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Stop Giving Me Software I Don’t Need

Posted by Matthew Greensmith at 9:57 AM on November 24, 2008

Every day, it seems, when I boot up my computers, each one wants me to update iTunes and add Safari. It doesn’t matter how many times I say no, and click quit, every day the stupid install window keeps coming back up. And there is no way to permanently turn this off. At least, not that I’ve found.

Java wants to do the same thing. We cannot run the latest Java here at work because it breaks one of our enterprise systems that are critical to business functions. Fortunately, you can remove the Java Updater from the control panel on most machines to make the annoying popup telling you there’s a new install of Java not pop up every day. But every once in a while, that updater seems to reinstall itself on my machine and I have to delete it again.

My annoyance today is the Sandisk Cruzer. It comes with the U3 operating system installed, and self-installs on any machine you plug the device into. This tiny operating system then gives you tools you don’t need, like copy and paste, explore. On a college campus with locked down computers, these Sandisk Cruzers are the worst for confusing students. Of course, you can remove the U3 operating system, but it takes several steps and a geekish know-how, so not everyone who buys one of these devices knows how to remove the operating system so it works like a normal thumb drive. Worse yet, older Cruzers do not allow removal of the U3 operating system, only the newer ones do. Even a format won’t take care of the problem, as the U3 software sits in a hidden file that is difficult to access.

I want software and hardware companies to stop telling me what I need, and trying to automatically install their software into places without my permission. I want them to stop hiding this stuff, make it an option rather than a necessity, and when I say no, it remembers that I said no and never ask me again.

Much of this stuff is a huge waste of time for tech workers that are just trying to get people back up and running as quickly as possible.

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