I finally upgraded my Windows XP installation to Service Pack 2. I've held off on this, dragging my feet, because Microsoft has burned me before on jumping to the latest and greatest and oops-its-broken-check-for-a-patch-next-month. I remember back in the days of Windows 3.1 when, while on a local BBS, I found the Windows 3.11 upgrade in the files section and eagerly downloaded it, thinking "Ooh, free upgrade!". Of course all it really did was add Windows for Workgroups features that I had no need for at the time. But still, it seemed like a cool thing to be able to upgrade an OS like that (or in this case, Program Manager).
When I bought my next computer it came with Windows 95b on it, the second not-quite-service-pack rendition of the OS. The touted USB support was flakey and everyone knows the old Plug 'n Pray joke by now. In later years I gave that PC to my parents and, just a little over a year ago I think it was, I took a Windows 98SE disc with me when I went to visit them and updated the machine. USB support is still flakey because the actual USB ports in the machine were early flakey ports. The sound card is also iffy since the update, but it gave my parents a little more stability in their computer. 95b was crashing and locking up everytime they turned it on (and that was after all the spyware had been cleaned off of it).
The computer that I have now I bought in 1999. It came with Windows 98SE on it and I kept that installation running until 2003 when I felt forced to upgrade to Windows XP. I bought the Professional version from the university for the same price as the Home edition out in the "real world" and installed it. As soon as it was in place the installer jumped online and downloaded Service Pack 1. Compared to 98SE the machine ran like a dream, so once SP2 came out last year I began dragging my feet on the update. Automatic Update would keep complaining that I needed to do it, and even when I turned that off it would complain that it was turned off. At some point last week the AU just decided it was going to download the update; apparently my input was no longer necessary. Everyday since then it's been bugging me to update the thing just about every hour or so, so I finally went ahead and did it this morning. I don't notice anything different yet. Sure, there's the increased security and all that it allegedly has, but I haven't noticed anything amazingly different. Hopefully everything will remain running smoothly. I don't want to run into a critical error and be told "Yeah, we'll fix that in Service Pack 3."