Bloatware Removal

Sometimes, software companies don’t know when to stop.

They keep adding complex features, fancy graphics, and megabytes of unnecessary files. These are well respected companies, too – Adobe is a good example. They get away with this because most people don’t know any better. To most people, pdf *is* Adobe Acrobat. Luckily, there are usually free alternatives that are only a fraction of the size, and as a result, are much quicker. In fact, sometimes you don’t need to download software at all!

Bloatware problem #1 – Instant messaging (AIM, MSN, etc.) Alternative – Instant messaging doesn’t need to be complicated, really. AIM’s installation file is 13 megabytes – which doesn’t sound like much – but compare that to Chatzilla, a Firefox-based IRC client that is less than 350 kilobytes. Even then, neither of these can compare to Meebo, which doesn’t require a download of *anything*. In fact, you can log on to Yahoo, AIM, MSN, ICQ, and Jabber, all directly through the website!

Bloatware problem #2 – CD burning software (Nero Burning ROM) Alternative – CDBurnerXP There’s no reason to pay $60 for cd-burning software, especially since most people don’t need to do anything complicated, like burning ISO files or creating custom boot disks. Then again, CDBurnerXP can do that, too. For free.

Bloatware problem #3 – Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader Alternative – CutePDF and Foxit PDF Reader PDFs are probably the most cumbersome format on the internet. They’re a hassle to make, even harder to edit, and Adobe makes things worse by bloating their software. Foxit PDF Reader, luckily, is only 8 megabytes *after* installation. Adobe Reader is four times that size, even before installation. Acrobat Acrobat is hundreds of megabytes, yet CutePDF and its necessary postscript converter are under a 10 megabyte download. As de facto standard software has become more bloated and wasteful, minimalist alternatives are gaining ground. Who said bigger was always better?