World of versions…

World of versions…

How are normal users able to know which are the possibilities and impossibilities of the devices and applications they use on a daily basis. Not to mention want to buy.

For me it started in the 90’s… U.S. Robotics had a modem on the market which gave the users the option to run a firmware upgrade so features could be added. Short after the first features even new speeds were possible via upgrading. Now this is more common than you can imagine. Almost all devices have some kind of upgrade system.

The reason for this is that manufacturers can release their products faster on the market. They can correct minor mistakes, often called bugs, or even add new features. Nowadays updates are also more published in the news because many times a new version implies a solution for a security issue.

Here are some examples of devices :

  1. Television (Sony v1.730EA)
  2. Mobile phone (My Sony Ericsson X1 runs Christian’s ROM version 5.721 with SPB Home Shell version 3.5.5)
  3. Tablet (Apple iPad version 3.2.1)
  4. Multimedia player (Playon!HD Mini, beta v7.00.21r4312)
  5. Playstation 3 (version 3.31, since a while 3D support)

The TV can now since the upgrade support CI+ modules which my cable provider Ziggo uses without the need to purchase a new TV. My mobile phone is more than 1.5 years old but thanks to the new ROM upgrade it has the newest applications and features like the modern phones have. My tablet is able to connect to newer WiFi networks since the upgrade and applications are running faster. The multimedia player supports new video formats. My PS3 can now play 3D games, twitter and Facebook without the need to buy a new console.

Ofcourse there is a limit on the new features. On a certain moment the device will hits its limit. It can not process the data fast enough, then it’s time to replace the device. Upgrading does lengthen the life span of your device, not doubt about that.

If you compare versions in applications you can see it’s a real mess. Maybe you are surfing via Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or FireFox 3.0, this website is currently running on 3.0.1 of WordPress and I can continue for hours and hours. Techies can keep track of this, but normal users can’t. A worse administrator doesn’t do it. Companies with this kind of administrators are often victim of hackers, hackers use a lot of time the known security holes of old versions of software, they call them exploits.