Ok, it hasn’t been a happy holiday season this year. Comcast held a Comcast Doesn’t Care Day and my entire department was eliminated. A few days before Chanuka and two weeks before Christmas.
So, I found myself assessing the tools I need for job hunting (it’s been a while since I was at Comcast 12+ years). My Xerox Personal Copier (circa 1994) needed a drum/cartridge (approx $100) and my 8 year old fax machine (a $129 Brother) was sending stuff that was unreadable. True, I don’t use a fax much anymore, but there are a few non tech entities that still don’t understand email and scans. I had a scanner that went in the dumpster about 10 years ago that I never replaced. It lasted just long enough to digitize my heirloom family pictures and my own film prints and negatives.
Staples had this HP 8500 Pro 909g printer/fax/scanner/color copier which, with a printer trade in rebate, was $249.98. And there is a $50 mail in rebate on top of that. OK, $200 to replace my all dead and dying Jurassic period home office communications/imaging devices seemed like a good deal. C|Net liked this printer, too.
I had an 8 year old printer to trade, and a friend to carry equipment up and down stairs for me. I played with the printer at Staples for quite a while and liked what I saw.
Hardware setup was quick and easy. I have no complaints there. Then I installed the printer driver suite.
Imagine my displeasure when, at the end of the install, I launched IE and I noticed the Yahoo toolbar had been silently installed without my permission. And IE immediately crashed. Way to go, HP. I re-opened IE and disabled the Yahoo toolbar add-in, closed the browser and was greeted with a second “Internet Explorer has stopped working” intercept. Opened IE and found some additional HP Browser helper objects (BHO’s) in Manage Add-ons and disabled them. Closed the browser. Uninstalled the Yahoo toolbar. Back to normal.
I then decided to contact HP Support to complain about foisting this crap on unsuspecting consumers. The first email response was from a delta semi moron who told me to contact Microsoft for Internet Explorer support in uninstalling the Yahoo toolbar. I emailed my reply and heard back from a different support rep. Apparently HP has so many complaints about the crapware they install that they have a permanent FAQ that includes the language “ ..special offers at HP Deals “. The installer also PINS two icons to the Windows 7 Start menu.
OK, I’ve vented. I feel better now.