Friday, April 6, 2007
Walter Mossberg selected (coined?) a most delightful single word to refer to the plethora of ghoulishly nightmarish junk that must be contended with on virtually every brand-new computer running Windows. We’re talking trial software, security scans, software updates, and more trial software in hiding that waits until you think you’ve finally finished deactivating it all before popping up to say, “Hi, you need to either try me out or waste more valuable time figuring out how to deactivate me!”
I wish computer makers would stop loading all these trial programs and offers on computers and that security precautions could be much less disruptive and more automatic. The first day of owning an expensive new gadget should be a pleasure, not a hassle.
To date, Macintosh computers are still essentially craplet-free. Okay, they may have several trial items waiting for you to discover, but I emphasize, “waiting for you to discover.” Every brand-new Macintosh I’ve ever fired up has never instantly launched craplets, forcing me to contend with them. I simply fill out the first-bootup information intended to create my user account, set up network settings, and a few other small preferences, and boom—I’m using the Mac. Sure, when I look through the available applications, I may find several pieces of trial software, but they run if and when I choose to run them.
Instead of putting up with the craplets, when I first start up a Mac, here’s what I get. Yes, that first screenshot is OS X 10.3 but 10.4 isn’t significantly different. All that opens at first is the user’s home folder. Closing it (the red widget in the upper left) takes me to the second screenshot—a desktop that is completely empty except for the hard drive icon, and the Dock contained a few typically used applications. Mind you, every single one of those Dock applications are from Apple. None are trials and none are from any third party sources—clean as clean can be.
Just say no—to craplets!
Update: Apple released a great new “Get-a-Mac” commercial representing this problem on PCs.
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