AMITIAE - Thursday 6 June 2013
Cassandra - Analysis of Disappearing Updates: More Than Meets the Eye
By Graham K. Rogers
Initially, I thought that this was a problem that was affecting users in Thailand: perhaps Apple was staggering the releases; or perhaps there were lower priorities for the country: often near the bottom when Apple hands things out. A user in Phuket contacted me as the download had appeared in his App Store, but then he remembered he was logged into the US App Store.
When the iTunes update was made available, I checked in the iTunes menu and it was shown, but clicking on the download link opens App Store which tells me that there are No Updates Available. When I put the comments online a Bangkok user who is logged into the Thai App Store told me that his iTunes update had appeared correctly. He was using a different internet provider.
The idea of computer problems was lessened - I thought - when I checked another MacBook Pro I have here: a 13" model. In the same way, when a check with the Mac App Store was made, no updates were shown as available. Both on the 13" and 15" computers, these checks were made in a user account.
With a new internet connection (I restarted the router), there was no change. When I switched to the Admin account on the 15" MacBook Pro, the iTunes update was shown as available. I logged out and checked again in the user account: nothing.
I tried the 13" MacBook Pro. I do not use iTunes in the account on that computer. Immediately the app was started, however, it identified the update, but the same happened in that user account: no iTunes update appeared in the Mac App Store. Switching to the Admin account, I waited as OS X did its stuff and one update was identified: Analog. As the machine is running 10.8.3 it appeared there were now two Apple updates not being identified. I restarted the 13" Mac.
In the Admin account, I checked using Software Update. This time there was a much longer period while the software linked to Apple and the updates (plus a few more) appeared.
With this in mind, I reluctantly restarted the 15" MacBook Pro. Using Software Update, the Mac App Store app was started and a longer connection to Apple took place. The iTunes update was now shown as available.
This behaviour with OS X app updating, however, is fairly recent. While the 13" Mac is used as a spare computer (so little data is shared), the only common factors were the 10.8.3 update and after, and the point that I do not shut these computers down.
Such behaviour is often displayed when I have several tabs open: sometimes as many as 30; but that is nothing new for me, only Mountain Lion is not happy with this. Also in Safari, Facebook with its multiple video links and images that need loading, seems to be a drag on resources at times.
Needless to say, I will be monitoring the arrival of further updates in the future to assess how best to deal with this. In the interim, it is perhaps time to find my rescue flash drive and give Disk Warrior a run.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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