Posted by: Odzangba | December 19, 2006

Some apps just irritate me

I spent the entire night watching the LOTR movies and only got to bed at about four this morning. Got some three hours of sleep and got up to follow my sister to work. I hate introductions and my opinion did not change after I was introduced to the folks at the office. We all had to have exaggerated smiles on our faces and shake hands and everything… <roll eyes/> This post is just one of a long series of rants about applications that annoy me. I’ll start with Windows (I know it is an OS but, that still doesn’t disqualify it). My sister’s work pc is a Dell Optiplex GX280 with a 3.0Ghz single core processor and 256mb of RAM. This is quite decent so I was surprised when I took nearly seven minutes for the box to finish loading windows. That’s quite apart from the fact it locked up on the first boot. First thing that caught my eye after I was *allowed* to use the desktop🙂 was the fact that 2 anti-virus software (AVG and McAfee) were installed… my opinion about the sys admin at this point was very unflattering. They were behaving like trolls and were clubbing each other on the head, the result being that each had disabled the other… sweet huh? I prefer McAfee over all other Windows anti-virus software so I uninstalled AVG. Rebooted (waited another 7 minutes) and McAfee was still disabled… hmm. So I peeked into the applications wizard and found to my amusement that Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus was installed too… who is this idiot who calls him/herself a sys admin? So the problem was three separate anti-virus suites fighting each other and none winning. Norton had to go so I started the uninstall. Got through half the “gathering information” stage and asked me for the uninstall password! It wouldn’t accept my user account password so I connected to the internet and googled it. I found out the default password is “symantec”. The idiot of a sys admin hadn’t even bothered to change it so I continued with the uninstall without any further glitches. Rebooted again and now I only have to wait 3.5 minutes.

 

Let’s move on to Mobile2i internet software suite (the wireless internet service I talked about in my previous post). The install procedure lacks any real foresight and is extremely irritating. The manual instructs you to first install the application software before connecting the device otherwise Windows will not be able to configure the device. At first I thought some guy in their tech department was just being pompous so, true to my character, I did the opposite and tried to get windows to detect and install the device before installing the internet suite. The device got detected fine but it turned out the manual was right and Windows was unable to install the device drivers. The weird thing is, Windows reported that no drivers were available on the OEM cd… hmmm. Once I got the application software installed however, Windows changed its tune, found and installed the device drivers. I’m sitting here thinking to myself, what is the point? Why should the presence of the application software be required for installing *drivers*? Is it not the case that device drivers allow applications, and the underlying OS for that matter, to communicate with hardware devices? Shouldn’t device drivers be installed *before* application software if indeed it is necessary to specify an order for the installation?

 

The Mobile2i software presented me with a largely minimalist interface. All I had to do was click on the “connect” button and I was connected to the internet. It says here that I’m allowed up to 230.4kb/s. I don’t know if this is the *actual* speed. I fired up firefox (hmm, that kind of rhymes😀 ) and got lost in the internet wilderness for a few minutes. When I decided to disconnect after about 15 minutes however, the Mobile2i application had “disappeared”. It was not in the desktop workspace, no button on the task bar and running the app again had no effect. So I checked the system tray and found an icon that claimed to belong to it. Left and right clicks on it however produced no results. All this time, the clock was ticking and I was paying for it. In the end, I logged out and back in, ran the app before I was able to disconnect. If this is not thievery, I don’t know what it is. The thinly veiled attempts to rip me off get even more irritating. As I later found out, It is not possible to check my account balance when I’m connected to the internet, I have to disconnect in order to do so. What this means is that I generally don’t have any idea as to how much I’m spending until after I’ve finished what I need to do, unless of course I continually disconect to check my balance. How am I supposed to keep my internet expenses under control? I think NetAfrique doesn’t want me to control my costs at all. They’d like to keep me ignorant of how much money I’m losing for as long as possible.

 

I’ll have more to say about this trashy app as I explore more of its functionality. Right now, I’m off to find some lunch.


Responses

  1. As a customer advocate at Dell headquarters, I felt somewaht compelled to respond to this post. Since the Optiplex you mentioned was clearly mismanaged (having 3 AV packages installed) it is no wonder it took so long to boot up. AV software is notoriously resource hungry, as modern computer users demand that their security software keep them safe from every kind of menace they may face in their internet journeys with little to no interaction from them. This coupled with the fact that the sysadmin felt comfortable outfitting the rig with the minimum suggested requirement of RAM for Windows XP, it is completely understandable that the system struggled to initialize every autostarting program and service the sysadmin configured the system to boot with. I think your complaint here is prbably less about the OS or the system itself and more with the obvious mismanagement of it. As long as consumers are purchasing computers there will always be the occasional sysadmin who expects their minimally configured system to run every proprietary app they whimsically decide to install while ballancing the national budget and making coffee for the office. I hope you were able to speak to this sysadmin and educate him/her as to the error of their ways. No doubt this person is blaming the equipment for its inability to cope with such unreasonable demands.

  2. John,
    I wasn’t really complaining about the hardware, just the incompetent sysadmin who was over-tasking it. In my part of the world, the specs of my sister’s pc are considered “high end”🙂 As I later found out, there were tons of other junk software installed but I was unable to tell the sysadmin what I think of him. I think he’s on leave. I’ve tweaked the system and removed most of the junk so I’m getting some really snappy responses now. And don’t worry, my family is deeply entrenched in the Dell family. We curently have two Dell Optiplexes and given the excellent hardware support on Ubuntu, I see no reason why we should not keep on buying Dells🙂

  3. I am glad you were able to clean up that system. I have been in support for several years, and I am always amazed at the new ways to abuse their computers some computer users and ‘admins’ find🙂

    In any case, feel free to ping my team if you ever have any feedback or need any advanced assistance. You can reach us at customer_advocate@dell.com.


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