Bloatware, Bad Behavior, and other Irritations: A Rant

I woke up at 0345 the other morning for two reasons. One secondary reason was nature calling. The primary reason was light coming from my office when no light should be on. I staggered into the room and found that my computer had been woken up and Apple had sent an OS update and then restarted the system, without my permission, while the Wi-fi was supposed to be off and the computer not on the internet. I was seriously p-ssed off. Seriously. Apple just finalized my decision that my next computer will NOT be one of its products. I am a very unhappy consumer who is not going to consume again unless there is a massive philosophical change in Cupertino.

It started with the OS before Yosemite. More and more “cute” features and things I don’t need or want got piled in, some of which were a real nuisance. Apple was starting to rival Microsoft in that regard. Since Word 2011 it has been downhill, IMHO, because of bloatware, things that don’t make sense and that confuse more than ease, and too much clutter. On the Apple side, for example, iTunes got “improved” and made certain features no longer easy to use (want to delete a song? You suddenly couldn’t just delete it. You now have to go to the drop-down menus and hunt around for what you want. Not an improvement. And what had been deleted isn’t always gone if you side-load stuff. Grr.)

Trying to force me into the next OS? O heck no. I have no idea how badly it will bollix things, how much memory it will hog, what “useful tools” it will inflict. “Hi! I’m sending everything to the cloud unless you tell me not to every time you save something! Are you certain you don’t want it in the cloud? Really certain? Are you sure you’re sure?” And the part about “You have to have accounts here, here, and here even though you don’t use the program. Why don’t you use this feature? It’s a lovely feature?” I loathed that sort of thing when Word still had Clippy. If I want Clippy back, I’ll download Clippy. I don’t want my OS acting like Clippy.

And along comes the middle-of-the-night wake up. This isn’t the first time, but I’m really, really unhappy about my computer connecting itself to the ‘Net without my being there and doing it myself. Who else can piggy-back on Apple? Who else WILL piggy-back? No.

Once upon a time I’d seriously considered getting a desk-top Mac for when this one dies. Nope. I’m getting something non-Mac and non-Windows, learning Linux, getting freeware for those things I need, and Apple can go jump in a lake. Yes, it will seriously muck with the iLeash. Yes, I might lose my music that is in iTunes. At this moment, I’m willing to take the hit. I’ve had Macs since the Apple IIe and the original Macintosh. Mom Red loves her iPhone and iPad. She loves their tech support, and they have been very helpful to her. But I’m done, unless something changes and those of us who want a slim, un-bloated OS and far fewer “helpful” features are given that option. And Apple no longer wakes up the laptop and me at 0330 to load an OS update.

11 thoughts on “Bloatware, Bad Behavior, and other Irritations: A Rant

  1. Amen, sister! I can’t stand either one of the big two. And to think, they both are based on *nix (if you go back far enough). Kind of like bad seed children that turn out rotten no matter what the parents do.

    Microsoft, especially, is egregious. They admitted a few years ago that nobody actually knows how the OS actually works. It passed that level of complexity, and their organization stovepipes everything to a ridiculous degree.

    Apple under TC is just a pure SJW organization living in the husk of a once proud and prosperous business. It’s an undead fruit-shaped object.

  2. Mac user since the Mac Plus here, and also getting fed up. What I’m calling the “Paris Hiltonization” of the platform has been irritating me for a while. The continuing obsession with “thinness” at the expense of battery life and connectivity particularly gets my goat.

    That said, the automatic updates can be disabled easily: “System Preferences:App Store” and uncheck any types of updates you don\t want to happen automatically. (I have everything except OS updates enabled.)

  3. I agree with you completely on this. It’s why I will never have a device that can monitor what goes on in my room, such as these new digital assistants. I don’t want or need one. I’m an adult; I don’t need an electronic nanny. Nor do I want my electronics making decisions without my explicit permission.

    Phones are just about as bad. There’s all kinds of crap that came preloaded on mine that I don’t want (I’m looking at you, Facebook), and most of it I can’t delete (I’m looking at you, Google Play).

    • Most of them can be disabled, at least.


      I’m still annoyed at how many times I had to tell WordPress it wasn’t allowed to notify me of new comments….

  4. I got a new (well actually three within six months, because the first two died inexplicably) laptop when my desktop went belly up. So now I’ve got a laptop with Windows 10. I had tried Windows 8 and swore I would never own anything with it; I have to admit Windows 10 is an improvement, kind of like getting a root canal is an improvement over having all your teeth pulled by a guy with vice grips and no anesthesia.
    Otherwise I have all the same complaints you have about Apple. It sounds like they are designed by the same team, but I’m sure in actuality they just copy each other.

    • I’m starting to suspect that Apple sees some horrible feature in Microsoft and says “Hey, we haven’t tried that yet!”

  5. I have some less severe complaints about Windows 7, but at least the update settings can be tweaked, so it no longer starts itself up at 4 AM on Thursday to install patches. Windows 10, on the other hand. . . I’m seriously considering whether my next computer might run Linux. Window 10 wants to chat with Redmond a bit too much for my comfort, any other issues aside. Finding replacements for a small number of software packages may be a challenge (WINE emulation may be an option for some), and I may need to look at alternative GUI options for some of the programs I write, but it might help avoid some of the problems and annoyances Microsoft seems determined to throw up going forward. Maybe they’ll tone it down a bit and I won’t switch, but I’ll watch what they’re doing closely over the next few years.

    • The work computers use NT 1) because they are old, and 2) I suspect because the IT people know how to make NT behave. 10 would brick our desk-tops, and almost did for the one soul who accidentally hit the wrong auto-update thing. Rumor has it that IT had to do a full strip, cross-fingers, invoke $DEITY$, reinstall.

  6. I like my Mac Air, but it stays off and in my go bag unless ‘I’ connect it… But I hear what you’re saying and agree. Linux is looking like the way to go.

  7. I really like Linux Mint–really easy to use and you only rarely _need_ to go into terminal. Of course, you can when you want because it’s faster and easier, but not necessary.

  8. I’ve been mostly happy with Linux Mint. Someone, somewhere decided that connecting the phone via bluetooth is great for audio… but not for file transfer from the (storage limited) phone. Moving stuff *to* the phone works fine. WTH?! So… alternate methods.

    And yes, “unattended updates” (security anyway) are possible. Not sure about enable/disable for them, as they haven’t driven me to go looking for the switch(es).

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