Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Computer Annoyance: Surprise Installation Launch

One of my peeves with computers, other than those coming from exterior scum-agents are the Surprise Installation Launch.

This is when a program pops a window in front of your current window with a file download or other request authorization. This is not necessarily an Internet pop-up, which have been all but eliminated for all but the careless computer-user, but rather from some function of a program that already exists on your drive. It could be from a an already authorized program such as Office or PhotoShop, or could be from some malware or spyware you are not aware exists.

What this small window does is when it is seeking an okay from the user to update or install, it comes to the front of a program you have in use such as Word. The OPEN or RUN button on the window is already highlighted by default. So before you are aware that the window is there you hit a key like the space bar or enter while typing and allow the download or install to run.

Since I type fairly quickly when writing and don't look at the screen much this has happened to me quite a few times. Often I have no idea what update or install I had just authorized and had to hope it wasn't something bad. I have little intention of updating much of my software due to so-called "improvements" that are actually a regression in quality and function (for example, Nero a few years back) and the new trend for crippling DRM to be installed without my knowledge or approval. I find these surprise installation windows to be annoying and potentially hazardous. I'd like the practice of being able to review and choose what updates I want to apply to be more widespread in software than it is. Even the ones that often notify me via a task bar icon are often a fait accompli and not a request.



  1. Yep, somebody thought it would be a great way to keep malware off XP SP2. I guess it's OK, you have to pay attention though, obviously.

  2. >koff! getaMacalready koff!<

    Ps., love the blog, thanks for the fun.

  3. Yeah, I think I'll get a Mac because that snippy ass on the commercials says I should. ;-)


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