Major Geeks latest payload.
February 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM #1940
Love freeware, who doesn’t. But as hard as I try, the occasional bugger slips past. The latest one was ‘Highlightly’. It tags your entire machine with ‘Message Board’ style underscores that plaster just about anything on your screen with adds.
One question: Who the HELL thinks that this is good and somehow useful?? Like ANYONE would possible find this useful?
To coin the phrase Steve brought to us last week… Absolute DoucheWare!February 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM #1944
Can’t stand freeware. It’s almost all some form of crippleware, nagware, adware or spyware. Half the show’s calls are about some problem caused by freeware (“How do I get rid of this toolbar?”). I built a $3,000 computer for a family member and within a year it had slowed to a crawl thanks to freeware. One of the benefits of giving a Mac or a Chromebook to novice user is that there isn’t loads of freeware on every corner of the internet for those platforms, and the stuff that is there tends to be higher quality.February 14, 2014 at 6:30 PM #1946
MajorGeeks posts warnings IF a download has additional baggage.
Here is an example.
So, there is nothing wrong with freeware. It is up to US to pay strict attention to exactly what is being installed and to uncheck those options as we go along with the installation. Even when I install a new version of the very nice CCleaner program, there usually is an option to install Chrome and make it my default browser.February 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM #1950
Doesn’t change the fact that bundling stuff nobody wants is annoying, deceptive and causes a lot of problems for innocent users who are unfamiliar with the practice. It’s deceptive because a sane person expects reasonable if not optimal defaults to be chosen by an installer. There’s no reason for anyone who isn’t already expecting the download to contain junk to read through every option, obsess over all the fine print and search for hidden checkboxes. The download link says ImgBurn. It doesn’t say ImgBurn + SuperUselessToolbar. The site warns you four pages down at the bottom of the change log which almost nobody would read through.February 15, 2014 at 6:21 AM #1951
The check boxes are not hidden on the vast majority of the free programs. There is really no fine print. As each screen comes up the question is asked if you wish to install another program that is added on. At least that is my experience.The reason why there is so many GOOD freeware programs is because they are supported by the companies that make deals for their programs to be piggy backed onto the original download. Not all of the added in programs are like the one that Slammer experienced. Was that program hard to uninstall Slammer ? Major Geeks does not add anything to the download themselves. But at least they do tell you in the program description page to be aware and shame on us if we do not bother to read about what we are downloading.
I agree that the poor innocent users could be victimized, but it is up to us as consumers to be aware in the same way we hopefully are about any other product. To say that it is almost all some sort of crippleware, etc, is not right. There are a whole lot of free programs available with nothing at all attached to them. And many that I see offer to download and install popular items such as the Google Chrome browser. The latest Java updates make similar offers. The great FREE Foxit Reader also does. We agree to disagree.February 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM #1982
I’m thinking of when there’s a scroll bar and the main options are shown but you have to scroll down to see the check boxes for the add-on software. Maybe most aren’t like that. It’s admittedly been a long time since I installed one. The way you describe it sounds clear enough, but why are all these people installing this stuff? I’ve got to think that they somehow thought it was required or enhanced the main program, or was something that was useful. I still say if an installer’s default options aren’t what most people would actually want, that’s a problem.
Maybe not all the add-ons are bad such as the Chrome browser you mentioned. If someone really wanted one of those programs though, wouldn’t they choose to download it directly? Isn’t it unwanted by definition when it’s bundled? I could see an exception if the add-on somehow enhances or works with the main program.
When programs rely on these add-ons for funding, obviously some percentage of people need to install the add-ons, otherwise the funding wouldn’t exist. So anyone who thinks this is a good business model ought to support it by installing the bundled software. I just don’t see how you can support the business model while not installing the add-ons.
I wish there was a better term I could use since not all freeware is funded/distributed this way. Those that aren’t tend to be free software which is a different beast entirely. If you see terms like “open source” or “GPL” then you’re dealing with free software (not freeware). Chrome & Java are both free software.
Instead of making money per copy, free software projects rely on corporate sponsorship, donations, selling support, and often people writing software in their free time just for fun or fame. I happen to think it’s a more efficient development model. Rather than having to write a program from scratch just because you want a new feature, you can modify an existing one. That was the case with Adblock by the way. It changed hands three times before it’s current maintainer took over. Before you criticize Adblock Edge, realize that the current maintainer of Adblock Plus did the same thing, took an existing program and tweaked it. In the free software community, if there’s something you don’t like, it’s normal and expected that someone will create a fork. It’s a tradeoff. You can take an existing piece of software and make it yours, but there’s a zero tolerance policy for anti-features.February 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM #1984
That is just the problem: I don’t pretend ANYTHING is free, I’m good with that… and for the most part I almost like the ‘Game’ of dodging the freebee bullets. (FYI, I never put freeware on important machines. But just for fun, I have a garage sale lapper that I putter and hammer on.) I always BUY the best for my work machines and servers.
Lately I see deceptively worded install screens that make it seem as if you don’t ‘check’ or ‘agree’ to additional crap the installer will not close the deal. If you are on this forum, I’ll assume that you are a journeyman or expert user… So I’ll also assume that you have gotten your share of calls from that relative or friend to come help shovel out some pile of junk that they tripped over. My grandfather used to think AOL was the Internet. AOL used to, and likely still do, traffic in garbage, nearly malicious bloatware of the highest order. A payload is one thing, tricking people is quite another. I consider it all malware at that point.
The uninstall of ‘Highlightly’ also corrupted my preferred font as it add a special underlined, unrelated character set to the file. For the average user, this is would be a hassle if not costly to repair.
My complaint to Major Geeks fell on def ears, as would be expected.
To answer your question, no, R.B., in fact that Crapware installed as well, if not better than almost anything else that I have tried to stuff into Metro: Driverless, gagging, unusable wasteland that W8 is. My biggest issue is, “Who possibly would think that lighting up someones machine with pop-overs and pop-ups is going to get me to by something?” Tool bars? OK, I get that, maybe a little, but like telemarketers, once you have crossed a certain line your just ticking people off and making a joke out of yourselves.
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