Weekend Open Forum: Bloated software you refuse to abandon

By Jos ยท 60 replies
May 31, 2013
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  1. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Suppose it's just Flash Player for me. I'm pretty good at avoiding the big offenders.
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    The thing is, I was talking about buying the full Avast package again. I never used its free version. That's why I said I'd buy it again for the new PC.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,745   +3,710

    The real question is bloated software you can't afford to abandon. And what would your limited options be, if you did decide to abandon anyway? People always complain about bloat, but without bloat you would find yourself without options. I like having options and the ability to do practically anything with one install. I would not enjoy downloading 50 specialized apps and periodically checking for updates, simply because I turned my nose up at a single bloated app that would do it all.

    I've always been a guy to buy a full set of tools, rather than purchasing a specialized piece just to get the job at hand done. This way I might actually have what I need next time around.

    Here is another question for you. Who wants a house with more than one room per person? No one can spend their time in more than one room, so why all the other rooms? This desire to have mansions with rooms that are never used is more than enough proof that we love bloated housing. At least with software we all can have bloat.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  4. This. Fricken plugin constantly crashes Firefox. Would get rid of it in a shot if you didn't need it for near enough every damn video and animation on the internet.
  5. Duckula22

    Duckula22 TS Rookie Posts: 55

    I believe that those who code in exchange for a safe monthly wage have no incentive to give a 110%. Which is why software by large software corporations tends to get crappier and crappier over time.
  6. Okay, maybe it won't block it if I write something random here...

    clifford cooley: You might want to rethink that, as 'full of actually useful or good features' and bloated are two different things.

    If a music player software allows me to use an equaliser, it is a useful feature, but if it wants to create DVD-covers and tries to defragment my hard drive, it is more like a bloat.
  7. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,026   +667

    Stickin' my neck out ...but I basically find that anything above version 3 or, maybe, 4... O/S, word processing, dvd players, browsers, etc. etc. are 'bloated'.

    Programs start off with a purpose focus which then gets diffused. New features, ideas offered by the boss's spouse and in-laws, a module they give to the new kid programmer, etc creep in and make a home. Look at the relative size of Linux (which is not a 'bad' offender) compared to 15 years ago.

    Beyond the necessary changes to adapt to new hardware (like touchscreen, multi-core processors, increase to 64 bit, color printers, touch screens), the rest of it is just putting more pretty holes in the doily ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doily ).

    I would like to hear if anyone is doing ground-up re-writes of software...you know, starting with the architecture and taking real benefit of improvements in technology and technique.
    Is there any benefit from a total re-write which provides consistency throughout the program (thinking specifically about Microsoft Windows defects in the 'error code' area)?
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,745   +3,710

    I'm sorry but there is nothing to re-think. Just because someone doesn't use or want a feature, doesn't mean no one will. Who is to say what is actually useful vs bloated. People use the word bloat where I see resource availability.

    This is a prime example of why the Start Menu should not have been stripped from Windows 8, when the Start Screen was introduced. Microsoft decided to remove bloat. Was it bloat or something that was actually useful? The answer in return would depend on who you ask.
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I agree 100% xD. Reader is really sluggish, but it is better than the built in crap Chrome and Firefox has.

    Lol, yes.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    OK, here's the thing, AV publishers don't want their name sullied by distributing free programs that don't defend against viruses or malware as well as their paid versions.

    That would be like saying outright, "you'll still get infected with this program, so you have to pay anyway". The average customer with even a modicum of good sense would reply, "**** you then, I'm taking my non paying business someplace else. AND, there are many other places to go for free AV warez.

    So now, they've been forced to make their money by brainwashing you into believing that you won't be safe, without paying for the more feature laden, "Internet security packages".

    While I don't know Avast's exact policy, overall subscription prices have dropped, and in some cases extra PCs have been added to the licenses.

    I use the latest AVG Free version, along with Spybot, (just for the "tea timer"/ hosts protection), and Firefox, with "NoScript" added. That PC is pretty damned bulletproof, and all of the foregoing is free software.

    So, I'm going to stick by my original posted opinion, which goes something like, "then you should pull "BitDefender", and reinstall Avast Free, if that's what would stop you from complaining.

    One note however, free AV programs generally lack the parental controls of internet security packages. I live alone, and have no need for such nonsense, or for that matter even passwords. Free AV programs, do not however, offer less protection to actual malware.

    So, in that final parameter, your needs, results, and outcomes, may vary.
    m4a4 likes this.
  12. dikbozo

    dikbozo TS Booster Posts: 82

    Foobar 2000 has had an equalizer since I can remember which is somewhere around the beginning ( somewhere 2003 seems right) as I was PO'd at Winamp. The current build has a nice 18 band graphic EQ accessible under the 'View' menu. Another audio only application you might want to try is AIMP. This looks and feels a lot like Winamp but beats it all respects.

    As the subject is bloat, Foobar 2000 uses just under 13MB in my installation. AIMP uses more at 74 MB but I have added a half dozen skins to it.
  13. dikbozo

    dikbozo TS Booster Posts: 82

    I find some of the comments here misdirected. My Steam folder is mostly filled with games not Steam itself. A base install of Steam is a couple of megabytes, where is the bloat there? The constant updating gets to be annoying but that is the price to be paid for what amounts to a free service. A plain vanilla install of Firefox or Chrome runs under 25MB. The addons and plugins and scripts and themes and skins and etc all become the bloat. These are the things that slow them down. I regularly prune out things I am not using in these applications. YMMV.

    As to Flash being bloated? WTF? It is somewhat poorly coded in that it tends to be slow or buggy but how does something 6 MB be described as bloated in today's multi TB world? Its main feature, which is to enable video and audio playback in an interactive way is actually pretty well implemented for such a small installation. I do wish there was an open source alternative to it as I don't really trust Adobe. I use Flash mostly because I have to. I also use Flash Block as a control over it. This cuts down on loading Flash from anywhere and allows you the user, to deicde when and/or if to run it. I so rarely see Flash ads, in concert with Ad Block Plus that I see a different web, period. Flash has its place as do CSS, LAMP, SOAP, push and other technologies.
  14. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,720   +860

    I'm a total "clean-nik" on my computer running Ccleaner and monitoring my installed programs regularly. Along with others, iTunes and Flash Player are the two bloatware that I just have to deal with because of the options they provide. Flash Player is not that big of a deal, but iTunes drives me insane - whenever you install that you get 10 other Apple programs along with it.
  15. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 956   +515

    On top of captaincranky, I (and everyone else in my household) have been using the free Avast for many years and have never been infected with a virus. Just because it's free doesn't mean it doesn't work...
    But at the end of the day it all depends on what you are doing that you need protection from.......
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Posts: 143   +18

    Phones rooted, all the useless stuff on that's gone! :) My computer.. well? Nothing starts automatically that isn't needed and I am realy careful what I instal!! :)
  17. Acespaces

    Acespaces TS Member Posts: 85   +12

    It comes down to 3 main things:
    (has anyone thought of the idea of joining java and adobe some how?)
  18. Instead of adobe reader, why not just switch to Foxit PDF reader.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    Because the latest version has a bunch of BS and adware in it, that you are unable to opt out of.

    Once upon a time you would have been right, and I indeed do have an older version on one of my machines.

    I have been told their policies toward the free version have changed, as a result, I've been avoiding it. I encourage to you investigate the veracity of this issue on your own...
  20. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    I have had some luck in situations with programs not working or not uninstalling properly. Revo Uninstaller's trial will help you remove left behind contents in the registry and system file directories. Try installing it, then uninstall it with Revo Uninstaller and search for any traces left behind.
  21. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    Saw a few people say Steam. Steam is like from the Gods, if you've ever had to use Origin.
  22. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    I think if you choose the digital download they make you use the Amazon MP3 downloader, but I'm pretty sure this is just to download the album, you can then take it and use whatever to manage the files. If my memory server me any...
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,745   +3,710

    I have had 0 experience and from all the comments, I think I can safely deduct I don't want any.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    No, I don't have an issue with handling MP3 files after they're downloaded. You can copy, move, and play them on any device you choose, that's not the issue.

    You used to be able to buy MP3s outright without installing anything! Just click "buy" and you were done.

    The "Amazon Instant Video" product, is a whole nuther issue. That's limited to two devices, is loaded with DRM, and you need proprietary player software installed to run it. Bah humbug, it's way more aggravation than it's worth. (Well with the disclaimer, "IMHO" anyway).
  25. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 304   +62

    Besides the bloatware that can't be removed, I delete everything with a complete system restore the second I get a new computer. For androids, I'll usually deal with it until I feel like risking a root. Then I'll delete everything.

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