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The Top 10 Most Annoying Things About Software


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#1 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 09:19 PM

Here's my list of the Top 10 Most Annoying Things About Software. What's yours?10. The fact that many applications that could make good use of a Web browser-style Back button lack them.9. Related functions, settings, controls that don't appear anywhere near each other.8. Software that tries way too hard to automatically do things for you, and in the process, messes you up.7. Software limitations that protect us from ourselves, because all they do is frustrate us -- and their real goal is usually to limit tech support.6. Shareware products that nag you with excessively aggravating and frequent registration reminders.5. Tiny control surfaces, such as scroll bars, X-boxes, the edges of windows, that require overly precise mouse movements. After years of all-day computing, these things can lead to repetitive-stress injuries -- especially on high-resolution displays.4. The software gunk that gets left behind in the Registry, the hard drive, in temp folders -- wherever! -- after an uninstall.3. Processes, notifications, automatic bring-to-front services that steal program focus, forcing you to lose your train of thought, find the window you were in, and play hide and go seek with the cursor or mouse pointer.2. Programs that install adware, spyware, or anything else without your knowledge on your system. And the all-time most annoying thing about software: 1. Any program, service, layer, update, patch, or tweak that cannot be uninstalled.I feel certain that other folks reading this will remember other software pet peeves. Post your favorite annoyance here. If we get enough suggestions for what we don't like in one place, I will publish the results on the Scot's Newsletter website as an open message to software makers.-- Scot
Scot Finnie, Business & Technology Writer, Editor (that's me in the upper left corner)

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 09:39 PM

10, Windows Product Activation... pain in (blank) and when you are forced to call MS for activation, and in return all you hear is "dull" voice..almost dead..but still alive abit. (Windows Xp and Digital Media Edition)9, Crashy programs that just crash and crash. (Some shareware font programs that I downloaded off the net)8, Programs that lacks user interface or require you to read a tons of documentations... i.e. GPG (GNU version of PGP).7, Programs that bury options deep inside. A simple option change requires 7 clicks... i.e. Microsoft Outlook 2003 Beta6, Programs that have memory leak.. Use too much memory resources5, Programs that stay in memory even after you close them (Easy CD Creator is one)4, Programs' software developers love to say "Put on hold for future consideration" when the feature is critical to the program (i.e. Microsoft Outlook 2003 Beta doesn't allow you to save all attachments..and the developers replied me with "that feature is for future consideration..") << they should say they are just lazy to put in there.3, Programs that love to have "long EULA for user to read" knowing that 99% of users don't read.2, Program installations that require you to reboot your system afterward1, Spyware.. (Real Player is lovely with Gator...and Kazaa Plus is another ill-ware)

#3 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 09:39 PM

:D Software that costs too much.Joy

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 10:01 PM

greengeek, on Apr 3 2003, 08:39 PM, said:

:D Software that costs too much.Joy
:D

#5 OFFLINE   eksimba

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 10:19 PM

Software that puts a shortcut on your desktop, the top of the start menu, the quick launch bar, the windows startup folder, and the registry 'run' key, all without your permission.

#6 OFFLINE   Big Jeff

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 10:20 PM

One of my Pet Peeves™ is a lack of adequate up-to-date documentation.

#7 OFFLINE   Jeber

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 11:02 PM

1) Software that is sent to my house in a metal box and gives me just over 1000 hours to discover that what the disk contained was EVIL!2) Software that has to be fed every day, insists on meeting your entire family, then sleeps in your bed, forcing you to sleep on the couch...oh wait, that's my room mate.  Never mind.   :D

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#8 OFFLINE   zox

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 11:03 PM

You listed most of the annoying things.However, off top of my head, software that after install requires from you to go into preferences and in 4 or 5 places disable "Auto-update" and "Auto-start" and similar things and still even you know you disabled it it goes online and tries to "Auto-update" or who knows what else.The software in question is Real Player. :D-Another one is software that messes up your other software. When I installed Real it killed my Bookmark file in Phoenix and without my permission stole back "Default Browser" and gave it back to IE grrr  :D  :D

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 12:37 AM

This would probably be an OS function, but I'm annoyed by the fact that when I unintentionally click on the wrong icon, there's no way to stop that unintentionally started program from completely loading. So, instead, I have to wait for it completely load, and then close it.It'd be nice to be able to hit the Esc key and have the program immediately stop loading.

#10 OFFLINE   Stryder

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 12:57 AM

ComputerBob, on Apr 3 2003, 11:37 PM, said:

This would probably be an OS function, but I'm annoyed by the fact that when I unintentionally click on the wrong icon, there's no way to stop that unintentionally started program from completely loading. So, instead, I have to wait for it completely load, and then close it.It'd be nice to be able to hit the Esc key and have the program immediately stop loading.
It would be nice to have one of those for my mouth sometines too!!!  :D

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 01:32 AM

Quote

It would be nice to have one of those for my mouth sometines too!!! :D
"Hey, you kids -- get out of my yard!!!"   :D

#12 OFFLINE   havnblast

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 06:06 AM

Very good lists and agree with them - I hate software that thinks it is the king and practically rewrites the OS from file management to networking protocols and than when you decide to uninstall it, it leaves half the stuff not working right on your computer ;) .  That is just insane

#13 OFFLINE   ThorNogson

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 08:27 AM

How about software that doesn't display properly if you have 'large fonts' selected in display properties - as I always do. I'm surprised that even these days some programs won't work properly.One example I saw recently was Creative's diagnostic tool for my SBlive sound card. It brought up a window saying 'Press start button to run diagnostic'. Problem was that there wasn't a start button anywhere in the window! I thought this was Creative's attempt at humour until I sighed, rebooted with small fonts selected, and all displayed ok...John

#14 OFFLINE   zox

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 09:03 AM

I remembered another thing.Bwing a "techy" guy, friends always bring their computers to me for fixing.One friend wanted me to fix his computer because internet and mail didn't work.It appeared that hetried to uninstall Kazaa and after that nothing worked.I tried reinstalling IE, reinstalling Win98, fixing and cleaning the registry, etc...Nothing helped, finally he got e-mail from tech support on "how to get rid of kazaa properly" and there is like 4 steps involved with different programs removed.It is amazing what they do to take over your pc.What puzzled me was that I reinstalled system on top of it and usually it reverts system files to original state, right?Well, it didn't help in this case???

#15 OFFLINE   muckshifter

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 10:29 AM

10. You pay for it, but it’s NOT yours.9. Online help, but you cannot access it while running the program.8. It does not do what as it says on the box.7. Cannot be used with a competitor. (AV, CD burning, OS)6. You’ll be producing results in minuets, but in fact it takes you three weeks to learn.5. You pay for it, then pay for the upgrade, then find you need a later version to actually work with your OS and have to pay again. (Norton 2001 & XP) 4. Cannot return because you broke the seal and have agreed with the licence, which is on the inside of the pack.3. Any idiot can run this … but you can’t find one.2. You need to be a programmer to install it.1. Pressing the “next” button 76 times to get to the install program. ;)

#16 OFFLINE   Sripathi

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:10 AM

Windows Update.Fails to install a patch, but gvies no reason why it failed or help on how to install it manually. But its icon in systray notifies me almost everyday that a new update is available.

#17 OFFLINE   Jeber

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:13 AM

Quote

Any idiot can run this … but you can’t find one.
muckshifter, any time you need my help, just call.  ;) Jack(Official Lockergnome ((SNLF ?)) Village Idiot)

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#18 OFFLINE   alelscot

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:58 AM

Software that insists "my way or the highway".  Intuit is VERY evil about this.  I now do not use any Intuit software for that reason.  Al

#19 OFFLINE   bds

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 12:53 PM

Number one pet peeve:Poorly designed software that has no intuitive functionality.  I've run accross many great programs that simple baffle the user.  It has been my experience that software, irregardless of how great, isn't used by the masses simply because it's too hard to use!  However if a company/individual ever wants their product to really take off then they better invest as much into usability as they do into innovation.Keep It Simple, Stupid!  (KISS)

#20 OFFLINE   Ol' Bab

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 02:29 PM

Much of that stuff only bites once -here's something that keeps on giving:Help files written by people who know the software in and out, forward and back.  And thus haven't the faintest idea what the user's actual problems will be..... Ol' Bab

#21 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 03:08 PM

Software that comes without an un-installer.Software that comes with an un-installer but leaves all kind of crap in the registry after un-install !

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 03:28 PM

onurb, on Apr 4 2003, 02:08 PM, said:

Software that comes without an un-installer.Software that comes with an un-installer but leaves all kind of crap in the registry after un-install !
very true :)But sometimes, without an uninstaller, it means you can just delete the whole directory.Cygwin doesn't have uninstallerPhoenix doesn't have one either, but they are all good

#23 OFFLINE   jmaloney

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 05:17 PM

Here are two pervasive annoyances.1.  Agreements that are hard to read. Agreements should be in a large readable font in a large or maximized window. Most agreements are in a small font in small windows with scroll bars. Even the agreement to register to this forum was in a small font in a small window. PayPal recently had a long agreement that only showed one or two lines at a time. I had to cut and paste the whole agreement into a word processor to read it. The Install Shield software often uses poorly-contrasted black on gray text in a small window. 2. Windows that aren't resizable and aren't maximizable that are sized specifically for the programmer's font. I use Windows Large Fonts and such poorly-designed windows can't be read. Often the OK button isn't even visible. Every window should be maximizable and/or resizable.

#24 OFFLINE   JohnARigali

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 06:48 PM

Hoo boy!  I've rolled up my sleeves for this one!- Programs that lose functionality and/or ease of use with successive upgrades.  (e.g. Backup Exec 9.0, Copernic freeware metsearch client 5.0 and up)  :D  - Programs that contain Internet-dependent features that stop working because of changes on the remote server side.  (e.g. LiveUpdate <although I haven't seen this problem lately>)  ;)  - Programs that suggest default installation folders that ignore Microsoft's Program Files convention and common sense.  (e.g. older versions of America Online and programs from many mom-and-pop developers)  :D - Programs with "catch-22" licensing -- one agrees to  the licensing terms by breaking the package's seal, but one had to break the seal in order to even read the freakin' terms!  :D - Software packages that consist of a core application and one or more applets, or a group of integrateable applets without a core application.  Why won't programmers integrate applets into a core application?  (e.g. Microsoft Office, ARCserve)  :D - Programs that contain windows that are so big in 640x480 resolution and/or when Large Fonts are enabled that crucial buttons (like "OK") are outside of the viewable area.  :D  - Programs that install nonessential services or TSRs without prompting for your permission.  (e.g. RealPlayer, RealJukebox, America Online)  :D  - Services and TSRs that don't appear in the system tray.  :D - Services and TSRs that appear in the system tray but don't feature an "Exit" or "Quit" command in a pop-up menu.  :D - Services and TSRs that "resist" unloading.  (Maybe this is sometimes the fault of Windows itself?)  :angry:  - Programs that ask the user to make a choice, but explanations and ramifications of those choices aren't documented in the online help or the manuals.  (e.g. Norton/Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition)  :angry:  - Programs that install ubiquitous iconage.  (e.g. America Online, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger)  :angry:  - Freeware programs that tease the user to upgrade to shareware or commercial versions by means of crippled or partially crippled features.  An "Upgrade" command in the Help pull-down menu is all that we need!  (e.g. Copernic, Download Accelerator)  :angry: - Programs that don't warn in their manuals or their installation procedures that they contain ads.  (e.g. Copernic)  :angry: - Nonessential programs that are installed through pop-up web pages, fooling users into installation with seemingly official license information and/or installation instructions.  (Yes, I'm aware that many of these also distribute or are spyware.)  (e.g. Gator, WeatherBug)  :angry:  - The few programs I've seen without rectangular windows, because "grabbing" their frames for resizing is frustrating.  (e.g. Windows Media Player 9.x, Trillian, Odigo Messenger)  :angry: Boy, it sure feels good to get all of this off of my chest in public!
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#25 OFFLINE   SonicDragon

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 07:39 PM

I hate all the auto-format stuff is MS Word! It Drives me crazy! I had to switch to OpenOffice, which, recently, has done nothing but crash.Wow! Tons of posts last night! and i was here till 11 too!




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