Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Maes

You know what's BULL-shit? Installing software

Recommended Posts

Is it just me, or it has become next to impossible to:

  • Download a certain software, even if Freeware or Shareware WITHOUT also having to installing a site-specific downloader, often disguised as as a "download manager", "download accelerator", "download experience enhancer" and what have you. Whatever happened to, you know, giving a direct FTP or HTTP port 80 download link?
  • The above also means that it's technically impossible to complete certain downloads if you're using any OS other than Windows, a browser that doesn't wotk with their drive-by download trickery, and/or you're unwilling/unable to run arbitrary .exe files. "Sorry, only suckers using Windows and dumb enough to run any .exe file without protection can download this!" WTF?!
  • Install any software without having to havigate around AT LEAST THREE "offers" to install various toolbars, "PC enhancement tools", "cool stuff" and whatnot? Sometimes the installers themselves don't make it obvious that can choose NOT install the crapware if so you wish, by employing various trick such as hiding the "next" or "skip" buttons, or making declining the installation unnecessarily complex.
FWIW, I will share a tip for ImgBurn: you can skil all the crapware and install silentrly and quickly to the default folder by running the installer from the command line with the /S option ("Silent install").

But seriously, who and when decided that the "next big thing" in online business or whatever is trying to scam users into installing crapware? What's even more scary, is that apparently, being tied to certain distributors of software (or sponsors?) like download.com forces the authors of the various softwares to accept bundling crapware with their installers...doesn't this hurt the reputation of the actual software in the long run?

Another example: I was trying to download the Home version of Partition Wizard, which if free for home use...but there's a catch: you can't download it directly from its creators' site, you HAVE to use Download.com. They only offer local downloads for the "pro" and "server" versions. Is that so that they are certain to get their dividend from the adware/malware that they'll force upon users through download.com? What a load of motherfucking goddamn bullshit!

And I suppose, that if someone starts publishing tips on getting around this crap (like the ImgBurn example) or distributes "sanitized" installerd, they will receive a cease & desist notice for disrupting "legitimate business" or whatever? BULL-SHIT!

Share this post


Link to post

Try Snapfiles.com. They don't require you to use any installer of their own, and while some of the stuff they offer does come with toolbar crap, they do at least mark stuff that has it as such on the software info page.

Share this post


Link to post

Still, that's the exception that proves the rule, if all the choice one gets is between "lots of crap" and "just a bit of crap". What remains true is that one must have some crap. And that's a bunch of goddamn bullshit.

Share this post


Link to post

I remember back when CNet Downloads was the place to get no-bullshit downloads for anything you wanted. Nowadays not only do they insist on foisting bullshit "download managers" on you for everything, but even if you uncheck every single box they still plant bullshit adware like SavingsBull on your ass. It makes me want to... It makes me rather displeased. What, did you think I was going to come up with some over-exaggerated violent scenario to put myself into because of this? Still, it pisses me off. A lot.

Share this post


Link to post

FWIW, I found a "clean" installer of Partition Wizard from MajorGeeks.com, in case you need the same.

Even more interesting, is that using the "direct from authors" download link actually resulted in downloading a clean offline installer, and not some redirection...which meant that a download to the home version was actually still available from the authors' site but not publicized, so that people would go to download.com? What bullshit, really.

I don't get it, is this the new economic model for apps now?

You want to download an otherwise free app? Then give something back to the "money loop" by installing toolbars, dubious "download accelerators" etc., otherwise if you wanna be a nerd and look for "clean installers" yourself, fine, have fun and good luck finding any, loser!

Share this post


Link to post

I feel you Maes. I long for the days when fileplanet.com had pretty much everything I ever wanted available as a direct download.

The thing is, computers have become REALLY easy to use compared to "older days". That's why they hit the mainstream. However, this also means that the average IQ of computer users plummeted. I remember when running a bot in the first Quake required downloading a separate mod, running the executable with additional parameters and you could only spawn a bot via a console... and yet all my friends could do that.

Nowadays if people can't spawn a bot within 3 mouse clicks they quit the game.

My point is - the marketing you're talking about has flourished only because there is a significant base of users who easily fall for such crap. 12 or so years ago it wouldn't have worked, because nobody would have fallen for that and they would just roll their eyes at such attempts, much like we do now.

Share this post


Link to post

I was migrating OS partitions to SSD on win8 and win7 just recently and I dodged what you describe by using Chinese knockoff software. In particular, AOMEI, and when that couldn't perform one of the tasks, EaseUS. The Chinese military probably sees my porn backlog now, but that's the world we live in.

Avoiding bullshit adware offers in the Daemon Tools Lite installation did piss me off, however.

Share this post


Link to post

That's the apparent paradox: I don't get the feeling that the download process is made any "easier" by introducing so many intermediate steps and middlemen.

Just starting the download requires agreeing to some legal mumbo-jumbo about the downloader itself. Then each toolbar/crapware has its own disclaimers, checkboxes and buttons, often looking "weird" compared to the rest of the installer, and the whole installation process actually ends up looking more complex compared to download -> click -> install, without even bringing command lines into it.

Would you consider e.g. shopping at a mall made "easier" if as soon as you entered the mall you were besieged by a horde of sweaty, pressuring salesmen, middlemen, their respective managers and other sychophants and crooks each trying to get a "cut" of the deal, getting you to sign up for crap and shell out more cash for useless and potentially harmful "services"? Certainly not, but that's what this new "software marketing model" feels like to me.

Of course, if somehow the process could be streamlined to the point that a single click on the browser resulted in automatic silent installation of the desired software AND any malware "required" by the host....sure, that'd be "easier". And also illegal (for now).

Share this post


Link to post

Well, you answered yourself - be glad they still legally have to ask you to install their unneeded malware crap. :)

Share this post


Link to post

There is nothing easier then downloading a zip, 7zip, tar, or rar and then scanning it with an antivirus, unpacking it,
scaning it again, and then you have a look at everything of the software which was compressed.

I am severely starting to distrust installers as they contain bullshit extras like chrome toolbars, firefox toolbars,
and it is way to easy to pack a virus into the installer system and have it quitly install that.

In a sense it makes you lose total controll over what is happening with your computer its OS.

As if installers are easier for the unexplainable type of computer user having trouble reading the button OK to continue. And looking at the new 'intuitive' interfaces that are now being designed that block any fast and direct to the point use with 40 unnecesarry clicks... yeah you get the point i think.

Share this post


Link to post
FireFish said:

In a sense it makes you lose total controll over what is happening with your computer its OS.


That started happening with DOS 5.0 already, let alone with any version of Windows....but application software itself only got that aggressive when this whole "Internet" thing exploded and you could count on every PC having an active connection most of the time...

Share this post


Link to post
Maes said:

That started happening with DOS 5.0 already, let alone with any version of Windows....but application software itself only got that aggressive when this whole "Internet" thing exploded and you could count on every PC having an active connection most of the time...


Yes you have a giant point, it seems i had forgotten to mention that the internet its ways are causing them to be less trust worthy. But stil in the dos days you had no registry or system files like now which could have been secretly altered or installed.

Share this post


Link to post
dew said:

Well, you answered yourself - be glad they still legally have to ask you to install their unneeded malware crap. :)

Apparently they don't if CNet was still able to plant SavingsBull (fitting name, as it was in fact Bull) without my permission.

Share this post


Link to post
FireFish said:

But stil in the dos days you had no registry or system files like now which could have been secretly altered or installed.


Yes you had -there were system files, boot sectors, and viruses that, when in doubt, infected every executable on your disk. Sometimes viruses could be removed, sometimes not.

On the "bright" side, a virus infection sooner or later culminated in very visible and disrupting behavior, such as wiping your disk clean, writing random garbage on disk sectors, or infecting every single floppy you inserted as soon as you inserted it, so you were pretty sure you had a virus infection.

Today, malware is much more subtle. They don't do such destructive actions -after all, you won't be making online purchases and entering credit card information if you have a broken computer, right? Of course, they don't need to be delicate either -there goes 1 GB of RAM and 50% CPU used for no reason. You can't "coexist" with malware anymore than you can "coexist" with cockroaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Maes said:

Yes you had -there were system files, boot sectors, and viruses that, when in doubt, infected every executable on your disk. Sometimes viruses could be removed, sometimes not.

... cut for the sake of the quote length.


Yes indeed the dos operating system files itself, and boot sector virusses still exist. technically they boot at such a level that they have total controll over your os to do everything they ever wanted, namely rootkits.

but todays virusses do not compare to dos virusses, and windows locks itself up in a way that you can not controll its system files with ease and that was my main point which i failed to incorporate into my previous post.

Share this post


Link to post

Heh. I don't know what Maes is complaining about. I've NEVER fallen into the trap of downloading a manager; I always get the real app installer. And yeah sure, I'm asked to install bundleware, but I'm asked so conspicuously about them, that it's easy to say "no". I'm very glad that Windows dominates the marketshare; this means that on OSX the installers are (most of the time) both simple extraction jobs, and bloatware-free too.

Share this post


Link to post
printz said:

Heh. I don't know what Maes is complaining about. I've NEVER fallen into the trap of downloading a manager


Neither did I. Even if I sometimes mistakenly downloaded a manager (thinking it was the actual application), I never actually executed it. Sometimes it can't be helped: it's not always obvious if what you will be downloading is a "downloader" or the app itself.

But my point is that that such "download managers" should not exist at all. They can't possibly make the download process "more convenient" (as they claim), and it's much more likely they are just means to get around the "limited" standard HTTP/FTP download process, by people who have ulterior motives.

And my problem is that many download sites now apparently won't let you download in ANY other way but THROUGH their exclusive "download manager", which means tha the HTTP/FTP download is "dead" (or at least, not "hip" anymore). Again, only from the point of view of who has ulterior motives.

If the next time you tried getting something from a supermarket shelf, some shady guy approached you and tried to fasttalk you into not getting the item directly, but instead go through a network of his buddies, because it's "more advantegeous" that way would you trust him?

The Mac OS and Linux application distribution and installation model is indeed quite different, and the basic premise behing such "downloaders" (giving full root access to a program which supposedly should just be downloading data) wouldn't quite work, not without requiring a lot of manual effort by the user, and triggering a suspicious administrative prompt, the very least. Not quite "convenient".

Linux also has controlled repos or building from source as the preferred app distribution method, so it's much harder for a Linux user to "buy" that downloader crap.

Now, unless a user has disabled UAC, the same principle should in theory apply to Windows Vista/7/8 too, provided the user doesn't just mechanically click "OK" on the UAC consent prompt, which means the whole idea behind it has failed clamorously.

Share this post


Link to post

The thus-far conveniently overlooked factor in all this is the user expectation of getting software for free. Back in the day the general idea was that you paid for software up front or maybe you warezed it off a friend or, if you were savvy to it, some pirate BBS or the like. When you got freeware or open source stuff, it was from a hobbyist who had no interest in profiting because there wasn't really a way to... otherwise it'd be shareware instead. But apparently that was enough to foster an attitude of "give it to me free or I don't want it", and not everyone is going to be giving stuff away just because it's their philosophical standpoint.

So your options really are to pay up, go FLOSS, or tread carefully. If we continue to demand free stuff, can we really expect to demand quality too?

Share this post


Link to post

I think I mentioned -or rhetorically asked- if this bullshit was part of a "new economic model" for software distribution, and whether software authors are increasingly caught in "bundle this, or else" deals. I can hardly imagine anyone wanting his software to be associated with disruptive and potentially malicious acts, unless he was forced to, or adware needs to resort to highly pressuring/invasive techniques nowadays.

It's one thing to have ad-driven software of the kind e.g. you see in iPhone and Android apps, with their ad pop-ups built-in, which however only appear when you're actually, you know, using the application, and another to install adware that will be active indiscriminately, and probably do much, much more than displaying ads.

OK, I get it, revenue has to come from somewhere...bills don't pay themselves, but has it come to the point that a deal with the devil is necessary?

I'd really like to see the kind of deals/agreements that are made between malware bundlers with the authors of "carrier" software. Maybe they are even forbidden from distributing "clean" versions of their own software!

Share this post


Link to post

I think the sites which require you to use a suspicious app are warez ones, in particular those which "let" you watch TV series for free.

Share this post


Link to post

Those are the obvious ones -made even more obvious by the fact that merely navigating on them prompts you to "install new required codec paks", and even more obvious by the fact that 99% of the time you didn't even navigate to them, but their pages were opened by something else entirely (BTW, I'm surprised that in 2014 there still isn't an effective way of blocking page spawning).

Otherwise, the way they implement the prompt is really low-tech (by Web 2.0 standards): a standard Javascript alert popup. Anyone remember the "CLICK HERE to download FREE GAMES!" popup of the early 2000s? Yup, same tech. Speaking of which, some sites still use the overly long and apologetic "DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LEAVE THIS PAGE?!" popup to prevent you from leaving, and some, especially wannabe-ransomware, just employ a popup with a text so big that the "Leave this page" and "Stay on this page" buttons are no longer visible, fooling the user into believing his computer has been locked.

I think it will be a major blow to security if the Javascript standard ever allows redefining the functionality of the alert() popup, and especiallly of its buttons. At least as of now their text and actual functionality cannot be changed, and, following community input, the buttons' text has been changed from the older, ambiguous "OK" and "Cancel" to "Leave this page" and "Stay on this page".

But we're digressing: the issue at hand here is that someone, somewhere, thought that trying to forcedly bundling adware with ANYTHING that you download is the Next Big Thing, and it's being shoved down our throat (and up our ass) constantly. In some cases, the "bundled goodies" may be larger than the actual "useful payload" (the app you want to use), and this is by no way limited to warez.

And the hijacking now begins as early as the download itself. If you ever install one of those "downloaders" your computer is toast. You might as well have spreaded your asscheeks wide open and bend down in cell block full of rectal poz pig sodomists.

Actually, I think that nowadays you actually risk less by downloading an actual warez torrent, and warez actually has a better chance of being found in cleaned up "Proper" or "CrackFix" release if flagged and "Nuked" by The Scene as "fake" or "virus", while on those "guaranteed software download sites", even the comments and reviews are probably 100% fake. Fucked up, but it has come to this point.

Share this post


Link to post

I love it when I go to a download page and there like 20 or so advertisements disguised as fake "Download Here" buttons.

Share this post


Link to post

See, this is particularly galling when you're downloading something like CCleaner, which is intended to help clean crap off of your PC. Still, at least just removing the ticks from yet another offer to download Chrome and a Google toolbar for IE is the minimum level. Some free MP3 trimmer I looked at wanted to make Yahoo my home browser, search engine of choice and stick their toolbar on if you downloaded it... Without warning you first.

Share this post


Link to post
flubbernugget said:

Is there a reason this bullshit hasn't made torrenting more popular?


Yeah. This bullshit happens on torrent sites too. Not knowing what to expect, new users have an even harder time finding the link they need.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
×