Impulse is small, free, lightweight, and actually quite convenient if you own a lot of Impulse-based software.
While I'm think of it. Lets do a bit of roleplaying, this is mainly based upon my own experiances. Lets pretend I have just bought Galciv2:DL On CD only and have installed it, it is 1.0 and I have no experiance with stardock.
*Installs game plays a bit and quite*
"Hmm, fun game, few bugs though, better go get a patch."
*Goes to the Galciv2 website and looks for a patch, finds a link to impulse but no patches*
"Hrrm wonder what this Impulse thing is?, and no patches? Better go check the forums."
*Checks forums and has to fight through the slow loading times of the Gal-civ2 forums to find out I have to use impulse to download patches*
"Well that sucks, I guess I have to download this thing"
*Downloads Impulse and installs, discovers the installation of impulse requires a download as it installs*
"WTF? I wanted to browse the web while it installed, now I have to sit here and download this thing, I JUST EFFING DOWNLOADED IT"
*After it finally installs I click the desktop shortcut, nothing happens at first*
"What, why isn't it loading?," *hits ctrl alt delete* "herrm its there wonder whats wrong now" *it finally comes up* "FINALLY"
*Logs in, but it requires a long time for it to verify*
*It finally verifies and retrieves latest info, notifies I have to update*
"Hrrm better update it I guess"
*Updates impulse, it takes a bit on my connection and has to be restarted afterward*
"Gods what a pain"
*Finally loads and logs in, I begin updating Gal-civ 2, Nothing happens at first*
"What why isn't it downloading?"
*After a good 10 minutes its finally downloading*
"Why did it take 10 minutes to even start downloading? How slow is this crap, anyways its big update, mise well go to bed, its already 1 AM and it was 10 PM when I first installed Gal-civ2."
*goes to bed and lets it update*