Mossberg Tells PC Makers To Cut The Craplets

from the the-ad-supported-PC-is-back dept

Anyone who has bought a new PC in recent years knows all about the rigmarole associated with getting them going once they've been taken out of the box. In addition to all of the preferences, the user is faced with an onslaught of what are basically software ads in the form of trial services. Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, who has certainly seen more than his fair share of computers over the years, was nevertheless struck by how ridiculous things have gotten, after experiencing the joys of setting up a new Sony Vaio laptop. In addition to two dozen pieces of teaser software for services from Napster and AOL, the computer came pre-loaded with four feature-length movies from Sony Pictures. Of course the movies, which were taking up valuable space on the hard drive, couldn't be viewed without first paying Sony. The problem, as Mossberg correctly identifies, is that computer manufacturers act as if the computer doesn't belong to the user, but is instead some platform for them to pitch services. It could be argued that all of these pitches help subsidize the cost of the computer, or at least help defray the growing Windows tax (the fact that as hardware prices continue to drop, the portion of a computer's price that goes to paying for Windows goes up). But it's not surprising, then, that consumers are increasingly interested in alternatives, like desktop Linux, as a way of avoiding the whole mess.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:23pm

    Who owns yours PC

    Could you imagine if you bought a house like this?

    First it would have advertisement billboards on all the walls when you walked in.

    Then would come with rooms that were locked and you could not use until you pay the builder’s partners extra.

    The furniture that came with the house would be taken away after the trail 14 days was up.

    Finally you would have to accept a contract that stipulates everything in house is actually not users, rather its licensed to you and remains the property of the builder.

    So you would simply wipe it out and rebuild to get it working the way you like it.

    And yet we accept this as normal for PC sales?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    tweak, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:25pm

    Of course, there is always the PC Decrapifier, or my favorite option - build it yourself...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Sam, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Buying a Sony Vaio

    Consider the Vaio to be a learning experience. I bought mine before the CD incident. The amount of junk software that the user has to wade through to get the Sony machine going was unbelievable. Occasionally my firewall still warns me that some package is trying to call out to Sony. After Sony's smuggling of crapware through their CD's, you have to wonder about anyone that would buy a Sony product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    Yeah, he's right - hit that nail right on the head.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    SM, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:41pm

    Just one of the many reasons I built my own system last time. Unfortunately, that's not a viable solution for most people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Bill, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:43pm

    Hey Its not just Sony Folks All Brands are like th

    Just because the author bought a Sony is no reason to single them out . All of the manufacturers do the crapware add on. And where sony gives you at least some programs that are worthwhile you can use a lot of manufacturers give you nothing but trials and crapware so lets be fair and not just pick on one brand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Fed Up, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:43pm

    No way around it

    Don't get the idea that you'll just reformat and reload Windows without all the crap either; the manufacturers don't usually provide a Windows installation disc. Instead, you have to use a "restore" disc that just puts all the crap back on. Think you'll just use a disc you already have? Well, the OEM license key that you got with your new machine likely as not won't work with it (M$'s way of protecting this little scheme for the manufacturers). OK, so how about you just bite the bullet and go out and buy a new retail box copy of Windows? To prevent this scenario many manufacturers, like HP, are starting to no longer provide the down-loadable drivers needed to make the hardware actually work without using the "restore" disc. They really do act like it's "their" computer and if you aren't going to install all "their" crap then they aren't going to let you use it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Richard Burman, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:45pm

    I get annoyed as well... consider the alternative

    As competitive as the hardware business has become, I can appreciate manufacturers finding ways to bring the cost down. I think Mossberg's point of respecting ownership, and perhaps "asking" before assuming. Manufacturers may argue, well, consumers don't want to pay more... I don't believe the manufactures are sensitive to what we want, more with how they can be the lowest price. Let's suppose when building out your next computer, you come to a line item that says "Offers from 3rd Parties" and it has a -150 discount... I certainly would check that box. I would of course, like others, format and reinstall my os when receiving my package. I would appreciate the choice though...which should be mine in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Andrew Rickmann, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Don't stand for it

    That is precisely the reason why I only buy machines that come with a real Windows disk and not some manufacturer default installation disk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Hey Its not just Sony Folks All Brands are lik

    All of the manufacturers do the crapware add on.
    Not true; just the big crappy ones. And there's nothing wrong with naming names (even though the guilty don't like it).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Mossberg = Apple Fanboy, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    Michael McMannus

    Mossberg specializes in Apple. He always has had a pro-apple bias in his articles.

    I don't listen to a word he says. Trying to get good PC advice from Mossberg is about the same as asking a two year old about the trials of life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Sony VAIO

    The problem, as Mossberg correctly identifies, is that computer manufacturers act as if the computer doesn't belong to the user, but is instead some platform for them to pitch services.

    Hardware is plentiful and cheap. Manufacturers are selling at marginal costs and trying to figure out some way to make a profit.

    The internet has turned the computer into a platform for the delivery of services. Most of those services (e.g. Google, YouTube, etc.) come to you free, with the service provider making its profit from advertisements.

    It should be an obvious development that a computer would come pre-loaded with advertisements for goods and services as a way for the producer of the computer to make some profit. But even these advertisements will not ultimately make the computer profitable as they will tend to become price subsidies instead of profit. Such is the way of competition in commodity markets.

    The ads are annoying. You are forced to remove the crap. But, given the choice, most people will buy the crapped-up lower price computer. You'll have to live with it unless you pass a law against it or build your own computer. Either way, you'll wind up paying more for the computer, unless your cost formula prices the value of the time you spend building the computer very low (which could be the case if you enjoy that sort of thing).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Erv, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    this is why I build my own computers, not only do I get to skip all the extra junk pc makers install on their computers mine also run better and faster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Re: I get annoyed as well... consider the alternat

    I would appreciate the choice though...which should be mine in the first place.
    That's the whole point: you don't have a choice from these companies. They claim that their customers really want all this crap on their computers. Well, that's a bunch of bull and just shows how dishonest and untrustworthy they really are. If they even believed that themselves they would ask before installing the crap. But they don't. The last thing you need running on your computer is a bunch of crap from dishonest untrustworthy sources. Unless you like getting root-kitted that is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Randizzle, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    Puget (pugetsystems.com) built me an awesome machine to my specs, and guess what, it inculdes a full retail version of whatever op system you choose, with a cd key stickered to the back of your comp. and no crap on the desktop, the removal of it is part of their checklist!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Patrick, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    I'll never buy retail again

    The last time I bought a computer (retail for myself) I also had one built for my brother from a local shop (DIT computer in Omaha). The customized box was bigger (HD) faster and cheaper than the brandname I bought for myself. I was flabergasted - my brother had a genuine windoes cd and was cruising while I had this expensive slug filled with crapware...and the restore disc didn't actually work, it turned out later. Since then, I have built about 5 boxes and life is good, mates.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    teknosapien, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    I bought a laptop...

    And immediately removed the Stock hard drive and place a blank one in and loaded up Linux. Did I loose money on the machine? of course but I have piece of mind knowing that I wont get compromised ( well that and a hearty hardware firewall )

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:35pm

    Patrick, can you come over and build one for me?

    Fact is, most computer buyers want something they can pull out of the box, plug it in and have it working in under an hour.

    The people who typically read Techdirt don't fit into that category.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Sony VAIO

    Hardware is plentiful and cheap. Manufacturers are selling at marginal costs and trying to figure out some way to make a profit.
    Oh yeah, things are just really tough out there for them. Not only do they have to make the computers, which is hard enough, but then they have to figure out how to put root kits on them, send private investigators after critics, and hire turf trolls to watch over forums. Man, the average worker just has no idea how rough the CEO's of these companies have it. I don't see how they do it on the little money they make.

    You are forced to remove the crap.
    No you aren't. In fact, it is not always even possible. When it is possible, it can be expensive. Next you buy a computer, try to get the seller to give you a fair market price for also removing all the crapware before delivery. They probably won't because the labor cost would be so embarrassingly high that you wouldn't buy the computer if they did.

    You'll have to live with it unless you pass a law against it...
    Good idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Alton M. Stewart, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    Patrick, can you come over and build one for me?
    If Patrick can't, I can. Send your requirements to Alton.M.Stewart@mytrashmail.com.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Black Ize (profile), Apr 6th, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    Junk is always left behind from the crapware

    when you uninstall the crap from a new computer. There are programs out there that will track all the changes made by these program when you do a Restore from the cd's provided. Use one and then uninstall the stuff and just look at the junk that was supposed to be removed when you uninstall. Plus all the crap increases system instablility. I think users should sue the computer maunufactorers for the cost of tech support to fix the issues caused by the crapware. I think they would stop installing the stuff after a couple of suits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 3:08pm

    Re: No way around it

    Which is why I buy my laptops from places like www.powernotebooks.com who will sell you whatever you want, exactly how you want it.

    Screw "them". If they won't provide me a good product at a good price, I'll go elsewhere. It may cost me $100 more, but it's well worth it for the savings in time, and knowing that the computer is mine, I don't have anything in there that I didn't knowingly install.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    GrammarNazi, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 3:23pm

    Re: I bought a laptop...

    Dude. Take a writing course. Why would anyone take advice from someone who writes worse than a 4th grade student?

    If "And" is a continuation of the topic sentence, it shouldn't be capitalized
    "Stock" shouldn't be capitalized
    You also needed to use placed, not "place"
    "loose" is what your mom is. "lose" is what you did to your money
    "Of" should be capitalized
    There should be a comma after "course"
    You have "peace" of mind. Only a small piece, though.
    You also actually wanted "won't", as in you "will not" get compromised (or properly contracted).

    That's only 7 glaring errors in 3 sentences though. Keep trying, maybe you'll get a 1:1 ratio some day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Sony VAIO

    but then they have to figure out how to put root kits on them

    The article was about advertisements, not root kits. Root kits should be fully disclosed before one buys a computer system, or the manufacturer should be sued for not appropriately advertising their non-standard modifications to system software.

    Man, the average worker just has no idea how rough the CEO's of these companies have it.

    They probably don't. If the CEO doesn't find a way to turn the marginal-cost product into a profit maker, it will be dropped and people will lose their jobs.

    However, if the division is large enough, the CEO may wind up keeping it going so the company doesn't have to suffer the monetary losses associated with shutting down operations, paying severance, and meeting other obligations under labor laws. The hope, there, for the CEO is that he can find someway to make a profit with the division in the future (or find some other way to exit with lower overall loss). While he is not making a profit, he is wasting capital that might otherwise go to a more profitable project. Either way, the CEO's job is on the line. Either way, the company's stock price will suffer, along with the value of any portfolio holding the stock, including your pension fund.

    I don't see how they do it on the little money they make.

    You might be surprised at what happens in commodity markets if you actually look into it. Even at its height, Enron was only making a 6% profit and a good portion of that was accounting fraud.

    it is not always even possible [to remove the crap].

    If the crap is in firmware, then you are right. We do need laws against deceptive practices and undisclosed extraordinary "features".

    Good idea

    Thanks for letting me know I got one right. :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    vin, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 4:14pm

    an alternative to is extract the drivers

    decompress the installer, and the crappier it is loaded, the morelikely it will immediately auto-run the install. cancel this install, then under device manager manually point the add hardware wizard to this decompressed folder, and find yoru drivers. then copy them somewhere better, do this for all your hardware, and dump windows and start over only using this new source of installers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Reed, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 4:30pm

    Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    "You might be surprised at what happens in commodity markets if you actually look into it. Even at its height, Enron was only making a 6% profit and a good portion of that was accounting fraud"

    I wouldn't feel sorry for CEO's.

    In 1980 the average CEO made 45 times the pay of a average full-time worker

    In 1991 CEO's made made around 140 times the pay of a average full time worker leading one analyst to comment "CEO is paid so much more than the ordinary worker that he hasn't the slightest clue as to how the rest of the country lives"

    In 2005 once again CEO's increased their average pay to 352 times that of an average worker.

    I guess the concepts of greed and gluttony are long gone in the new United Corporations of America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Nukem, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 4:31pm

    The fact is choice should be available to the customer.. Crapware is just that a bunch of crap. I've been building custom computers for customers for 15 years. That's why my customers keep coming back. The hate the crap. They want a computer that runs and not bogged down with all the advertising crap. I don't know any one that likes spyware installed on his computer before he gets it.

    Dell is finally beginning to get a clue. They will be offering alternatives to Windows Vista and more options for their customers to choose from. If it costs a few dollars more so be it.

    As for me I'll continue to build my own offering clean fast systems. Without any crapware installed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    I wouldn't feel sorry for CEO's.

    I didn't say you should feel sorry for them. I know the original poster was trying to make a comment about salaries. That doesn't mean I have to play his game. I merely pointed out that the problems they have to navigate are beyond the understanding of the "average worker" and that the "average worker" is dependent on the CEO making those decisions.

    CEO really are people too. Some of them are well known assholes (technical term, see Bob Sutton's blog feed://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/atom.xml). Some of them are nice guys too. But all of them will be fired by the company owners if they don't make money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    But all of them will be fired by the company owners if they don't make money.
    Now you've lost all cedibility. There are many, many examples of CEOs getting huge BONUSES even while the companies are LOSING record amounts of money. And even when they are replaced they usually leave on a "golden parachute".

    CEOs aren't hired because of what they know but rather because of who they know. And I find your assertion that the "average worker" is too stupid to even understand what a CEO does to be elitist and offensive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Now you've lost all cedibility.

    What else is new? I come to this blog to be regularly reminded of that. Of course, I disagree.

    There are many, many examples of CEOs getting huge BONUSES even while the companies are LOSING record amounts of money.

    Yes. There are many examples of good things happening to bad CEOs. They make for compelling news stories, which is why you know of them. Of course, they are not the norm. You don't hear about the thousands of CEOs who on any given day don't do anything destructive or evil.

    I find your assertion that the "average worker" is too stupid to even understand what a CEO does to be elitist and offensive.

    If you are going to get all pushed out of joint, then at least characterize what I said correctly. I said "the problems they (CEO's) have to navigate are beyond the understanding of the "average worker". It isn't elitist. It is fact, at least for any moderately complex corporation. I would even go so far as to state that many CEOs themselves have to navigate problems that are beyond their understanding.

    That said, there is a difference in skill set between a good CEO and an average worker. Ask the average worker at a supermarket if they know anything about corporate valuation, bond issues, microeconomics, supply chain management, corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, or any other domain in which the CEO operates during his daily job. You'll find that the average worker hasn't a clue about half the things the CEO must consider.

    Whether the average worker is capable of knowing these things is a different question. The fact is the overwhelming majority don't, irrespective of the reason they don't.

    Please note, I didn't say either average workers or CEOs was stupid. I'm not responsible for the emotional baggage you bring to the conversation, but I'm sorry if your misinterpretation of what I was saying caused you any distress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sony VAIO

    The article was about advertisements, not root kits.
    If you read the original post you will find that root kit installation was just mentioned as an example of one of the tasks that some manufacturers perform for their customers and thus justified the idea that they need to be compensated for this valuable service by the revenue derived from the installation of crapware.

    Root kits should be fully disclosed before one buys a computer system, or the manufacturer should be sued for not appropriately advertising their non-standard modifications to system software.
    But not prosecuted, eh? Yep, leave it up to granny to try to sue megacorp. I can hear them laughing now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Please note, I didn't say either average workers or CEOs was stupid. I'm not responsible for the emotional baggage you bring to the conversation, but I'm sorry if your misinterpretation of what I was saying caused you any distress.
    Oh, I thought you wrote that it was beyond their understanding, not just beyond that which they were knowledgeable about. My eyes must be playing tricks on me. Please excuse me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Yes. There are many examples of good things happening to bad CEOs. They make for compelling news stories, which is why you know of them.

    Most of them never make the news. Check out the SEC reports. They list far more than the news.

    Of course, they are not the norm.

    Seems to me like the term "all" would include them as well. Do I hear the back-pedal-boogie starting up?

    You don't hear about the thousands of CEOs who on any given day don't do anything destructive or evil.

    I guess anyone can have an off day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Silicon Valley, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

    On CEOs ...

    I am the founder and CEO of a small-to-midsized company. I have to say that I find many of the practices of corporate America utterly distasteful. I cannot understand how a person, say, like Carly (not by any means the worst example, just a name that came to mind) can ever expect loyalty or trust or commitment from subordinates, when they have negotiated for themselves fantastic amounts of money no matter what the outcome for shareholders or employees.

    I am a libertarian capitalist, and I firmly believe this is not the working of a free market at all but the terminal stages of "financialism" that has taken over. It would take longer than this comment thread to explain this view in detail, but as a CEO, I will not morally or ethically associate myself with a lot of those bastards out there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Reed, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Squik said,

    "That said, there is a difference in skill set between a good CEO and an average worker. "

    I think it is more than just a skill set difference. The people who become CEO's are typically from well to do families and have been involved with building social networks and investments most of their life.

    Rather than just a skill set most CEO's have had a lifetime of networking. This is not something someone from a the lower class could accomplish realistically.

    Of course there are exemptions often referred to as straddlers who cross class barriers within their lifetime to become great leaders and sometimes CEO's. This is the exception to the rule though and does not happen very often.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    A chicken passeth by, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 7:19pm

    That's why I love doing-it-myself. Warranties be damned (and besides - a by part warranty may help more than "an entire ****ing unit" warranty, you don't have to lug that heavy HP desktop around for one).

    Too bad I can't DIY a laptop. I can *make* one with whatever's currently avaliable, but it WILL be missing one critical component: a LiON battery, chargable power supply.

    If that were avaliable I'd see DIY laptops (and even UMPCs) hit the market. And I wish that would happen - DCHP and Co. (that's Dell, Compaq and HP - even if Compaq and HP have merged, I still like the acronym) need a wakeup call.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    I thought you wrote that it was beyond their understanding

    I did write that. I didn't say stupid. One can be smart and still have something be beyond their understanding. I know many smart people to whom something as simple as capital markets is beyond their understanding. They do not have either the requisite quantitative skills or desire to understand them. I don't care which it is, the subject is beyond their understanding. I don't consider them stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Rather than just a skill set most CEO's have had a lifetime of networking. This is not something someone from a the lower class could accomplish realistically.

    Absolutely. Most did not exactly start in the mail room and work their way up, so to speak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    I don't care which it is, the subject is beyond their understanding. I don't consider them stupid.
    Oh I see, it's not that they're stupid, they're just not as smart as CEOs. Still sounds elitist to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 8:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    I think it is more than just a skill set difference

    There are personality differences also. Ignoring legacy cases, it takes a certain amount of tenacity and/or aggressive behavior to work one's way into the corner office.

    The people who become CEO's are typically from well to do families and have been involved with building social networks and investments most of their life.

    The "well to do families" stereotype is overblown. This isn't necessarily the case in technology, especially these days. Education is the stronger correlation. Thanks to social programs there is more liberal access to university education, so wealth does not correlate as strongly with education.

    This is not something someone from a the lower class could accomplish realistically

    This isn't completely true. Networking is a skill that is based partially on personality and partially learned. MBA programs at good schools emphasize the importance of network building. They offer seminars in networking. And they sponsor many social events to help their students and alumni build networks. Anyone who gets a business education will wind up having their network start at school and have the skills to continue building it.

    I'm not as pessimistic about a person's ability to rise as you seem to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 8:22pm

    Re: On CEOs ...

    You sound like a good CEO. I'm glad you posted. Thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for C

    Oh I see, it's not that they're stupid, they're just not as smart as CEOs. Still sounds elitist to me.

    I never said "not as smart".

    Different people have different skills sets and interests. The CEO of a media company is likely to be better at the skills required to be a CEO than a musician working for the company. The musician is likely to be better at playing their instrument and musical composition than the CEO. That does not make one smarter than the other. They can both be brilliant and the abilities of the other can be beyond each of them.

    You want to interpret my words through whatever class warfare or emotional baggage you cling to. The conflict is in your soul, not mine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    When you buy a box from a manufacturer instead of building it yourself from parts, just wipe the hard disk and reinstall windows and whatever programs you really use. It's full of spyware, adware and other ridiculous things like half of your harddisk reserved for some "backup" copy of the bloated OS, in case you want to reinstall.
    If you're not too comfortable doing this yourself, I'm sure you know some tech guy capable of doing this.
    Just get over the whining already. If you're stupid enough to use some "cleaning tool" and then see your firewall pop up that something is trying to phone home, well then you deserve what you bought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    Strange, i just bought a great laptop (Sager 5760) from Sager adn there wasnt one single bit of crapware on it. This machine had higher specs than anything from Sony or Dell for the same price and i even got a 3yr FULL warranty to boot. Maybe people should think about telling the large corporations to stuff it by going elsewhere with his or her dollars. I did and im supremely happy with my new crapware free laptop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    reed, Apr 7th, 2007 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Squik said,

    "The "well to do families" stereotype is overblown. This isn't necessarily the case in technology, especially these days."

    There is nothing overblown about the "well to do families". If you believe there is then I dare you to list all the CEO and other Industry leaders that come from lower class America and then compare that list to upper class America.

    "Education is the stronger correlation. Thanks to social "

    Wrong again. Education is directly related to class not the other way around. There is a mountain of evidence that proves this! Please don't try to make it out like there is a level playing field when the evidence clearly indicates otherwise.

    "Networking is a skill that is based partially on personality and partially learned. "

    I would disagree here. Networking is all about exposure and poor class has no exposure. Like I said, most CEO have a lifetime of networking, not a couple of years in community or a university setting.

    "This isn't completely true."

    Nothing is completely true, but the rule of thumb is what I have already stated.

    "I'm not as pessimistic about a person's ability to rise as you seem to be"

    Pessimism and reality are two different things. I believe foolhardily like most other Americans that anyone can obtain higher standing in America, but the reality is often far from this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    squik, Apr 7th, 2007 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for C

    There is nothing overblown about the "well to do families".

    It is in technology. Entrepreneurship often comes from lower and middle class offspring.

    Education is directly related to class not the other way around.

    This is true. But, I think you'll find, there are more people from middle class backgrounds than upper class running tech companies.

    Pessimism and reality are two different things.

    Pessimism can create reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    IsNoGood, Apr 8th, 2007 @ 12:41am

    De-branding all PC

    I work for a big firm and the fist thing we have to do is spend time removing all this, build a new image and download all the drives, and then figure out how to get the thing we like like drive updates deployed its a mess, DELL and Sony are among the worst I'm sorry to say

    some time back I found a web site that has a scrip to de band DELL ( forgot the ULR sorry )

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Rike, Apr 8th, 2007 @ 8:47am

    First thing I do with any new laptops in particular - image it if it did not come with a restoration cd/dvd, burn the image to cd /dvd.
    Blow away all partitions & start from scratch.

    This assumes of course you can get all the necessary drivers. Research before you buy and don't buy from companies who don't have the drivers up on their site.

    My clients are impressed with the performance improvement.

    Toolbars and other associated junk should not be foced on you from square one - too much overhead, too many vulnerabilities, too much performance hit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Reed, Apr 8th, 2007 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry f

    "It is in technology. Entrepreneurship often comes from lower and middle class offspring."

    Yeah I would imagine newer fields like computer technology would be more open to upward mobility. It will be interesting to see if it continues to remain this way.

    "Pessimism can create reality"

    Yes, we all know of the self-fulling prophecy. Cynicism and pessimism can easily lead you down a road of inactivity, disengagement, and disenfranchisement. This of course will help to fulfill any negative thoughts you have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    zmanzero, Apr 8th, 2007 @ 11:16am

    this will get rid of crap on a new computer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    None of this on Macs

    Gotta say this is news to me. While I did have to set some preferences (date, time, location, etc) when I set up my various Macs, there was no advertising or trial pitches for any software. Seems like Windows-only phenomena.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 7:05am

    I am a PC technician, and have built just about every computer I've owned (the ones I haven't were given to me). I can tell you right now that all the OEMs cut so many corners on their low-end machines, it's not even funny. They use crappy slow hard drives, cheap generic memory, flaky motherboards, power supplies that die within a year or two (often taking other components with them), etc. A good chunk of what you are paying for is operating costs, people's salaries, and warranty work, not the PC. This type of PC is fine for some people and certain situations, but you aren't really getting your money's worth out of it. Plus, if you are the type of person that actually knows what kind of components you want, chances are extremely high that you will never get the options you want from any OEM. There is a plethora of options for computer hardware available that the general public never sees because they don't know about them or understand them.

    I think everybody needs to either start learning how to build their own computers or buy a custom-built computer from somebody who does. OEMs may have customer service that can listen to your requirements and offer suggestions for a purchase, but they are bound by their product line, which may not fit your requirements, or your budget. When building custom, the sky's the limit. Just a couple weeks ago I built a brand new gaming system for a friend of mine, using all high-quality brand name parts. It was complete with a 19" digital LCD panel, Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard and laser mouse, and a Creative Labs 7.1 surround sound speaker system, which btw was plugged into a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer sound card, not crappy on-board audio, and I loaded Windows XP Media Center edition on it, which was the XP "Ultimate Edition" since it has all the features of XP Professional (which is actually more expensive) as well as the multimedia stuff. And with a GeForce 8800 card driving the video, it took any game we could throw at it and kept asking for more.

    The parts for the system were purchased exclusively from Newegg.com and came to total of just a bit under $1950, and that includes all the shipping costs. Any OEM system that could rival the power of this machine would cost closer to $3000, possibly more with shipping and tax. The only problem with building your own is that if any problems come up, you have to service the machine yourself (unless you bought a custom rig from a mom-n-pop shop), and you are stuck with the individual manufacturer's warranty for each of the parts. However, I don't buy the cheap crap that usually breaks down, rather I just buy the good stuff at reasonable prices. Of all the systems I've built, hardly any have had any sort of hardware failure that was due to a component failing on its own (as opposed to, say, a power surge blowing out a PSU and motherboard). Also, if you use good parts, your system, which already cost you less, will easily outperform any OEM piece of junk that comes preloaded with a bunch of crap. If you don't believe me, go buy a $1000 Dell Dimension PC, then get somebody to build you the fastest custom rig $1000 can buy (while trying to maintain equivalent specs to the Dell), then set them up side by side, turn them on, and watch what happens. If the custom rig was built well, it should make the shiny new Dell appear bloated and sluggish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Cyber Akuma, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Yes, but what about laptops?

    There is a problem with the "built it yourself" argument. Yes, I can and do build my own desktops. I have given up on even considering prebuilts and just choose all the parts on my own.

    This has worked fine in the past..... but what if I needed a laptop?

    As far as I know laptops very little to practically no internal hardware standards as desktops do. Even different models of the same type and brand of laptops can have compeltely different sizes/shapes/and ports for their battery, optical drive, etc. So basically, your only choice is to buy a prebuilt, a prebuiolt loaded with as much crapware as a desktop, if not more.

    And of course, there is no legal way to just format it and reinstall Windows, or any other applications you want that it came with, such as Office.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 3:13pm

    Just buy a Mac

    No crapware, the quadcore desktop runs XP better than any hardware i have used,

    You get what you pay for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    A chicken passeth by, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 5:07pm

    Call me back when OSX is compatible with AMD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Matthew Rigdon, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    My Mac didn't come with a bunch of ads

    Of course, I paid more money for my Mac.

    Funny how these problems can be solved with money, especially your own money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Douglas Eads, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 8:55pm

    Windows

    I agree. My computer gets slower and slower and cluttered. I don't know how to safely free my machine of cyber junk which is strangling my machine.
    I bought the machine but I have no control over what's in it. Since Microsoft is a public utility it should be regulated as a utility. Why should we take this on-line torture any more? The basic computer should be
    as simple to use as the telephone. Thank you. dke

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 11:44pm

    Not too bad

    My latest HP laptop had very little crap on it. It had a free trial of Norton Anti-virus, which I used for the until it ran out before replacing it with a legit copy of Trend Micro PC Cillin, and it had a few pieces of crap medai playing and burning software, but they were simply primitve and bloated porducts, not actually crapplets, and were easily replacable.While it did come with M$ Works (an oxymoron if eer there was one), the only software which was a real problem was Real Player, which is something of a secuirty problem, nd even tha could be removed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry f

    Just because soem lawyer knows less physics/chem/math than I do does not make me more intelligent tham him, his greter knowledge of Law does not make him more intelligent. It is simply a matter of what we each know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for C

    Both my university and college do a lot to help students netowrk, whatever their field, by setting up tutorial; s run by ex-students, ad holding various events throughout the year. for exam,ple, the law students recently had a series of tutorials run by a former student who is now a very senoir judge (I forget his exact position, since, not studying law, I paid little attention to the message)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This