New Year’s resolutions of mysteries

Kathleen Atkins

Life in our digital world is much like life in the organic world: you can count on sudden failures, persistent difficulties, and disconcerting discoveries.

Windows Secrets readers are never shy about telling us what they think we missed in a story — or what problems they encountered when using our advice.

Removing Java story gets lots of attention

Woody Leonhard’s and Susan Bradley’s articles about the hazards of Java and how to remove it from your computer provoked lots of mail from readers — and quite a bit of discussion in the Windows Secrets Lounge. Many letters asked for clarification about processes — or described the confusing or problematic discoveries readers came across on their own machines. Woody and Susan plan to address Java questions again soon. But here are two readers’ letters about Java to stand in for the many.

  • Regarding Woody Leonhard’s January 24 article, “Security alert: Remove Java from your browsers.”

    If it’s true that “many — if not most PC users — are running Firefox or Chrome,” why not just use IE as the browser you keep Java on? I use IE only when Firefox won’t work. So for me that is the solution.

    If someone still uses IE as their main browser and wants to remove Java from it, the easy way to do it would be to first remove Java from all browsers, then add it back to your secondary browser that explicitly asks you for permission to run a Java program.     — Morris Williams

    [Woody responds: Alas, it doesn’t work that way. IE is the most vulnerable browser for Java security breaches. If you remove Java from your machine and then click to install Java inside a browser, it gets installed for all browsers.]

  • I hit a snag when I tried to follow Woody’s advice. It finally dawned on me to delete Java, then to download and install the latest version. Once I installed the latest stuff, the Java Control Panel looked just like the example Woody used in his article.

    I thought that if I ran the Java updater, I’d have the latest stuff — that is, update 11. I had run the updater from my machine’s notification area. The updater reported that my software was up to date. Seems odd, does it not, that I’d have to uninstall Version 7 Update 9 and then download a fresh replacement. How many programs require that kind of attention?



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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2013-02-07:

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.