Monday, September 11, 2006

Speaking of Fleas

(warning: The preceding is one consumer's opinion, nothing more. Don't even think about suing me.)

Several weeks ago, I bought a new Dell laptop. It's just like the one I bought a year ago, except a newer model of course and a few more bells and whistles. I admit, I'm a PC user, not Mac, and I prefer Dell over the other brands for many reasons -- but I'm not saying any others aren't just as good.

But the one thing that really bugs me about PC's is the garbage.

It's impossible to order a computer, with JUST Windows version whatever, and some office programs. See, that would be ideal for many of us. Just get yourself a bare bones PC (without the hassle of creating it yourself from scratch) and then add programs as you go.

No, they want to add things for you. Things you don't want, don't need, and will spend three hours trying to locate and delete when you first open up that box.

I'm used to it, really. When I got my desktop several years ago, it took an hour to clean off the crap they think you'll love to have, but once it was free of AOL trials and Automatic redirects, it was all fine and dandy.

The first laptop took me two hours to delete trials and free wares and redirects galore. I had to delete more offers than I could shake a stick at, and change all the automatic settings that wanted to take my PC on the Internet without my knowledge so it could download things I didn't want and share my information with people I don't know.

But after two hours, I got it up, secured and working fine. I surf with condoms and firewalls and all manner of protection, so I don't like my PC trying to do things on its own.

Now, with this newest laptop, also from Dell, it took me 3 hours, and some additional help from several technologically-inclined friends on my writer's group. This puppy had so much crap loaded on, even the hard drive was confused. I was so livid, I've decided this is the last time I buy a computer. If ever I need a new one, I'm going to go ahead and just build my own, like Frankenstein's monster. At least then I'd know what was inside.

I was shocked, and disgusted by the sheer number of programs Dell had installed to direct my little computer to specific sites, to share information with them and download little things I wouldn't want. There were Google-sponsored links and toolbar spies, and all manner of annoyances.

In fact, I got a phone call from Dell (from India) trying to sell me an extended warranty -- they hadn't "seen me get online yet" and wondered if I required help ! HA. I'd been online for weeks, but only after removing all the crapware that would have told them where I was and what I was doing.

It's criminal, I tell ya.



At 7:27 PM, Blogger Cath Smith said...

Yup - DIY is the way to go. If you want a PC that is, laptops, unfortunately, still cheaper to buy the old fashioned way.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Bk30 said...

yep. I haven't owned a store bought puter in years. I make hubby build me one or upgrade mine, which ever better suits my needs. I can't imagine the headache you went through.


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