November 1, 2011
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I recently upgraded my laptop to Windows 7 64-bit. I was using Windows 7 32-bit earlier with UAC turned off. This time, I thought, let me give UAC one more try.
I really like the concept of UAC right from the day when it was first introduced by Microsoft with Windows Vista. It is a really nice feature for common users who use their PCs for mundane jobs – browsing, creating/editing documents, checking mails, etc.
However, I am curious to know how many of you use UAC in case you are a developer. I have been using my machine with UAC turned on for the last week or so, and have been quite irritated at times when things just do not work and there is no clue as well as to what went wrong. For example, yesterday when I was trying to start Tomcat server on my machine, the script used to fail throwing IOException (unable to create the logs folder within a directory). However, I got it working after reducing the UAC level to 2 (Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop)). So far it seems to be working fine. I will try using it with this setting for some more time, and see if works fine for other development related activities as well.
I feel that as developers there are things that we have to do that require full admin privileges on our machine. However, I do understand the benefits that UAC brings along with it, so I would personally not like to get away with it. I understand that there is a workaround to open up the programs with the “Run as Administrator” option, but I would like to avoid it as much as possible, just because of the endless times I would need to do that in a day. Is there a way out that allows me to have the freedom as a developer and at the same time enjoy the security benefits provided by Microsoft as part of the OS?
I would be interested to hear other people’s views on this.