Author Archive: Stephen Pohl

FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe Application Error

It’s no question that after getting back from paternity leave, my highest priority was to help resolve a crash that occurred in the update service used by the new Flash Player Background Updater. Many users, including numerous readers of my blog, have reported that they get crash dialogs saying “FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe has stopped working”. I’m happy to say that we were able to resolve this issue and a fix is now available for immediate download.

I’d like to take the time to thank all of my readers and the people who reported the issue in our Flash Player installation forums. It is thanks to your detailed info that we were able to isolate and eliminate the issue.

As a reminder, if you encounter any issues with Flash Player installations, please report them in the Flash Player installation forums.

A few of you have asked me why I couldn’t forward those bug reports myself. The reason is pretty simple: I’m just one of the engineers working on this team. By reporting the issue on the forums, you will get significantly more eyes on the issue right away. We will be able to route your report directly to an engineer who is available to work on the issue. And ultimately, a fix will be available sooner. It is not because I wouldn’t want to personally work on the issue. Thanks for your understanding.

Responses to comments will be delayed

Dear Readers of my blog,

Today, I became a first time father of a baby boy. Although this is a very exciting time in my private life, it is also a time when I will be unable to respond to your comments, questions and suggestions in a timely manner.

If you have questions or issues with Flash Player in general, please post to the Flash Player forums.
If you have questions or issues with Flash Player installers, updating mechanisms or policies around these, please post to the Flash Player installation forums.

Thank you for your understanding and I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Catch you on the flip side. :-)

-Stephen

Zynga’s Ruby Blast with FP 11 and Stage 3D

Zynga has announced their latest Facebook game, Ruby Blast! Incorporating the latest in Flash and Stage3D development, this addicting experience aims to take ‘match-three’ games to the next level. More info is available on the Digital Media blog.

 

Adobe Flash Player Background Updater for Mac is live!

It is with great excitement that we released Flash Player 11.3 today. One element of this release is the immediate availability of the Background Updater for Mac!

 

The Background Updater on Mac works in much the same way as on Windows, with the difference that it uses a LaunchDaemon instead of a scheduled task and Windows service. After opting into the Background Updater during the installation, the Background Updater will trigger an update check with actual network traffic every 24 hours if the system remains connected to the Internet. If an update is found, it will be applied silently in the background.

 

As always, I’m looking forward to your feedback and questions in the comments section!

Monster Truck Maniac 2

Still recovering from all the 3D games, I’ve been playing Monster Truck Maniac 2 this week. What surprised me in this game was the fairly crisp sound, which makes it a pleasure to play.

 

monster-truck-maniac-2

 

The levels are different enough to capture your attention for quite a while. It felt to me like I was playing multiple skill games at the same time.

 

What are your favorite games?

Changes to Adobe Flash Player Background Updater

Since we first released the new Background Updater for Flash Player, there were two major things that many people mentioned as having the potential for some improvement.

 

The first thing that many of you (as well as other blogs) mentioned was the desire to deploy Flash Player updates through this new updating mechanism on internal networks that have restricted access to the internet. A little more than a week ago, we documented the process how to achieve this and the response so far has been very positive. It’s very exciting to see how many bright people are out there that have this already implemented, or even wrote scripts to automatically mirror the official Adobe backend.

 

The second thing that was mentioned a lot was the desire to not have the installer configure a scheduled task and service if the Background Updater wasn’t chosen as the update mechanism by the user. I’m happy to say that this has officially changed in today’s update to Flash Player 11.2. When you download and install this version, you will notice that when you select the option to be notified of updates or to disable updates, the installer will no longer install a task or a service. If you change your mind, you can always go to the Flash Player Settings Manager in the Windows Control Panel. If you select to be automatically updated, we will again install the service and the task for you.

 

This second point was heavily driven by your feedback on my previous blog post that introduced the Background Updater. Give yourselves a pat on the back on our behalf and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Well done!

Warfare 1917- simple, yet addictive game

After playing around with many of the 3D games that have been released in the recent past, I suddenly felt the urge to look back at more traditional games. One game that I became a bit addicted to in the recent past is Warfare 1917. It is a simple matter of defeating your opponent. Based on the strategy and weapons that you’re using, you will either be successful or will have to repeat the level. Not very complicated, yet surprisingly addictive.

warfare1917

Since I’m always on the lookout for great Flash games I was wondering: What is your favorite Flash game?

IT Admin: Deploying Flash Player via Background Updater

When it came to updating Flash Player, IT administrators used to face a common problem: The users on the systems are usually regular users, but they were prompted to update Flash Player. Since they don’t have administrator rights, an update would always fail. This circle repeated itself once every 7 days, on average, until the IT administrator pushed an update to Flash Player to all affected systems.

A workaround was to set AutoUpdateDisable=1 in a mms.cfg file and to push this file to all systems. The user wouldn’t be prompted to update anymore, but it didn’t make it easier to update Flash Player.

Today, I’d like to introduce a new way to update Flash Player in a corporate environment: With the introduction of Adobe’s Flash Player Background Updater, we made it easier for IT administrators to push updates to Flash Player. A detailed description is available in the Flash Player Administrator Guide. In general though, the way to do this is pretty simple. This is what you need:

  1. A server with the following configuration:
    1. Open port 80 for HTTP requests.
    2. Open port 443 for HTTPS requests.
  2. A valid SSL certificate for HTTPS access on port 443.
  3. The ability to store files on the server in an Adobe-specified folder structure.
  4. The ability to deploy mms.cfg configuration files to clients on the network.

Once these prerequisites are fulfilled, you can start mirroring the official builds from Adobe. For the latest and most up-to-date instructions on how to do this, please refer to the Flash Player Administrator Guide (p17-19).

I’d like to highlight a particularly informative blog post by Tyrone Wyatt. In his post, Tyrone explains how he managed to automate the mirroring of Flash Player builds onto his internal server. I did not get a chance to test this out for myself yet, but it seems like all the right ingredients are present to make this work on virtually any network. If you need some inspiration on how to automate your mirroring of Flash Player installers, I recommend you read Tyrone’s blog post.

The fact that we added this functionality for IT administrators was due to feedback that we received on this blog. Thanks to all of you who requested this feature!

Your opinion is important to us, so don’t hesitate to add your comments in the comment section!

First Flash Player update via Background Updater released today

Today, we released our first update for Flash Player via the new Flash Player Background Updater for Windows. The update addresses a printing issue that was discovered in the previous version of Flash Player 11.2.

Since we released this update, we have seen a tremendous number of systems download this latest version of Flash Player via the new Flash Player Background Updater. So, the question is, how smooth was the update experience? You can check your current version of Flash Player by going to the Flash Player “about” page. Do you see version 11.2.202.233 installed? Did you notice anything about the update?

Note that your system will only check for an update once every 24 hours. Since it hasn’t been exactly 24 hours since we’ve released, there is a possibility that your system didn’t check for an update yet.

Your feedback is very valuable, so please make sure to add a comment and tell us about your update experience.

Adobe Flash Player Background Updater for Mac now in Beta!

After releasing Adobe Flash Player Background Updater for Windows in Flash Player 11.2 just about a week ago, I’m happy to say that we just released a beta version of the same updating mechanism for Mac.

The feedback for this feature on Windows has been predominantly positive and we are excited about all the feedback we got from the community. If you have followed the comments in my previous post, you are aware that some aspects of the updater had potential for improvement. This feedback was great and will allow us to make the product even better in the future.

Ideally, we can get this type of feedback during the beta program. Therefore, I encourage everyone to try the Background Updater on Mac and provide us with as much feedback as possible.

Here is how you can test it out:

1. Go to our Labs website

2. Download the latest beta release build for Mac (version 11.3.300.214)

3. Leave your system connected to the internet for at least one hour after the installation.

4. After approximately one hour, go to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ and verify the version of Flash Player. It should now read 11.3.300.217.

 

If the version still displays 11.3.300.214, try restarting your browser. The browser can keep old versions of Flash Player in memory until it is closed. A restart will guarantee that it will load Flash Player from your hard drive.

 

Let us know if the update was successful. You can leave feedback in the comments or in the Adobe Flash Player beta forums.

I’m excited to hear what you have to say! Smile