The Whole Enchilada

Thoughts on life, work, tech & biz and the whole enchilada

Archive for January 11th, 2008

downloadsquad lists The 5 most annoying programs on your PC

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 11, 2008

Great list of “bloatware” and resource-hogging programs that most pc users probably have installed. The 5 most annoying programs on your PC also notes viable alternatives to the common problem programs discussed, and you’ll find more opinions in the comments following the post. Accoring to author Ian Smith the “worst of the worst” is:

Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader is like a stocky frat guy you never want to invite to your Halloween parties, because he’ll show up wearing a giant gift-wrapped box with a “To: Women, From: God” label on top. He thinks he is all that, but he really just wore a costume so big he can’t get through the front door and has to stay outside by the fire all night (true story!).

Back on topic though, Acrobat reader does one thing poorly — read PDFs. To do this it needs to download updates at least twice a month. Acrobat’s other big feature is the ability to bring your system to a roaring halt while it boots up its massive amount of plugins and libraries. All this to display (wait for it) — a page.

FoxIt Reader is a much better solution. Download it, and you’ll no longer cringe each time your accidentally click on a PDF link while browsing the internet.

Read more here:

The other apps detailed are:

  • iTunes
  • Real Player
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Outlook

Be sure to check out the comments as you’ll get additional perspective on each of the above apps and, as always, opinions vary wildly.


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Annoyed By Automated Telemarketing Calls? Trick Them Into Never Calling You Again!

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 11, 2008

There are probably gadgets you can buy that already do this, but lifehacker has a post with a great telephone tip: Trick Automated Phone Bots into Never Calling You Again.

Automated phone bots keep interrupting your dinner with their pre-recorded marketing messages? Play the U.S. Special Information Tone signal for “vacant circuit” when you pick up the phone. Our brother site Consumerist says a reader who kept getting automated debt collection calls added the tone to the beginning of his voicemail greeting:

The next time the robot called, it thought it was getting a dead line and dutifully erased the number from its system. Voila, automatons be gone. Some places have autodialers that don’t (or have been tweaked) to respond to SIT tones, but if you’ve got a persistent unwanted robot caller, it’s worth a shot.

Of course, adding this to your answering machine greeting may confuse genuine human callers as well, but that may be worth scaring off the bots.

Read more here:

Pretty cool idea, though you might want to mention the tone to regular callers so they don’t think you disappeared 😉

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