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H/PC:Update v2

Handheld PC News

Posted 3 years ago | Announcement | Chris Tilley 2 comments

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Back at the dawn of time itself, when the Handheld PC was still a 'thing' you could by. One of the core project ambitions that I had for HPC:Factor was to deliver H/PC:Update.

When H/PC:Update was conceived back in the days of ce320 (the predecessor to HPC:Factor). The plan was for it to emulate as closely as possible Windows Update for Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0. At the time, it was a programming and logistics challenge to be able to achieve something like that - without using ActiveX as Microsoft were doing and on no budget.

The result was what became H/PC:Update. It has worked well over the years and does its job. However, here in 2021, I doubt that there are many users who remember the original Windows Update as it existed on its inception in approximately 1998. It was a clunky affair; and that contrivance was intentionally carried forward into H/PC:Update as part of its design. I dare say however that having a 'cart' for update selection and lots of different interfaces to support holds zero significance to a modern visitor to the site.

The problem with all of this extra functionality is that this extra complexity also adds extra code. Code that is increasingly difficult to service and that mainly exists to show-off a paradigm that few if any will relate to.

Consequently, I took the decision a few days ago to re-tool H/PC:Update and strip out most of the Microsoft-inspired code from it. This 'thinner' version has been released this evening as H/PC:Update v2. Its code base is now modern, vastly simplified and less than 50% of the size of its predecessor. While it is not radically different - and brings no particularly new features over H/PC:Update 1.2.5 - it is hopefully easier for the community to use and easier for me to maintain.

With that said. The UI has been overhauled. You now have direct access to downloads without any excess clicking. Hotlinking binary content is now impossible (sorry/not-sorry to scrapers and people trying to abuse the downloads system) and it is fully mobile device friendly for anyone accessing it on a tablet/smartphone amongst a few other very minor tweaks and security updates.

All registered users can access H/PC:Update using the link below.

View: H/PC:Update
Posted on 12 November 2021 at 20:19By Chris Tilley (C:Amie)

Comments on this article

Jake's Avatar Jake 22 November 2021 3:56:07 PM
But what about my Arachne browser? I still can't log-on!

Seriously, Chris, what a lot of work and it's wonderful that it paid off. Both simplified and more protected--sites around the world should be hiring you.

C:Amie's Avatar C:Amie 24 November 2021 10:21:25 AM
I did have plans to have a tokenised logon system back in the day, but there was never enough demand for it to warrant it.

With the site starting to make use of CSS3/HTML5/AJAX more heavily now, there is less incentive for it as even if you can log-in, you aren't going to be able to use it anyway.

Since the first of the month, there have been zero traffic requests from Windows CE. It's Windows 10, Catalina and then Windows 7 in third place.

So while I acknowledge that you were saying that in jest, for the benefit of people who will and do ask for it. It's just not worth the Dev time.
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