Saturday, May 03, 2008

Essential New System Software

Since I got my replacement work laptop, I'm doing some installation and cleanup to get it ready for my use. It's a Toshiba, so it's loaded chock full of crapware. Crapware is defined as software loaded onto your PC that you didn't ask for, nor did you want. Often, you really don't need it. Crapware can be anything from a 30 day trial of McAfee to the Yahoo! Toolbar. What do these idiotic toolbars do, anyway? As far as I can tell, nothing. The only toolbar I have ever really used is the Windows Live toolbar, because when I'm using IE7, it has a really good password manager. It's better even than Firefox, which is still my browser of choice despite serious instability issues and a memory leak.

In any case, I have a lot of crapware to uninstall from this laptop. I can do this with the help of free and highly useful products like the PC Decrapifier. It was originally designed for Dell computers, but has expanded to everybody else. The new version can delete the 60 day trial of Microsoft Office, which gets in the way of installing a real version of Microsoft Office.

Another essential product that I install on a new system is Spybot Search & Destroy. I honestly don't do much with it outside of immunizing my system in the beginning, but the Tea Timer utility that protects my registry is worth it's weight in gold. Nothing is able to change my registry, startup, or browser settings unless I say so. It gets a little annoying, especially when you try to run Quicktime, but I'd rather deal with the annoyances than having to clean out my Startup menu every day.

Recently, Sony tried charging a "crap tax", that is, when you buy a new computer, if you pay them extra, they won't install crapware on it. I believe that policy was reversed after much protest. Talk about mob business practices... That's like a car dealer saying charging you an extra $1000 on a new car to not rip you off with unneeded warranties or underbody spraying which is done in the factory anyway.

As I've been writing this, PC Decrapifier was running on my laptop. The new version did a stellar job. It couldn't uninstall McAfee, but I can do that manually. I also have to go back to uninstall Norton. Then I can get down to installing the programs I need.

Technorati Tags: New laptop,Crapware,uninstall

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