Bloatware is Evil

If you use a computer, you should ask yourself the following questions. Do I really need to update Flash, Java, iTunes, and my HP print software every week? Do I really need a half dozen toolbars littering my browser window? Does every program on my computer need a speed launcher running all the time on the slim chance that I’m opening Microsoft Access or Adobe Acrobat or OpenOffice? Unless you have some sort of undiagnosed techno-compulsion, the answer to these is probably “no.”

Software manufacturers all want their programs to be as current as possible; they want you to install this toolbar or that toolbar so they can make a little money from Ask, Bing, Google or Yahoo for bundling that stuff in, and they definitely want their programs to launch faster than the competition. But from an end-user’s perspective, most people can’t upgrade their computer every month to keep running the bloated code that piles on with every new program. Most people just want their computers to run the six or seven programs they use every day as fast as possible without all the fat.

It has gotten to the point where these companies are releasing “lite” or “express” versions of their programs because people don’t use many of the features. Ahead’s Nero Burning Rom is one of the worst offenders in this category. For the past few versions, Nero has become as unnecessarily extravagant as the Roman emperor of the same name. At its essence, Nero is supposed to burn CDs and DVDs. Now when you install Nero, it comes bundled with programs that want to play and catalogue media files, backup your computer and let you edit audio and video files (to name just a few). It’s safe to say many users of Nero software don’t use the majority of the included programs and find the convoluted mess at least somewhat irritating.

So the question becomes: “what do we do about all this unneeded rubbish?” Well the easiest way to eliminate bloatware (a portmanteau of “bloated” and “software” used to describe these programs) is to pay attention while a program is installing. Many of the default, quick-install or express setups hide this stuff and sneak it past the user during program installation. By choosing the “custom” or “advanced” options, one can often uncheck boxes for toolbars, updaters, speed launchers and add-ons. It only takes a little extra time to wade through the options, and you will have to click a few more times, but the benefits to the speed and efficiency of your computer are well worth it.

But even then a few things might slip by. Plenty of experienced technicians are guilty of letting bloatware seep onto their computer because it is so prevalent and almost unavoidable these days. If you already have many of these bloated programs installed, it can be a nightmare trying to figure out how to remove the bits you don’t need and leave the delicious core software you depend upon. This is where Chips Computers can help.

Our £40 Service eliminates the majority of this garbage, and we can work with you to uninstall anything you may not need running on your computer. We also optimize your operating system and perform maintenance routines to make your computing experience as fast and easy as possible. So stop in, e-mail or give us a call if your computer is feeling bloated or you’d like to know more about what a Chips Computers tune-up can do for you.

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