How Do We Update Efofex Products?

Question:

How Do We Update Efofex Products?

Answer:

There are two components to this question: checking for updates and installing updates.

Checking for Updates

Many software packages regularly “phone home” to check for updates. This can either be done by the program itself or by installing a separate “update checker” mini program that runs intermittently. Many computers have dozens of these mini update-checking programs running. Most update-checkers are well behaved but some are resource hogs or just buggy. Most schools do NOT want update-checkers running on their school computers as it can mean hundreds of computers running dozens of programs on a regular basis. This consumes bandwidth and any faults are dramatically amplified.

For this reason, we do NOT use update-checking programs. Our products check for themselves about once per week but only when they are run by the user. This minimises the impacts on systems but it does have a downside; the updates are reported by the program when it is running. If you try to download and install the update at that point of time, it will fail because you cannot update a running program. Just download the update to your computer and install it later, when the program is closed.

Many schools do not want ANY update checking to occur, so we give you the option to turn this behaviour off.

Even when checking for updates, the products do not report every update available. Many of our updates (and we can update products daily at times) address minor issues and inconveniences that affect very few people. As most of our users will not be affected by the changes, there is no point informing users of the change or forcing an update onto them. The programs will NOT report these updates to users. Only significant updates and upgrades are reported.

In summary, compared to most programs you might be using we inform you of updates infrequently and the checking will often be turned off. This is solely due to the environment that we operate in.

Installing Updates

Many software products automatically install updates, usually with your consent. We do NOT do this. Schools have told us loud and clear that they do not want this behaviour. They want to install software and updates on their own schedule. This makes life much simpler for school system administrators but does feel a little unnatural to users who expect software to update itself. While we would like to make it easier for users to keep their software up-to-date, we have decided to heed the demands of our customers and keep the process manual.

To install updates to our products you need to:

  1. Download the new version either because you have been informed of an update or because you have decided to install the latest version.
  2. Install the new version in exactly the same way you installed the initial version – straight over the top of the old version. You do NOT need to uninstall the previous version as all of our updates are designed to completely replace the old version.

It is probably a more manual process than you are used to but, again, this is due to the demands of our customers.

Getting the Latest Version

You can choose to turn on “Check for Updates” and wait for the products to tell you that there is an update available but you always have access to the latest versions from our downloads page.

Downloads Page

You don’t need to wait until you are told to go there, you can go any time you like.

  1. The latest version available and the date of its release
  2. A list of each version and the issues it addresses
  3. The download link

What We Recommend

  1. Turn on Check For Updates
  2. Download and install new updates whenever informed – more often if possible.
  3. If you do not want to turn on Check For Updates, install a new version AT LEAST ONCE PER YEAR – more often if possible. Schools using the FX MathPack subscription should schedule a new download every time they change their system image or input new registration details.
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