Becky Says...

March 29, 2001

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The Download from Hell

I downloaded and discarded a piece of software today. It was freeware, and had it worked well, might have been both useful and fun. But I got rid of it because it thought it owned my computer.

After I worked with the program, and thought I had exited, I was offered a chance to buy something. And clicking the "no" button did not make the program close. It just minimized, then popped its little buy-screen back up onto the middle of the desktop, where its graphics went into a frenzy that included such questions flashing as, "Why wouldn't you want this?" (Um, I don't need it, thanks!)

I discovered this when the next program I wanted to open was running far too slowly. By the way, I'm positive I didn't accidentally click on the minimized little thing. Anyway, when I shut down the second piece, wondering what on earth made my rather fast computer run at glue speed, and saw the other thing was still running, I decided it didn't need to be housed with me.

Again I tried to close the buy-screen, so that I could run the program's uninstaller. No go. I wound up having to reboot the computer to kill the thing (by this time, I was wondering if I needed to get the bug spray). It finally went away, taking its buy-screen along as it left.

I'm not opposed to add-supported things; I understand the economics. But I am opposed to something taking control without permission, and to something that refuses to take no for an answer.

I'm fairly persnickety about what goes on my computer, and when I download software I'm careful that I know where it originated. This was a usually reliable source.

But this time the only thing that was reliable about the software was the certainty that I would go insane if that buy-screen kept popping up.

And I just don't have time to go insane this week.

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky