Be Careful When Installing Software

There is a trend that does not seem to be going away anytime soon - the practice of packaging software installers (usually for Windows) with additional programs such as "trial" software, toolbars, or the Chrome browser. It's annoying, and no matter how much companies may talk about "adding value" and other marketing twaddle, it's often just a cash grab for them as they may make a few pennies per installation.

One of the more egregious examples from an established company is with Oracle's Java. The program has rather frequent updates, and the update installer will also install the Ask toolbar unless you uncheck a selection box during the installation. 

Java trying to be cute

If you want the Ask toolbar, that's fine, but the "opt in" mentality is pernicious ("opt in" means that unless you have your wits about you, you will end up installing heaven-knows-what).

When in doubt, if a software installer has the choice between a "typical" installation and a "custom" or "advanced" installation, choose the custom one and you should be able to see what else is being installed, if anything.

You can also use the Ninite site, which provides pristine installers for a growing number of free programs and utilities, and you can also get a single installer for multiple programs to save time - I recommend it highly.

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