Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crap (Annoying) Software?

Here's ZDNet's 'rogue's gallery of annoying software'

Here's ACEtone Studio's response:

1. Adobe Reader: Not a problem. You'll never need to use this software if you use OS X.
I do remember it being a stinking pile of shite when I was forced to use a windows box a few years ago.

2. Apple (?) - huh? Actually they're talking about Apple versions of software for Windows. Who cares? If you run OS X (any version) you can turn the software updater off permanently and if you so choose, run whatever version you like without ever updating it. No viruses, no update patches...

3. Windows Update: Again who cares? Just get a Mac or run Linux on a Brand X box.

4. Real Player: This has always been awful. Thankfully, so little audio or video requires it these days. Just use VLC for nearly everything. Real Player must be getting close to abandonware status...

5. Java: All problems described exclusively Windows so not much to say about this.

6. Yahoo: Never use it. Who in their right mind does?

7. Norton Anti-Virus: Anything Norton sucks. Machine crippling useless garbage. Thankfully not needed when using a Mac.

8. Pre-installed Software Bundles: Again, not an issue when running a Mac.

9. Outlook / Exchange: I don't remember it being too awful - maybe that was when there wasn't really an alternative. The MS bloatware equivalent for Mac is called Entourage. I tried it out a couple of times. I think it wanted to take over my e-mail activities in a hostile manner. I'll stick with OS X 'Mail' thanks.

10. Flash: More specifically Flash based websites. They got this one right.

A list of 10 is hardly very comprehensive and considering the fact that the article is strictly Windows I'm surprised Microsoft didn't feature more times. And why they gave a Vista a free pass might point more to the fact that there is too much wrong with it - not that there is nothing to complain about!

I would suggest MS Word as both annoying and crap but I'm conflicted by the fact that equivalent word processor programs I have tried suffer by either being worse than Word (how is that possible?) or by being just too unfamiliar/different to the user to comfortably make the change. And I think the differences are what make Open Office and Abi Word for example unattractive and not viable competitors. I wish it were otherwise. But Word is pretty awful. Yet it is the default word processor program for countless millions the world over. I cringe when I get a .doc as an attachment in an e-mail especially knowing that I'm probably the only person on the planet who has a problem with that.

Internet Explorer: I haven't used it for a few years, but bloody hell, any other browser is better! At times it can seem like no browser would be better!

In fairness, I'll let fly at Apple now:
iTunes: Really there is too much going on. It takes too long to load. It takes too many preference changes to stop it from littering your 'music' folder with copies of all kinds of stuff. They should really make it so that preferences can be set to only make available the things you want to be able to do.
I also dislike the fact that it is clunky when trying to input new tag information, and how it insists on auto-filling/predicting genres for example as if I needed help in this area.
It also does a really poor job of finding duplicates which can make for a lot of wasted disk space.

Spotlight: will it please not search for anything until I have typed all of the letters and hit 'return'? It is also an annoying blue color.

DVD Player: almost completely useless. Becomes region specific after first few uses and then will not play DVD media from another region. What if...oh why bother? Just use VLC.

iPhoto: similar to iTunes it over-manages your media, in this case images and video. Slow, annoying. One useful thing it can do is quickly generate web image galleries, so it is not all bad.

Audacity: This is free software. Why knock it? Because it doesn't recognize my Digidesign mBox. I'd love to use it, but there is no point. I must assume that it doesn't recognize many other audio interfaces, so the people who wrote the code can't be very interested in making their software popular. It is also annoying in that it writes everything to .ogg files. You need to export to other file formats. A lot of time wasting in this process.

Digidesign ProTools: I use this all the time. It's great. I love what it can do, but I have so many gripes with it I should start a separate post on the subject...

Blogger: Is absolutely crippled when using Safari. But of course there is no mention of this fact in the help section or elsewhere that I could find. Forced to use Firefox, which is sort of OK, but...

Firefox: I suspect that a major reason for the popularity of Firefox is the fact that it rescued millions of Windows victims from a life of squalid enslavement to Internet Expletive and all of the pop-ups, crashes, malware etc. that such a condition entailed. It can be really slow and asks too many damn questions.

A short list of other crap/annoying software: POMS, AS400, Lotus 123, Quark XPress, Windows Media Player...

Anyone else got any suggestions?

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