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Software Bundling.
#1
I see my share of computers.  Mostly I see them when they barely run.   So people give me money and I make their computer's faster and more secure than they can believe.  I'm sort of "The Computer Whisperer", I rehabilitate computers but I fix their owners.

While it's usually the case the user has gotten some sort of malware from a website, it is occasionally the case that the user's problems came bundled on their computer.  

Bundling is a scam.  Every computer you buy from whatever giant retailer is loaded with junk software and you are encouraged to install it.  Do you know why?  Because if it was installed at the factory it will make your computer slower and slower computers don't sell very well.  OTOH, Dell or Gateway or whichever national brand you buy gets a few bucks for just putting the installers for such junk software as Norton anything, Macafee anything any most anything you get for free because you bought something.   The last interesting computer I dealt with was few months old and responded so slowly, it couldn't be used.  Had this guy been on porn sitees or game sites and got some malware?  No, he had installed the anti-virus program that was bundled with his computer.    His $500 was wasted until I stopped the virus scanner and got back reasonable control.  After a while his computer was blazing fast - only with a different strategy for providing security.

A slightly different sort of bundling is more invidious, but easy enough to ignore, and that is the bundling of applications with windows.  You don't have to use these, and they mostly don't start up and slow down your system.  This sort of bundling is really more "political" and calls into question how far a dominant Operating System can go in reducing the need for other applications.  Microsoft was sued over this with Netscape and Oracle and a bunch of other companies not only because of the intergration of a browser and a media player, but also because they were making special deals with computer makers to NOT install products from Microsoft's competitors.  I forget how it came out.  I think they Microsoft might have sort of lost.

I have a few guidelines for computers.  
No laptops as primary computers.  They break and it costs more to fix than buy new.  A desktop can be repaired for much less.
Don't buy a computer with a pre-installed operating system
Don't go cheap.  Spend twice as much and you'll have a faster system and one that run current software in 10 years.
Don't use your computer with Administrator rights.  Make yourself a regular user then change the admin background to the color you hate most and then log in as a regular user.
When you buy, specify every part of the hardware.  this is an example:  http://www.portatech.com/products/produc...27&o=79422

They give you a choice in everything from the motherboard up.  Too many of the parts in retail stare systems are "white box" parts, which means they are the cheapest the manufacturer could get by with.  You can have much better.

Avoid software bundles.  They are a scam.  Take control over the computer you buy and you will own a better computer than gateway can sell you.
 
Winner.
Winner.

Chicken Dinner.


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