An infinite amount of chimps, for an infinity...

    >>I assume it all contains a much greater list of misspellings so it can do all that autocorrecting for all us lazy gits who can't spell.

    Surely that's algorithmic, or do you reckon a chimp sits there typing all the misspellings...?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    lol

    They've obviously lost direction since Bill left. Now they are filling they're time by making small jobs look BIG and 'Important'. Keep those network LEDs flashing for Christ's sake - make it look like we're doing something or that ugly bastard Balmer will be in here spewing shite from his unholy face oriface again...

  81. Timothy Slade
    Joke

    Simple solution

    Open Word, or WordPad (I'm going to assume they use the same dictionary) type in the words listed in the update (stopping to press ctrl-z if it auto corrects any of them) then run the spell checker, and press 'add to dictionary' on each one.

    In fact, you can probably just copy and paste, as opposed to typing the words. I think this will be quicker then downloading 56mb, and no reboot needed.

    @FFS.

    SOUNDS LIKE SOME ONE IS ON THEIR PERIOD, PERIOD!

    (Adding "period" to the end of your sentence only makes you right when you are debating with other 11 year olds)

  82. The Other Steve
    Flame

    frikkin morons

    It's always amusing reading the comments on these fanboi baiting pieces, as it reveals a quite staggering level of ignorance about things like OS architechture and software distribution, I realise that criticising MS allows many people to feel big and clever, but doing it from a position of ignorance actually just makes you look like a tit.

    I blame this staggering lack of knowledge on the fact that there are so few ISVs left in the UK, so there aren't that many of us around who actually have experience of shipping actual binary code to customers, or of having to maintain and update it.

    The simple facts are that when you wish to update binary code on a large installed base, you do not patch it. Certainly you don't ever attempt to patch a dll on a running windows system unless you are a complete fuckwit.

    Patching is just not reliable enough for an installed user base of multiples of millions, so you update your binaries, package them with an installer and you ship them.

    You reboot the system because you simply don't replace core dlls while windows is running, unless you are a total fuckwit, and the dictionaries are used by many different applications, any of which might be running at the time, or may subsequently be run by the user, you can't predict any of this, so you have your installer restart windows and overwrite the dlls before the system comes up, during which time you are able to predict the environment with a higher degree of certainty.

    You are now free to engage in a rational debate about approriate choices of architechture for a mass market, consumer oriented, (stll largely) single user desktop OS, which choices led to the situation I have just described, and where they came from historically, or you could just continue to look like ignorant fanbois for whom criticising microsoft is just a brain stem reaction involving no more mentation than that required to take a shit.

    Oh, and before the fanboi's start pointing their pallid little fingers and squealing "microsoft shill!" like prepubescent fucktards, I currently use and develop on windows, linux, symbian, palmos, and mac os x, so really, STFU.

  83. Astarte

    Floccinaucinihilipilification

    . . . that's my idea of what all these ramblings are worth.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @ the other steve

    "You reboot the system because you simply don't replace core dlls while windows is running, unless you are a total fuckwit, and the dictionaries are used by many different applications, any of which might be running at the time, or may subsequently be run by the user, you can't predict any of this, so you have your installer restart windows and overwrite the dlls before the system comes up, during which time you are able to predict the environment with a higher degree of certainty."

    Indeed - you do this despite the fact that it is possible to check if a dll is being used.

    Despite the fact that certain recent 'updates' to WGA <spit> disabled various dlls during a non-restart install, and they stayed disabled, even after a M$ 'restart'.

    Despite the fact that the only way out of THAT particular situation was to manually re-enable them - on a running system... Um, well, in my case, it turned out to be 11 systems <sigh>.

    Which, according to your theory is either impossible or a complete no-no.

    Further on the subject, I can't help noticing that the update installer never seems to bother checking what is running/using what resources during an update. It might be a lot simpler if it did, and just popped up a requester (The installer needs you to quit 'X' to continue, if you do not wish to quit, the update will not be installed until you restart).

    Seems a saner, more user focused way of going about things to me...

    Oh, the Joke?

    M$ updates of course!

  85. zcat
    Linux

    Sounds about right actually

    Just looking at my own /usr/share/myspell/dicts/ which is about 45M, I'd say 56M for Vista's dictionary doesn't sound at all unreasonable. And you can stop the jibes about 'replacing the entire dictionary for eleven words' too; Ubuntu is every bit as bad!

  86. Vic

    jeez

    Does it even recognise the word 'tranche' yet? I've lost count of how many machines I've had when I've had to custom that. Or 'EBITDA'...I mean there's loads of words (yes, pedants, and acronyms) in everyday usage (at least on my machines) that I just custom. The only danger in that is people who can't spell decide to add words to your custom dictionary just because...

    As for 'replacing the entire dictionary', hope it doesn't restore all your custom defaults too. I wouldn't know, I'm a Vista refusenik (installed XP over Vista-supplied machines) but I could see it happening one day because you know all your personal Obamas are belong to M$.

  87. Secretgeek

    @AC 'Space, the final frontier'

    Slightly off topic. I have a reasonable amount of space on my hdd but would be really interested in stripping out some of those unneeded expanded copies of updates you mentioned. Know anywhere that provides guidance for that kind of thing?

    Ta.

  88. dreadful scathe
    Joke

    @ @ ALL THE TROLLERS

    @ (I'm a Linux/Win admin by the way, I meet these people all the time and may well be a wanker myself).

    You sound doubtful. Don't be.

  89. David Bell

    @ JonB

    The nagger can be killed. I have a fairly locked down workstation running XP and cannot change any settings regarding updates. The nagger annoyed me until I decided to write a simple batch file to kill it. I now keep this on my desktop and If i get prompted to restart, I simply run the batch file. Ridiculously simple but oh so satisfying.

    @echo off

    net stop "automatic Updates"

    Enjoy ;-)

  90. Jamie
    Alert

    maybe...

    Maybe they just put the wrong file size information in the update window? Maybe they just cocked up the information telling you how big the update is. BBC Iplayer do it all the time. They tell you eastenders will be 600MB to download but when you come to download it its really 300MB.

  91. Neil Cooper
    IT Angle

    I can't help but think that

    I can't help but think that Microsoft often use Windows Update to push what appears to be some trivial fix from the description that is actually is something way more complex or even sinister.

    I mean think about it, they obviously don't want to tell you beforehand that they're just about to apply some update that shoots the user in the ass some more, e.g. applies more DRM, does more phone home stuff or updates/opens some backdoor for MS or the CIA to quietly access your PC with.

    They also may just not want to admit to the world just how much they have to fix all the time.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    RE: MAYBE...

    THAT'S BECAUSE EASTENDERS IS SHIT, PERIOD.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tom: Unicode

    >Windows uses UTF-16 internally for all its strings. Still doesn't explain the size.

    This is like the "windows has to reboot because of the DLL's" argument.

    Just because it is so, doesn't mean it had to be.

  94. Andrew Molyneux
    Gates Horns

    In case anyone is interested, here are Vista's suggestions

    Just tried this, and prior to installing the patch I get the following suggestions:

    Friendster => Fraudster (no other options given)

    Klum => Klux (first, plus loads of other options)

    Nazr => Nazi (first, plus other options including "Nair")

    Obama => Osama (first, plus one other option "Bema", whatever that means)

    Racicot => Racist (first, plus other options)

    I can see how Microsoft might view this as an important fix... people in the habit of blindly accepting the spell checker's first suggestion could get themselves in some trouble :-)

  95. tony trolle
    Happy

    @@ @ ALL THE TROLLERS

    did some1 call?

  96. Tim Lane

    Imagine

    If it took all that to add Klum, It's a good thing they didn't try to add Raxicorocophalapitorious.

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