Desktop: Cutting the crap(ware)

It was supposed to have been a love story, of sorts. You and your new laptop.

August 5, 2007 07:50
2 minute read.
laptop 88 298

laptop 88 298. (photo credit: Courtesy Photo)


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It was supposed to have been a love story, of sorts. You and your new laptop. The one you got for a ridiculously low bid at the auction. It's got everything you need. Finally, you've found the one for you, to share meetings, games, movies with, and more; to share a relationship, as real a relationship as possible with a machine. And finally, you're ready. You rip the wrapping off the object of your desire and stare at its fine contours, its sleek, sophisticated form. This is it, the moment you've waited weeks for. You take the final, irretrievable step; you press the "on" button. And immediately you turn away. "How could this happen?" you wonder. "Is this what it's going to be like?" You try to look, but you're forced to turn away. Is this the laptop you sought? Is this the companion that fit your needs to a T? But if it is, what is all the "crap" doing on the screen? "Is this what I waited for? Is this all there is?" Well, no, actually; just click on the Start menu, and you'll find plenty more! You may have thought you were buying a tabula rasa, a PC laptop that you could train, work with and maybe even learn to (dare I say it?) love - but HP, Dell, Gateway or just about every other PC laptop maker has other ideas for you. You see, computer software makers know how excited you are to get your new laptop - and they take advantage of that anticipation in a major way. Hey, they've got to make money too! And to get you to try their products, whether as a demo program or time-limited partial or full rendition of their application, software manufacturers - especially large ones like Microsoft - are more than willing to pay manufacturers to put their stuff on laptops and desktops. You don't even have to install anything; these programs are there when you turn the computer on for the first time. This doesn't have to be a bad thing; there are many computer users who've been introduced to a useful application after being introduced to it as a new PC preload. But the vast majority of users don't appreciate these preloads - and they even have a name for it: "crapware" (like software, only crappier). Thus the popularity of the great PC Decrapifier (, which removes dozens of preloads that are part of your PC from the get-go ( Crapware (polite people might say "bloatware" instead) is such in the eyes of the beholder, of course - but there's not much you can do with the crippled versions of many of the preloads you get on most computers these days. How about you run PC Decrapifier, remove all the preloads and then decide for yourself which programs to install? Sounds like a plan, no?

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