Unused Applications

There’s a Windows machine on the desk next to me, almost never touched except for browser compatibility testing. Though it sits there mostly unused, it’s been taken over by spyware in the past few months, and had slowed to a crawl. Took the opportunity to back up data, wipe the drive, and install XP/SP2. I did install Thunderbird and Firefox on it, but other than that, it’s virgin.

Unused Icons Woke it up today and a friendly little balloon winked into existence, saying “There are unused icons on your desktop. Would you like to run the Desktop Cleanup Wizard?” I wanted to see what it would do. Should I be shocked that the only two icons the wizard wanted to remove from my desktop were for Thunderbird and Firefox? These are the only two applications on the computer that I have used. No, I’m not shocked. Standard Operating Procedure for MS. Business as usual.

Speaking of these friendly little balloons, I had to chuckle after installing VirtualPC on my Mac at home a few months ago (also for browser compatibility testing). Almost as soon as Windows launched on the Mac for the first time, a balloon informed me that I was “missing critical updates,” and that my “computer might not be secure.” Boy, that was comforting! I’m starting to love the little balloons.

Music: Firehose :: The First Cuss

11 Replies to “Unused Applications”

  1. I’m astonished that people still want to use Windows. I don’t understand how they can put up with all the spyware and adware. I’ve had several friends switch from Macs (running OS 9) to PCs. They get to play games and use MSN Messenger’s audio and video chat. They’re content. And yet their constantly fighting against spyware and adware and viruses. But they just see it as part of owning a computer.

    When I tell them that Macs are free of this (so far), they just smile at me. Then they complain about the cost of PowerMacs and how they can’t play Counter-Strike. Personally, those two advantages don’t make up for all the disadvantages.

  2. Very funny post but I am wondering if you have tried Tiger yet? I have it on my single processor G4 MDD and I have to say that I like it, although Apple has some release jitters to fix.

    Spotlight is very interesting and I would particularly like your thoughts on it. I like it, although I think that BeFS queries were better.

  3. Hey Jeff – Nope, not yet. We should have it at work before long, and I’ll post on it then, although there are so many Tiger reviews in the blogsophere I hardly think I can add to them. I’m particularly interested in the heritage of Spotlight as an extension/maturation of BFS+Tracker, since Dominic and Pavel have been at Apple for a couple of years now, carrying forward the amazing BeOS filesystem ideas in HFS+Finder.

  4. Hehe. All the WinPCs I run at school here autoupdate via a server so I never get to see those “security warnings”.

    Vic, the thing is, we have PCs here because the school must have made a decision to do so some time ago – changing over is extremely costly.

    Scot, I finally made the move to mac – have one of the just announced 2nd gen 20″ iMacs on their way to me right now! Can’t wait to enjoy the fruit of Be staff and Mac and unix undergirding… might even make my home computing fun and interesting again.

  5. Spotlight is to BeFS what Medieval monastic dialectic discourse is to IKEA table lamps.

    Wake me when HFSX debuts and they FTFF. :)

  6. “Fix the F’in Finder”

    Spotlight is a vast improvement, but I still miss the thoroughness of BFS. Still a very, very commendable job by Dominic though!

  7. mneptok wrote:
    ake me when HFSX debuts and they FTFF. :)

    Actually, the disk utility on the Tiger boot disk does support HFSX formatting. I didn’t try it, because I have become used to the case insensitivity of regular HFS+, but I do recall seeing the option.

  8. The “unused icons on the desktop” thing is exactly that – presumably you haven’t been accessing Thunderbird or Firefox via the desktop icons in a while, so it got rid of them. Nothing sinister about it. My PC did it the other day, one of the icons it got rid of was “My Computer”, but in doing so it didn’t obliterate my computer, just got rid of that one shortcut to it.

    What does make it a bit confusing is that there are a few icons which never seem to get deleted.

  9. Dan, actually it’s even more embarassing than that – I later realized that I had been using the machine as user Admin, then logged in as a normal user. The normal user had never used those applications, so XP was actually correct, not sinister as I had first thought. Doh!

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