Automatic software updates considered harmful

Another day, another bandwidth management problem. Being on a slow 1Mbit link really makes you aware of how much crap Apple products downloads, with no user control.

Today’s scenario: trying to watch LoL tournament games on Twitch. That’s an 800kbps stream, so anything else running on my 1000kbps link is instantly notable. Like, say, my laptop. The one I’d like to use for very light web browsing while watching. Only the moment I open it up a bunch of Apple shit decides now’s the time it has to download updates. All invisibly, with no user feedback or control. Right now it’s softwareupdated downloading who knows what or how much, I’m guessing it’s the 120mb command line developer tools. Yesterday storeagent decided it had to download something, I still don’t know what, but that one started downloading with the lid closed and the machine nominally asleep.

Background downloads that happen quietly so your machine is ready to go are great. Background downloads that run in the middle of the day and consume all bandwidth are bad. If only they had some network saturation detection, or if there were a way to specify low priority network usage, or something. But this is TCP/IP and there’s not, so Apple’s a bit stuck. Still it’s awful and annoying.

Oh yeah, you can’t even kill storeagent. Ignores SIGINT. I finally did a SIGKILL. It seems to have recovered intelligently from that.