LBNL Software Update Tracking

LBNL Software Update Tracking

Starting August 2011, the Windows and Daylighting Group began incorporating Automatic Update Notifications in a number of our tools. The IGDB 19.0 release of August 16, 2011 was the first product that came with a tool called "IGDB Version Checker", that lets users check if there is a new version of the IGDB available.

Starting with the October 2011 releases of WINDOW6.3 and THERM6.3, all releases of WINDOW and THERM have built-in automatic update checkers. By default, every time you start the program, the program checks to see if there is a new version available. Rather then sending out e-mails to thousands of users every time we update the program, users are automatically notified in the software when there is a new version available.

Because our software is developed with funding from the US Department of Energy, and we provide it for free, we need to keep track of how many people download and use the program. This is the reason that when you download a program, you need to provide your e-mail address. 

The first time your run any program with the LBNL updater functionality in it, it will create a completely random Global Unique Identifier (GUID) on your computer. This GUID is used to identify which computer requests updates. It is not linked to your e-mail address.

We do by default transmit this GUID every time the program checks for updates. In Preferences, Updates, unchecking the "Use Cookie for website login" box will result in the program not transmitting the GUID to our servers, which means your computer is not uniquely identified, and your privacy is increased. 

By default the program checks every time it is started for updates, and it will silently fail if you do not have an internet connection.

You can go to Preferences, Updates to change the frequency of checking, or to completely disable automatic update checking. You can still go to Help, Check for Updates to manually check, or directly go to our website: http://windows.lbl.gov

If you want to disable update checking before you ever start the program (so it does not even check the first time), then you should edit the INI file for the program (THERM, WINDOW) which contains all the settings before you start it. The location of the INI file is stored in the registry. Go to Start, Run, Regedit and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_Machine\Software\LBNL\ProgramName\Version\INIFileName and INIPath. On Windows 7, it might be located under HEKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Wow6432Node\LBNL\ProgramName\Version\INIFileName and INIPath. Open the INI file (for example therm6.ini) in Notepad, and look for the following line: UpdateNotificationFrequency=0 and change it to: UpdateNotificationFrequency=2.This will prevent the program from ever checking automatically for updates. You can still check manually, by going to Help, Check for Update. If you ever want to change the settings, you can go to Preferences, Updates.

What we transmit

Everytime a program checks for updates, we receive the following information from your computer:

  • IP address (your IP address can change)
  • Name of the Program or component (THERM, WINDOW, IGDB)
  • The currently running version
  • If you want to be notified of Beta versions
  • If you want to be notified only of NFRC approved versions
  • How often the program is set to check for updates
  • If it was an automatic check (at program startup) or a manual check (by going to Help, Check for Updates)
  • A globally unique identifier for your computer (GUID) (unless you have disabled it in preferences)

If you have any questions please contact WINDOWHelp@lbl.gov

Updated: 04/26/2018