Lifestyles

Computer question: Uninstall, y'all!

With the digital age in evidence all around us, amidst the marvels of it all are the inevitable annoyances. Like the ubiquitous smartphones demanding attention often to the exclusion of social graces, the robo phone calls timed to arrive around dinner time, the cell towers sprouting up on skylines, and, to those of us that spend any time connected to the Internet, the numerous intrusions to privacy that appear on screens unsolicited and usually unwelcome.

Last year I purchased a brand-new laptop that came complete with the latest and greatest Windows operating system together with a goodly number of apps (application software packages), some gratis, others for a price. Once I got used to the different feel of the keyboard and installed a wireless mouse I really was quite happy with my new computer. For a time I tolerated the frequent popups that offered me such things as a free backup service, specialized registry scans and repair, virus protection, custom toolbars and so on.

Many of these apps and services were built in to Windows out of collaboration between Microsoft and the hardware manufacturer. Soon my tolerance turned to annoyance, the latter fueled by frustration with the inability to turn off the popups short of subscribing to the service or product being promoted. One freebie I did acquire automatically became the default home page for my Firefox browser that I could not change. So I set about “uninstalling” the culprit software and blocking the acceptance of cookies by the websites promoting it. Even after doing so I couldn’t turn off a couple of the annoyances built in to Windows that show up even when not connected to the Internet. I know, I know, Linux proponents reading this will be saying “quit your whining and dump Windows.” Trouble is that I like some of the apps that run under it because, well...I wrote them!

The Vernon PC Users’ Club meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Schubert Centre cafeteria. Call Betty at 542-7024 or Olive at 542-8490 for more information.

 

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