Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good and bad software <Rant>

Had some good and bad software experiences that I’d like to talk about.

1. I ran across this page regarding IE9 Javascript on twitter. Its in an Asian language, but there is a box on the side that gives you the option to translate.

microsoft_translate

Weird thing is, I can’t translate to English.

If you open this page in Google Chrome, the browser detects the difference in language, recognize which language is on the page (Japanese) and gives you the option to translate it automatically. And seems to do quite a good job at the translation too. That’s how software should be.

2. I’ve been running across some PDF files recently and had to install a PDF viewer on Windows. I haven’t found a good solution for this.

The Adobe install experience is horrible. I wanted to install Adobe Reader X, apparently the latest version is sandboxed on windows. The browser I’m using is firefox. I go to the link from the article and the first thing that Adobe wants to do is download and install the Adobe Download Manager, which requires you to install a firefox extension. Then restart the browser. Then wait for all your tabs to reload, and wait for the extension to launch the download manager which is now an extra piece of crapware on my system. Then the download manager pops up and tells me that it has first downloaded and installed McAffee Security scan. Wait… what?!

mcaffee_adobe_crap

There is an option on the side when you first start the download that is by default checked. I missed it, I guess its my fault for not paying attention. Thanks Adobe for giving me that feeling. I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for my PDF reading.

So next up, is Foxit Reader. Turns out the install package for Foxit also has crap like the McAffee stuff.

 foxit_install

And once they finish installing they aren’t done messing with your system. A normal person might assume they are done and click finish.

foxit_install_finish

If you look at the wizard, there is actually an option (checked by default) that will add ebay crap to your system.

Ok, so its back to ghostscript/gsview I guess. Its not as easy to navigate the document but at least it does only what I need it to do, that is display a PDF file.

I wish I could move to Linux. It has its own problems though. I live with laptops that I move around. I need a machine that can suspend/resume reliably, stays connected via wifi (my most recent install of Ubuntu would keep disconnecting from the router), and doesn’t reorder the systray icons on the taskbars everytime I reboot.

No wonder Apple/Google are doing so well.  *Sigh*

</Rant>