Add Bloat To Taste

Published on: Author: Mike Hall Leave a comment

Actually, I hate the word ‘bloat’, but I use it now because it is bandied around quite a lot.

According to sources, the next version of Windows will no longer include an e-mail client, picture viewer, and MovieMaker. It is said that this will benefit the user in as much as the latest versions of whatever Windows mail client and picture viewer can be downloaded within the first few minutes of use.

Now some people will be really pleased about this. You know the types, the ones who go into spasm if they see an icon for something they did not ask for and will never use, if only out of spite. These same people blame the above mini-apps for filling up their hard drives, even though they take up virtually no space.

The non-appearance of the mini-apps is not going to see the OS take up half the space that Vista does, but it will certainly make space enough for one more pirated MP3 song!!

A little harsh maybe? I don’t think so..

Strange how users will happily install RealPlayer, Incredimail, IM emoticons and the inexplicably bad support programs supplied with most digital cameras.

In the meantime, Linux distros have it all. The only reason that these distros don’t take up so much space is that they are copies of older stuff, and do not have all of the features of Windows applications or Windows operating systems. Everything looks prehistoric, and the only saving grace for much of it is that it gets present day support of sorts.

You don’t want bloat, so go back to using PCDOS. Wait up!! Many of you have never used DOS, never had to edit Autoexec and Config sys in order to get a mouse to work. While IBM took this stance, Microsoft made it easier by automatically doing these things. They have been doing it ever since, and what do they get for their troubles? We don’t want bloat, we don’t want bloat.

At the same time, you want ease of use and entries in Control Panel that allow huge amounts of customization ending just short of the ability to turn the mouse into a frog!! You want features but not the accompanying drop down menus, ribbons and consoles? Not happening. You want leather seats in your car, a cow dies. No way around it, and no apologies..

Starting to feel like you are losing the argument? How about we switch to appearance?

Vista is harder to use in what way? The icon for your digital camera software is still on the desktop just like it has always been. Is it harder to click a mouse working on Vista drivers than it was using XP? Don’t answer if you do not wish to appear foolish.

‘My Documents’ still appears in the menu activated by the Windows ORB, as does Computer, Control Panel and all of the other XP stuff. Don’t tell me you just sat looking at the screen while wondering where the START button had gone!!

How come you knew what ‘personalize’ meant after you loaded some badly written 3rd party program, but you will not click on personalize in order to PERSONALIZE your desktop appearance?

Did you ask the neighbour who told you that Vista was crap whether there is Vista on their machine? If you assumed that the neighbour was talking from personal experience, you were most likely wrong.

How come everybody seems to have forgotten the initial response to XP on release? After six years, it should be good, but there were shouts of bloat, crap, nothing works, slow, right there at the beginning.

The Longhorn project included many things at birth, but did anybody ever say that the workstation OS coming out of it would have every feature? The project also included a server version. The IT press and an assortment of geeks jumped on Vista for not being the full Longhorn monty, and the ride down the snake began. 

Peripheral device manufacturers must have breathed a sigh of relief when Bill Gates announced that there would not be such a gap between operating system releases in the future.

For six long years, they have had to support some of the oldest, slowest most inefficient crap imaginable because there was no strong arm escape route open to them to make you buy new stuff.

Why do you think that they sat on their butts when Vista was released? Do you think that it pays them to fully support some aging printer or whatever which has been lovingly dusted and polished since the giraffes were lead off of the Ark?

The outcry by computer users was strong enough that many relented and quickly produced Vista drivers, but it took some almost six months to erase the XP identifier in the driver code. I doubt that any of them will make the same mistake again. The laughable part is that this will be seen as a concession by Microsoft when Windows 7 is released to the public, even though driver compatibility and production is entirely the responsibility of the device manufacturers.

So, back to the bloat. What will your input be regarding the bloat on your hard drive? Ten thousand songs? Thousands of pictures from your digital camera, even the ones where the subjects head is accidentally out of view? Every spyware remover program which pops up to tell you that your computer has the equivalent of HIV? Maybe a failed attempt at dual booting with a Linux distro?

Did you know that each movie you download from a ‘torrent’ or P2P client is around 768mb in size? Did you also know that the torrent or P2P utility defaulted to save in your default user folders? Every movie you download is almost taking 1gb out of your C drive?

Versions of Vista hold shadow copies, restore points and other stuff to make the job or recovering from errors easier. Yes, it all takes up space, but if you want to be able to restore the computer to the last time you sent an e-mail to Santa Claus, you are going to have to live with it.

If you bought a decent enough pre-installed system, the hardware resources will be present that can handle it. To cope with the bloat which you introduce, extra resources will be needed, and that is YOUR responsibility. It does not fall on the manufacturer of the operating system.

If you are upgrading an older system, all of the responsibility is yours. Ensure that you do your homework well. 

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