Great Job, HP!

Cleaning up a new HP laptop; it’s remarkably free from Stuff I Don’t Want on My Computer!

I never want to go back to the Bad Old Days when there was AOL and the RubbishMusicPlayerThatWasntWinamp and Toolbars and five hundred desktop links and Un-installers that half the time would try to complete the installation (groan)…

Of course, they all thought that they were the only program on the machine and so start-up was one giant hour of every single unwanted application trying to get your attention. And they couldn’t just use ordinary dialogues and windows, either. No, these were programs designed by marketers because they weren’t meant to be good or useful, they were designed to be obviously and conspicuously there (which, to be fair, they were).

They achieved this by having clunky custom interfaces that manually painted themselves on the desktop and didn’t move around right; they were unresponsive, the kind of thing you click on five times because the graphics designer didn’t have time/money to design a button with a “pressed-in” animation… so there was no visual or audible feedback to warn you that your click had really clicked.

Then there were always the few apps that you couldn’t quite get rid of, no matter how hard you tried. They were wired into Windows or had written themselves into the CD-ROM firmware or into the BIOS or something. I don’t know, I could never figure out how they could still be there after I uninstalled them. They’d always leave that entry in Add/Remove Programs. Probably it was just that I was always too lazy to manually edit my registry.

Hey – how come no OEM install ever comes with a pre-installed shareware registry editor?

But I didn’t post this to complain, I posted this because when a company does something well, it’s polite to say thank you. Thank you, Hewlett Packard, for keeping pre-installed stuff (for lack of a better word) to a minimum.

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2 Responses to Great Job, HP!

  1. Lila says:

    My husband’s answer to all this “stuff” is to install Ubuntu!! But then his 3-in-1 printer isn’t easily installed in Ubuntu, so he dual-boots XP and Ubuntu and leaves it up to me to “clean up” the XP partition. I’m guessing it’s just his generation that leaves housekeeping to the “little woman.”

  2. happy_moron says:

    My scanner doesn’t play with Ubuntu yet, either. I suppose I could learn how to write the drivers myself but I’m too busy scripting little screenscrapers for Greek vocabulary ;-)

    I haven’t put Ubuntu on this box yet; I really bought it as a Windows box for its Remote Desktop Capabilities.

    Hmm… Maybe I should get a wife to do my IT stuff for me; but somehow I’m afraid that if I get a wife the responsibilities will flow the other way… :-P

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