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Off topic: What is a "technical guy"?
Thread poster: Tom in London

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bundle schmundle Sep 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

neilmac wrote:

.....
One the of the things I get my tech guy to do is take all the pre-installed crap out. He charges 30 euros/h, which is less than my own hourly fee, or my mechanic's. Fair dos.


I would like to avoid it getting put in in the first place. If, for example, I bought Windows from Amazon or somewhere like that, would that pre-installed crap still be installed?


AFAIK, yes. Or at least, I would imagine so.
My own "tech guy" can put me together a decent desktop PC without any extraneous stuff in it for about €500, but I don't know what the situation is in the UK. I'm thinking about getting one in the next couple of months, as my backup PC doesn't have enough USB ports. I can then pass the old one on to someone who needs it.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:45
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not true Sep 4, 2015

neilmac wrote:
Tom in London wrote:
I've also heard that the first time you run Windows it will install a whole load of commercial stuff you didn't ask for and didn't want, which will annoy you. True or false?

Largely true. It's even worse if you get your PC from a big store, as they will usually have loads of free SW bundled in them...


No, it mostly aint true. When you install Windows itself, Windows will install a certain number of default applications (e.g. text editor, calculator, image creator, web browser, etc), but it won't install a "whole lot of commercial stuff" (I think one or two versions did install a trial version of Microsoft Office).

The bundled software does not come from installing Windows. It comes from buying a computer from a store or a vendor that installs Windows on your behalf, and then also installs a lot of extra things that you did not request.

For example, I bought an Acer computer with Windows pre-installed. The company that made that computer also installed a few extra programs that are vaguely Acer related or relevant to the hardware capabilities of the computer. I once bought a laptop with a LightScribe capable DVD writer, and the company that sold me the computer installed a trial version of LightScribe for me, without asking me. If your computer has a separate installer disk for e.g. the motherboard, sound card, video card, etc, then the installer disk may try to install additional hardware related programs in addition to just the drivers.

If you're an existing Windows user, and you get a new computer with Windows pre-installed, then you'll notice the extra programs because some of them will have taken the place of the programs that you previously used. So, yes, if you're a Windows user, you'll have to specifically uninstall or disable some software that came bundled with the computer.

Tom in London wrote:
If, for example, I bought Windows from Amazon or somewhere like that, would that pre-installed crap still be installed?


No, I doubt it. Anyway, these days you can download Windows and then simply buy a license for it. In the old days, you'd have to buy a CD or DVD with Windows on it. However, if you buy a computer from Amazon, with Windows pre-installed, then I'd say it's much more likely.


[Edited at 2015-09-04 09:23 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ah - I see Sep 4, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

.....When you install Windows itself, Windows will install a certain number of default applications (e.g. text editor, calculator, image creator, web browser, etc), but it won't install a "whole lot of commercial stuff" (I think one or two versions did install a trial version of Microsoft Office).

The bundled software does not come from installing Windows. It comes from buying a computer from a store or a vendor that installs Windows on your behalf, and then also installs a lot of extra things that you did not request.


I see. So would it be best to buy a "naked as Nature intended" PC with absolutely nothing on it, buy Windows 10 from (say) Amazon, and install Windows in its pure unadulterated state? Would that keep away all the nasty commercial crap?

[Edited at 2015-09-04 10:12 GMT]


 

TechStyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:45
Windows and extra USB ports Sep 4, 2015

neilmac wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

neilmac wrote:

.....
One the of the things I get my tech guy to do is take all the pre-installed crap out. He charges 30 euros/h, which is less than my own hourly fee, or my mechanic's. Fair dos.


I would like to avoid it getting put in in the first place. If, for example, I bought Windows from Amazon or somewhere like that, would that pre-installed crap still be installed?


AFAIK, yes. Or at least, I would imagine so.
My own "tech guy" can put me together a decent desktop PC without any extraneous stuff in it for about €500, but I don't know what the situation is in the UK. I'm thinking about getting one in the next couple of months, as my backup PC doesn't have enough USB ports. I can then pass the old one on to someone who needs it.


Neil: You might find it easier to wipe the new machine and reinstall a clean copy of Windows - just Windows, not the other junk. It may well be quicker than uninstalling all the other bits individually.

Tom: If you get Windows separately, it will indeed be just Windows, no other bundled junk, so no need to worry about that. You'll probably want Office, too: if you haven't already and are just experimenting, you can get the free Office 365 trial, which gets you the latest version of Office (both Windows and Mac) while the trial lasts.

The extra stuff doesn't get there automatically - occasionally, it's something the manufacturer thought might be useful, like the LightScribe software, or a DVD player utility; usually, it's something the software publisher has specifically paid them to put on there in order to get a sale from you later. That 'free' time-limited anti-virus package, for example? Nothing free about it: McAfee and others actually pay for their product to be pre-installed, because they know that once it expires, a lot of users will just pay up to keep it going rather than go and research their options and find something cheaper or better.

Replacing a PC because it hasn't got enough USB ports?! You do know you can use a USB hub to provide extra ports for a few pounds, don't you? (Or, if it's a desktop machine, even fit an extra USB card internally to get nice fast new USB ports.)


 

Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:45
German to English
Flash Sep 4, 2015

"This being 2015, there should never be anything about a computer that would need to be fixed."

Does anyone else here suffer from the plague that is Flash? Whatever I do it seems to be ineradicable, stinking the place out, slowing the whole day to a crawl. That is something that really needs fixing.

That said, the internal combustion engine has been around longer than the PC and no one expects that not to need repairing; they're all mechanical at some level.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Unfortunately... Sep 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

neilmac wrote:

.....
One the of the things I get my tech guy to do is take all the pre-installed crap out. He charges 30 euros/h, which is less than my own hourly fee, or my mechanic's. Fair dos.


I would like to avoid it getting put in in the first place. If, for example, I bought Windows from Amazon or somewhere like that, would that pre-installed crap still be installed?


Yep, I'm afraid that when buying PCs from Amazon or any big outlet, you will find they are stuffed with useless bundled SW. The only way to avoid it in the first place AFAIK is to get your PC made up from scratch to your own specs. You just need to find someone who isn't out to fleece you or squeeze more cash out of than they really need to, which may not be easy in a big city.
The thing is, you can get a decent PC or laptop very cheaply from big stores in their special offers or end of season sales, etc, which I've done before, but then I get the bundled rubbish taken out, and it's well worth the 30 euros my man charges. He also installs the useful software that I DO want.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
In my country we have a saying... Sep 4, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

The bundled software does not come from installing Windows. It comes from buying a computer from a store or a vendor that installs Windows on your behalf, and then also installs a lot of extra things that you did not request.

F


... "same difference". The end result is that you have a PC stuffed with useless pre-installed gunk. How it gets there is a minor concern IMO.


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:45
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Options... Sep 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I see. So would it be best to buy a "naked as Nature intended" PC with absolutely nothing on it, buy Windows 10 from (say) Amazon, and install Windows in its pure unadulterated state? Would that keep away all the nasty commercial crap?

[Edited at 2015-09-04 10:12 GMT]


Sure, if you can find one. The bloatware/crapware doesn't actually come from the retailer (big box store, amazon, etc.), but from the manufacturer (Dell, HP, Acer, etc.). They arrange with Microsoft to provide an "OEM" version of Windows for their computers that has all of the junk installed, along with their proprietary drivers, etc. I'm sure there's some of triangular trade going on between Microsoft, the computer makers, and the bloatware makers that makes this arrangement profitable for them.
A retailer (like Best Buy or Amazon) usually isn't going to fiddle the with the computer after they get in the warehouse.

Most off-the-shelf retail machines will have the bloatware. It's almost impossible to find one that doesn't have Windows preinstalled. In terms of total cost, you'd probably be better off just buying a new retail machine with the right specs and then re-installing a fresh retail copy of Windows, than you would trying to hunt down a naked machine with no Windows. Other options are looking at computer vendors who cater to business customers, as these are more likely sell machines without an OS (since the company IT guy is going to create the image from scratch anyway based on company requirements).

Or buy a configure-to-order machine from one of the major retailers' websites. As opposed to the fixed, off-the-shelf configurations, the website will often offer some kind of option for a clean/fresh Windows installation (for a fee, of course).


 
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TechStyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:45
Non-genuine Windows and the 'free' junk Sep 4, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:

Not all vendors install extra crap. My Dell Precision laptop, e.g., came with no extra crap. However, it did come with some useful Dell software that is designed to work with this specific laptop, so if I had installed a fresh copy of Windows, I wouldn't have gotten that. However, it's of course easy to get it online, from the Dell support site.

Also, it takes maybe 20 minutes to uninstall said crap, so I wouldn't let that dictate what you choose to buy. You might miss out on a great machine that way.

By the way, if you buy a computer that now has Win7 or 8 on it, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Funnily enough, even if Win7/8 isn’t entirely legal . Microsoft is eager to get everyone onto 10, and more importantly: off of XP, 7, 8 and 8.1, so they are giving the upgrades away for free for a while.

[Edited at 2015-09-04 10:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-04 10:39 GMT]

Edited to add: Oh dear, is it: "eager to get everyone onto 10" or "eager to get everyone on to 10"? Just thought I'd ask before Tom corrects me, if indeed it needs correcting .

[Edited at 2015-09-04 10:41 GMT]


Yes, a PC which is being sold to a "pro" market is less likely to have the "extra crap" on there - the likes of McAfee know that if the product is going to a company, they'll have their own preferences and aren't likely to go renewing the limited-time freebie anyway, so no point installing it.

Apparently Microsoft's own shops also sell "virgin" machines - just Windows, none of the extra crap - but you may be paying a bit extra that way.

The official line is that upgrading a non-legal copy of Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10 isn't supposed to be free - my reading is that they planned to try selling Windows 10 to those users instead: https://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/05/15/genuine-windows-and-windows-10/


 
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
info Sep 4, 2015

Well, thanks to all; I think I now have much of the information I need in order to make a better-informed decision; but nobody seems to know what a "techie guy" actually does.

One last try, anyone?


 
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