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Desktop applications: 1 Windows 8 UI: 0
Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

ATI graphics drivers for HD5000 and better will install an exceedingly annoying game enhancement addon called Raptr UNLESS you take the custom install route and UNCHECK it

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..


Apart from MS Office 2010, I have a few minor applications on my PC.

  1. Skype Messenger
  2. A utility to capture YouTube videos
  3. Filezilla to upload changes to my website
  4. because it is more accomplished than the Windows offering
  5. Arcsoft Photostudio
  6. Power2Go 7 and LabelPrint 2
  7. Treesize
  8. A couple of games
  9. The normal drivers and utilities associated with running a desktop
  10. Windows Live Writer..

.. and that’s about it. Everything that I do daily on this PC is covered by the list you see above. I don’t even see this much on many of the computers owned by my clients.

Back in the heady days of Windows 9x, when all computer magazines carried floppy disks full of shareware, it was a very different picture, and it was not unusual to see a desktop screen brimming with junk.

So, when a Windows 8 user opens the Windows store, me included, and looks through it, there is a lot of junk there, just like the floppies of old. Some of the free stuff is not exactly free either. Games start by being free, but you have to pay if you want to be able to go beyond say, level three.

A lot of the info apps do no more than a website can give you, and are way more inconvenient to switch between than tabs on a web browser. The actual delivery may be better, more like reading a book, but for general access, they get a zero.

Microsoft has a bumpy ride ahead. The Windows 8 UI, apart from being unreliable, is going down like a lead balloon with a great many users. Having told us that the traditional Start menu is old hat, backtracking to it for Windows 9 is going to be an embarrassment, and I am eager to see how they will manage it, because they are going to have to manage it somehow.

‘One size fits all’ is a flawed concept for any and every product ever made, the only benefit being that it is cheaper for the manufacturer at the production stage.

Posted Tue, Jan 15 2013 11:07 by Mike Hall
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