DriverMax Updates All Of Your Drivers In One Place

A couple of weeks ago I needed to fix a friends computer that suffered from an incurable case of BSoD syndrome. He had all of his data backed up to an external hard drive so the coast was clear to reformat and reinstall Windows. Piece of cake. The problem was how was I going to find all the right drivers to make his laptop useable again? He lost the drivers & utilities CD that came with his laptop. Enter DriverMax.

The main menu of the DriverMax software program.

DriverMax is a free program that scans your system and provides links to the latest version of drivers for the particular hardware you have. The process is straightforward as DriverMax handles downloading and installing the files for you. It can even generate reports of all the hardware devices in your computer as well as what driver version is being used. This handy tool saved me loads of time by not having to scour the Internet for the right driver or figuring out which one is compatible with my system. You can leave it running in the system tray and it will notify you when a driver update is available but for my purposes, once the computer is up and humming along normally, I simply uninstall DriverMax.

Interface for checking which drivers have updates in DriverMax.

The only downside I could think of is you have to sign-up for a free account to their forums in order to download drivers. It worked well for my friends laptop so if you need to do a clean sweep of a PC and you lost the driver disc that came with it, give DriverMax a whirl.

Mozilla Should Fix This Firefox Annoyance

This will be straight to the point. Firefox likes to alert me to new updates to my add-ons and extensions when available. Unfortunately it likes to do this when I start up my browser, stopping everything else it was doing until I click the ‘Continue’ button to proceed.

The Firefox add-on updater stops me dead in my tracks.

I like to launch Firefox and my other needed applications while doing something else that needs my attention. The thinking goes that when I return in front of the keyboard all of my tabs from the previous session will be open and ready to go. It’s frustrating to return to a screen staring blankly back at me waiting for me to click a button so it can continue. Once it is done updating it requires me to click a continue button yet again to continue the browser launching process while I stare dumbly back at it waiting to get to my websites.

The fix to this is simple. Since Firefox gives you an option to skip the updates it could have a count down timer of say 30 seconds before it will automatically skip the updates and continue running the browser. A good example of this is the updating mechanism in the anti-virus program AVG Free 7.5.

AVG’s OK Button with a countdown timer

A minor overlooked detail. Nothing to gripe about, I know. But I just like it when software works with me instead of against me. After all software is capable enough to figure out if it interrupts me and I ignore it’s pleas to work around me and do what i wanted it to do in the first place.

On a related note, the Firefox 3 beta 4 update that was released today is screaming. My 867Mhz PowerBook is a blazingly-fast web surfing machine again!