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Rude Software Installation
August 29, 2001 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Rude Software Installation I clicked on a link that needed Shockwave 8.5 installed. Silly me, I said okay. After the download, the installation program nicely closed all of my open IE windows without first asking, creating a splendid loss of work for me!! Thanks Macromedia!! I'm now going to be on the lookout... What other software programs act rudely, creating defaults, shutting down your browser windows, or assigning themselves to extensions without first asking?
posted by yarf (36 comments total)

 
I too would appreciate any examples you may have, as I'm trying to compile a list of Dumbfuckware like Shockwave.

Quicktime is another example. The browser plug-in, I mean. Frequently closes all browser windows without warning.
posted by Succa at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2001


Real Player changes all my file type associations. You think I'd learn by now. Not to mention their convoluted and extended install process after searching long and hard for the "free" installer on their website.
posted by machaus at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2001


Also re: Shockwave, the installer is incredibly rude.

"You're getting the Shockwave Player from Macromedia!"

not: "Do you want to install..."

instead: "You're getting..."
posted by Succa at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2001


The most obnoxious installers are those that quietly install obtrusive bundled applications along with the original application. Kazaa caught a lot of heat for their installer, which is bundled with New.net, Webhancer, Cydoor, OnFlow, and EZula.
posted by waxpancake at 8:17 AM on August 29, 2001


MusicMatch Jukebox asked me what my file type preferences were upon installation. I unchecked them all. Then, it went and ignored all that and just took over all the file types anyway.

That's about a 10 out of 10 on the rudeness scale.
posted by Succa at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2001


REALEVIL......I mean Real Player.

Talk about a piece of shiat software mucking up a system. Yeah. Thanks. I'd like 65 more icons in my system tray... It insists on being in your startup and once it's there, it has the potential to crash some other app. What burns me is that a large percentage of music sites only offer streaming RealEvil files rather than MP3. These sites need to get a clue and tell RealEvil to go toss off.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:23 AM on August 29, 2001


The Windows Media Player upgrade installer, if I remember correctly, doesn't give you the option to "reboot later". Click OK when it's finished installing and your system is suddenly restarting. I hate that.
posted by jpoulos at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2001


Is there nothing worse than an application that installs Surf Safari on your system? (i.e. Bearshare, NetZero)
posted by fusinski at 8:33 AM on August 29, 2001


IE. Fucks up all my filetypy things and imposes itself on my system. argh.
posted by Marquis at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2001


Come on, you're installing software to your browser and you don't close everything out or save your work? That's just ridiculous. It would be nice if they popped you a message, but anyone with minimal experience installing software knows to save, save, and save. Not to mention getting into the healthy habit of closing everything running beforehand.
posted by skallas at 8:46 AM on August 29, 2001


Netscape 6.1 installed AOL and NN upgrade shortcuts on my desktop, my start menu, my Netscape and IE personal toolbars and again inside my Netscape bookmarks and my IE favorites (which it also "nicely" sucked into my Netscape bookmarks).
posted by jdbanks at 8:50 AM on August 29, 2001


Or those that install Broderbund's Brodcast DSS Agent spyware (as an aside: why does "Broderbund" sound so much like a secret nazi organization?).

I installed some software from The Learning Company a while back and then suddenly my internet connection was running all the time, even if I had nothing open. A quick download and installation of Zone Alarm and I was able to identify what was happening. The BASTARDS were busy downloading whatever they felt like off my computer!

Now I scan with Ad-aware almost daily, probably more often than I use my anti-virus scan. Broderbund still tries to install each time I use the TLC software, but it can't get me now.

Some of these marketing assholes are in much need of a clue. I bet they're the first to get upset at the thought of anyone cracking into their system, but have no qualms about doing the same to mine or anyone elses.
posted by Option1 at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2001


Not exactly rude, but just plain buggy: I installed IE 5.5 service pack 2 and have had a variety of JavaScript errors show up on several sites. (Some, like Slate, are Microsoft ventures, too. Nice one). I went to Windows Update and tried repairing the installation, but it still sucks. I'm off to yank the update completely after I post this.
posted by maudlin at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2001


i think i may have an soloution to all your probs.. well it worked for me anyway!!

if u get a dlg box up with only the one option 'ok' as in ok to close everything with out a choice to save, then just ctrl, alt , del and close that box- HURRAH!!!

hope it works
posted by monkeyJuice at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2001


And the best thing about that piece of shiite called Shockwave is that never *ever* works. Not in my computers anyway. Every time I try to fix that, the installer fails miserably and asks me to go to their site to "repair" the player. Repair what? It's the fucking plugin that needs a repair all around!

Meanwhile, they can shove their trashware up their behinds.
posted by betobeto at 9:17 AM on August 29, 2001


Windows 9x will create desktop and start-menu links right after it boots for the first time for online services (of course, the MSN link is not a real shortcut file that can be grouped for deletion). AOL's instant messenger will place a very convenient link on the desktop (and start-menu) so that you can try AOL for (insert number) of hours FREE! But the rudest thing I have ever seen would have to be RealNetworks' RealDownload (or any download manager you don't specifically ask for.)

The philosophy with these "intrusions" are, if they can stake their claim on your property, they have a potential customer (or spyware victim).

"It's not your desktop, it's a free billboard"
posted by samsara at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2001


Quicktime is another example. The browser plug-in, I mean. Frequently closes all browser windows without warning.

I'm curious - platform specifics, specific sites? We recently put QuickTime on our approved list because it seemed to be pretty well-behaved, as browser plug-ins go, so I'd like to know under what circumstances you see this "misbehaviour"...
posted by m.polo at 10:05 AM on August 29, 2001


I'd like to know under what circumstances you see this "misbehaviour"...

Try opening any file type other than Quicktime using their player (it takes control of many file types, including .PSD [photoshop], which is where I initially had problems). It'll mess up and then it will close ALL browser windows without warning.

At least, it did that for me. I could reproduce this behaviour every single time.
posted by Succa at 10:09 AM on August 29, 2001


On, and that's on Win2k IE 5.
posted by Succa at 10:17 AM on August 29, 2001


My favorite is DirectX. When ever you are done installing/updating it, it pop-ups up a box that says something to the effect of, "You must restart your computer now." With only a OK option and the system menu disabled.

The funny thing is a friend of mine was installing a game and the instructions explicitly stated that you were not reboot after installing DirectX so that other installation tasks could be completed, but the installation would not continue until the DirectX installation program had exited.
posted by betaray at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2001


Come on, you're installing software to your browser and you don't close everything out or save your work? That's just ridiculous.

Yeah, cmon, we all know it's ALWAYS the user's fault when software does something stupid. I agree that people should learn to protect themselves to minimize damage, but supposedly intelligently designed software products doing things as stupid as this is far more ridiculous. The average user can at least be faulted for inexperience, but there's no excuse for a software company to be building products that do things like this in this day and age.
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2001


Has anyone else run into the Quicktime loop where every single time it runs, it tells you it needs to update something, so you tell it to go ahead, and then nothing happens. And then the next time it runs, you go through this again?

Not that I care. It's not on my system anymore.
posted by Su at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2001


DiplomaticImmunity, its because companies in this day and age don't provide decent software that one has to be leery. How many times can you be burned before realizing that all these great free plug-ins, applications, etc might just choke your system to death? Fool me once your fault, fool me twice my fault.

I treat all internet software installs like invasions. I close everything down, run the installer expecting a reboot, and then run both spyware and virus checks.

The real question here is are we just generally bitching or are we going slightly out of our way to let the developers know how we feel about their products?
posted by skallas at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2001


Isn't there some sort of warning at the beginning of these installs that highly recommends you close all apps and save your work?

Granted, "highly recommend" is an understatement, but Windows doesn't allow dll's and executables to be written if they're already in use. The only way to install them is to a) kill the process that's using them (e.g. yarf's original complaint), b) reboot the computer (ala betaray's friend), or c) partially install, then fail halfway thru (old DirectX versions seem particularly problematic here.) They could do these things a bit more politely, but still.
posted by swell at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2001


Su, been there, done that, pulled my hair out. Eventually reinstalled the OS out of spite.
posted by viama at 11:43 AM on August 29, 2001


The IE 6 installer (brave soul that I am) forces a reboot at the end of installation. Microsoft installers are pretty arrogant like that. "You will restart your computer now. No, you may not wait and do it later. This is our OS. So there."

I agree with KevinSkomsvold that RealPlayer is one of the most rude apps I've come across. You have to be careful to opt-out of stuff during the installation or you will get: a dozen desktop icons, Real.com links in your favorites menu, a 'Real.com' bar in MSIE, a new Real.com web site as your home page, a new 'download manager' (RealDownload) that intercepts all your file downloads with it's ad-ware software, subscribe to several email offers, new RealPlayer associations all your media types, a dozen news flash subscriptions and automatic stat reporting on what you're doing with RealPlayer.

Makes me sick.
posted by bschoate at 12:13 PM on August 29, 2001


Su, viama, I'm in the same boat as you.

Also - whenever I try to load a page with a quicktime video embedded in it, all I get is an 'image' box, no video, no message, nothing... I have to view source to see the url, create an html file linking to the video and download it, if I want to see it badly enough.

Winamp takes over my mp3 files every time it loads, and adds menu options to the 'right click list' for mp3 files. It also automatically assumes responsibility for any kind of streaming mp3 - even though I have sonique already open.

AOL - HAHAHA. When I tried to install this bitchware years and years ago, and attempted to abort halfway through when I found out that I needed a CC#, it wouldn't let go of it's hold on my system. There were files that it would not let me delete. I restarted, deleted everything else, ctrl+alt+del'ed everything in my task manager that looked suspicious, tried changing the file permissions (right-click), and nothing would let me delete these files.

Eventually I just formatted the hard drive.


(by the way - this is my first post to metafilter, hello!)
posted by tranquilized at 12:15 PM on August 29, 2001


skallas: Imagine this scenario, far-fetched as it may be.

User: Hey! I want to play that media file!
Browser: Can't. Install this first.
User Okay. I'll click on that button.
Browser: Now downloading. Estimated completion: 26.7 hours.
User: Well, since I don't want to lose anything, I think I'll just take a quick vacation to Orlando!
{hours pass}
Browser: Closing windows! Installing! Rebooting! Playing Misty!
User: Oh, great. What was it I was doing in the first place?

The thing is we are trained to expect that we can work online while something downloads, and that we will get a helpful prompt whenever it needs to do something drastic. It's a major user interface fuck-up, and I mean that in the most polite sense, to separate your assent to an operation to its execution by that much time, and indeed, to equate assent to download and install with assent to close all browser windows and reboot. Since we're all acquainted with software which asks us things like "Well, you'd better restart now -- but you can just press Cancel and keep working until it's convenient", software which violates that convention is, to put it politely, written by assholes.
posted by dhartung at 12:43 PM on August 29, 2001


The only way to install them is...

You forgot option d: install a startup routine that, the next time the system starts, completes the install of the pieces that couldn't be replaced immediately, and allow the user to restart at his leisure.
posted by kindall at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2001


Netscape 6.1 installed AOL and NN upgrade shortcuts on my desktop, my start menu, my Netscape and IE personal toolbars and again inside my Netscape bookmarks and my IE favorites (which it also "nicely" sucked into my Netscape bookmarks).

In addition to all that, it adds free.aol.com to your "trusted sites" in IE. Talk about overkill...
posted by Aaaugh! at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2001


microsoft windows - crashes my computer and makes me lose work all the time.
posted by cheesebot at 1:39 PM on August 29, 2001


Since we're talking about SpyWare, here's a link for a good listing of all the really annoying programs out there you may want to watch out for (if you're concerned about that sort of thing - like I am).
posted by mb01 at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2001


How about a list of programs that DON'T require reboots when making upgrades or installing "plug-ins" that modify their behavior? I *assume* that a program shutdown and rerun or system reboot is required when I do anything called an "install" and am pleasantly surprised when it doesn't. I also *assumed* anyone who was tech savvy did the same. Most programs/system software load plug-ins/dll's etc. ONLY when starting up and have no provisions for adding them on the fly - it's not Real's shoddy programming that causes the problem, it's Micro$loth's.

Remind not to be near your house when you change your oil with the engine running - how annoying that I actually have to go through the effort of shutting my car off and turning it back on when I go to Jiffy Lube...you'd think that would have been engineered out for my convenience long ago...
posted by RevGreg at 3:58 PM on August 29, 2001


Quicktime does this. Back when I had IE 5.5, If I closed a IE window with an embedded quicktime movie, it would close all my browser windows. Oh, and QT also snagged MIDI files as well, so if I went to a page with music, and then closed it or backed out, I was hosed.


I upgraded to IE6 beta, and the problem went a way. So did my ablity to view quicktime on the web, but I'm not complaining.


And of course real, everyone hates Real. But there's just so much Anime out there incoded in the format. rrr.
posted by delmoi at 5:15 PM on August 29, 2001


"My boyfriend assured me he didn't leave the toilet seat up"

How bad does Gator suck????

Gator marketing representative Dustin Quillin said, "We don't disclose any of the marketing relationships we have, but our license agreement clearly states in a long forgotten Turkish dialect that we can do just about anything we want once the software is installed without your knowledge."

Mr. Quillin continued, "We also take exception to the reports that Gator is difficult to uninstall. We list in our readme.txt file the simple steps required to remove the program.
The first step requires a program called fdisk which every user has on their computer system."

OK OK, so it's a joke.....but a fairly accurate example of the headaches this G-dforsaken waste of code can cause.

All your base are belong to Gator.
posted by soynuts at 6:34 PM on August 29, 2001


Another one which annoys me is an install which offers a default folder to install in, and when you browse and change the folder manually, still attaches its default to the end of your chain - Ad-Aware itself does this, amongst many others...
posted by benzo8 at 1:03 AM on August 30, 2001


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