It is currently Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:53 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Help Kill Vampire Programs - cleaner software environment
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
There are a couple of proposals on the Dell user feedback site to
provide the option of computers with a clean install,
without having all the vampire programs/shovelware installed:


http://www.dellideastorm.com/article/show/61743

http://www.dellideastorm.com/article/show/62715

One can vote to show support for these proposals.

What do I mean by Vampire Programs?

The programs that load on startup but don't actually do anything
I want done. (e.g. real player, instant messaging, the office bar from some versions of MS Office, etc.)

Many applications install bits that run even when you don't want/need
them. This is especially bad when this software is preinstalled, since
many users don't know enough to get rid of the programs.
And like vampires some of these programs keep coming back after you think you have killed them.

Why is this an environmental issue?

- Slows down boot and shutdown (time=energy)
- Slows system operations
- Destabilize computer (the more junk the more likely something go wrong)
- More clutter for user (all this junk to sort through, takes time to
find what want, takes time to get rid of it (if they are that sophisticated))
- Decrease security (whatever security holes the programs have,
and user less likely to notice something new/odd among all that fluff.
Again this can destabilize the system.)

- Slowness takes energy, and the slowness and destabilization hasten
computer replacement
(it's too slow, it keeps crashing, it's time to get a new one)

Likewise some programs suck up network bandwidth (e.g. by automatically checking for updates).

These programs should be available as options, not forced on everybody.
Even when I install the program, it should ask if I want to run the
startup bit, or if I want it to wait until I need it.

To do it right, an application accelerator should observe the system
properties and the users behavior, and only offer to run if it will actually save time.
(Observe how long it takes to load the accelerator
and how often the user boots the computer, and how much having the accelerator in virtual memory slows the system. Compare this to
how much time the accelerator saves in loading the application
and how often they use the application. Then only offer to install the accelerator if it would save a significant amount of time for the user.)
Sure, it would be a lot of bother to do it right, but if not going to do it right, then they shouldn't do it at all.


The environmental issues also apply to shovelware in general:
- Takes up disk space (hasten need for new disk/computer)
- Destabilize computer
- Confuse the user (wade through dozens of icons or items on programs bar)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help Kill Vampire Programs - cleaner software environmen
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 2465
Location: London
scdr wrote:
Likewise some programs suck up network bandwidth (e.g. by automatically checking for updates).


Bandwidth to check for an update is negligible if the program is coded by someone with half a brain.

Quote:
These programs should be available as options, not forced on everybody.
Even when I install the program, it should ask if I want to run the
startup bit, or if I want it to wait until I need it.


What should the default option be? Why? Will asking a lot of questions during installation confuse the newbies?

_________________
Thinkpad X200 – aging fan, T60p – Core Duo whine :(
Nothing endures but change


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 133
What they need to do is just kill the shovelware in the first place. They need to give a COMPLETELY clean install, except for maybe graphics and sound drivers. They install so much garbage on those machines, anti-virus trials, CD burning software, pictures software, etc, etc, and NONE of it is useful. The biggest problem is that is causes the systems to be discarded after two or three years, as they are so slow.

What we really need is a fundamental rethink of Windows and how it uses the registry and allows programs to run. I have to go into MSCONFIG all of the time (realplayer was the last one that required three trips to MSCONFIG), but most average users don't know how to use MSCONFIG. Maybe they should offer a simple utility that you can uncheck the ones you don't want to start up or something. There is NO reason for iTunes, Quicktime, Real, TiVo, and ATI to all start something up when I log into Windows..

I cleaned a goobered install on a brand new dell desktop, and I was AMAZED how much faster it was when I was done. It was an amazing machine, but with the crap, it was slow.

I also think that software makers need to get with the program. It is UNACCEPTABLE for the abovementioned companies to be running stuff in my system tray unless I specifically tell them to. They have NO REASON (except for maybe TiVo, as it is a server app, but there is no way to disable the server and background apps and still have TiVo Desktop work).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 191
For clients who really want Dell, I just order the "re-install windows" CD along with the PC, and do a format/reinstall.
They pay me for this - but I also recommend Lenovo machines, which, so far at least, have come with enough less "shovelware" that I can just set it up and let the customer use it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help Kill Vampire Programs - cleaner software environmen
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
qviri wrote:
scdr wrote:
Likewise some programs suck up network bandwidth (e.g. by automatically checking for updates).


Bandwidth to check for an update is negligible if the program is coded by someone with half a brain.


But that is probably assuming a relatively fast, inexpensive connection.
It becomes less negligible if one is using dialup (yes, lots of people still do - though many web site authors and software publishers seem to forget this), or using a cell phone modem or other pay for bandwitdth system. Of course it isn't just checking for an update, it is loading the update, etc. also.
It is sort of like the taskbar programs problem - each one is only a small hit, but add a bunch of them together and they can make a substantial difference.

"Sure it's just a billion dollars. But a billion here and a billion
there and pretty soon it begins to mount up."
-- Senator Everett Dirksen


qviri wrote:
Quote:
These programs should be available as options, not forced on everybody.
Even when I install the program, it should ask if I want to run the
startup bit, or if I want it to wait until I need it.


What should the default option be? Why? Will asking a lot of questions during installation confuse the newbies?


The default should be to not run the "accelerator" programs,
and not run the server programs, etc.
The "accelerators" are not necessary to program function - so
no harm if they aren't run.
The other programs (such as IM clients, etc.) - if you don't know
what it is, then you don't need it. If you need it you will go look for it
(or ask the neighbor's kid how to get it, or whatever). (Those who need
have incentive to go find. Those who don't need it may not even know it is there and slowing things down, so they may not know to get rid of it.)

It doesn't have to be asking a lot of questions.
For instance no reason couldn't have Microsoft messanger on the system
but not launched at startup. When they ran messanger, then it could explain what it was for, and offer to run automatically at startup or not.

Or could be one question at startup, such as:
"Do you want a bunch of extra software doodads that will use up a bunch of disk space and slow your machine down? (If you opt to not install it at this time, you can still get it from the CD later, ....)"
(Okay, so I was being slightly facetious there, but you get the drift.
Give them one question: just do the basics clean and fast, or complicated and slower. If they pick complex, then you can go into the sub-questions.)

[/quote]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help Kill Vampire Programs - cleaner software environmen
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 12:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 2465
Location: London
scdr wrote:
qviri wrote:
scdr wrote:
Likewise some programs suck up network bandwidth (e.g. by automatically checking for updates).


Bandwidth to check for an update is negligible if the program is coded by someone with half a brain.


But that is probably assuming a relatively fast, inexpensive connection.


No. You don't need half a megabyte of data to check for an update.

Quote:
Of course it isn't just checking for an update, it is loading the update, etc. also.


Surely that has to be downloaded anyway?

_________________
Thinkpad X200 – aging fan, T60p – Core Duo whine :(
Nothing endures but change


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 12:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 133
The Dell re-install CDs still aren't real Windows. I find it better to have one Windows Disk, and then just use it whenever I need to install, using an anti-WPA crack.

It is safe, however, to assume that everyone has a 1mbit+ connection, as they shouldn't degrade the experience of the vast majority of users like me who have a real connection on a LAN in order to make the 2 people who still have dial-up happy. Most people can get a 6-8mbit connection at their house. Anyone can get satellite, at least in the US.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 3:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:26 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: UK
Bigg wrote:
The Dell re-install CDs still aren't real Windows. I find it better to have one Windows Disk, and then just use it whenever I need to install, using an anti-WPA crack.

hmmm... a few months ago I ordered a Dimension E521 for a relative, and after struggling to get rid of all the crapware I lost patience and formatted it, then reinstalled using the supplied (Dell-branded) Windows OEM CD. To my surprise, the only evidence of customisation after booting the newly installed system for the first time was a "DELL" folder in the root of C (I can't remember what was in it, but nothing that would affect the operation of the system in any way). In all other respects it was indistinguishable from a bog standard XP installation...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 5:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 133
nick705 wrote:
Bigg wrote:
The Dell re-install CDs still aren't real Windows. I find it better to have one Windows Disk, and then just use it whenever I need to install, using an anti-WPA crack.

hmmm... a few months ago I ordered a Dimension E521 for a relative, and after struggling to get rid of all the crapware I lost patience and formatted it, then reinstalled using the supplied (Dell-branded) Windows OEM CD. To my surprise, the only evidence of customisation after booting the newly installed system for the first time was a "DELL" folder in the root of C (I can't remember what was in it, but nothing that would affect the operation of the system in any way). In all other respects it was indistinguishable from a bog standard XP installation...


Wow. That makes me happy. They are improving big time. But, they still have a long way to go with other things. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 191
nick705 wrote:
...reinstalled using the supplied (Dell-branded) Windows OEM CD. To my surprise, the only evidence of customisation after booting the newly installed system for the first time was a "DELL" folder in the root of C

It's drivers, and sometimes the "Dell Assistance" program (which uninstalls cleanly).
BTW, if you download drivers from the dell site, they come as self-decompressing EXEs - that also default to decompressing to the DELL folder.
I've also noticed that the reinstall-windows CDs for machines that have only SATA HDDs include drivers in windows setup for those mass storage devices, so no screwing about with drivers on a floppy disk at setup.

Not bad - but I still like Lenovo's "Don't bog the machine down with shovelware" approach better.
Clearly, Dell gets $$$ from Norton, RealMedia, etc to put this stuff on there - which IMHO is a better way to save money than building systems with cheaper/high-latency memory - only they seem to be doing this as well. :-(


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:37 am
Posts: 2
I got a bootleg copy of win xp pro, which is only 355mb in size. The guy who made it, removed all the junk you don't need. I mean who plays those games, and uses old drivers that come with windows. And who needs useless services running in the background sucking up your ram. It's very efficient compared to a default install of win xp pro, I love it.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group