Skip to main content

On OEM installations of Windows(R)

If there is anything that annoys a geek like me, it is being forced to use/do/say/think something. More so if it is useless and annoying.

I have a Compaq laptop. It came pre-installed with Windows Vista. Along with the OS came a bunch of goodies utterly useless software by HP. They were HP Health Check, HP Battery Check, HP Wireless Assistant and HP Update. I shall now proceed to attack these software one-by-one.

I start with HP Health Check. Perhaps the most annoying software of them all. It checks your PC periodically for issues(?) and then gives the most annoying pop-up of them all. It reads

HP Health Check has finished checking your PC. Click this balloon to view results.
And when you click the balloon to view the issues, most of the time, you are greeted with this message:
HP Health Check did not find any issues with your computer
Sometimes, it finds a whole bunch of drivers which are outdated. But it does not update them, nor does it give an option to select the drivers to be updated. Instead, you need to manually click on any one random issue and say fix this issue. Then wait while the driver is downloaded at speeds of 5kbps and then installed. Then repeat for the next issue.

I use Code::Blocks for coding. Now, this IDE has a useful shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+C to comment, Ctrl+Shift+X to uncomment. But what I observe is that pressing Ctrl+Shift+C opens HP Health Check everytime, and does not comment the block, which means that I need to go to Edit->Comment everytime I want to comment code. Just stupid, isn't it?

Even more annoying is that I do not see any ways to turn this annoying feature off, or even uninstall the damn software. For it is not seen in the usual uninstall programs list.

Today I finally figured out how to remove the annoying key combination. The trick is to find the shortcut to the program (in the Start Menu) and then to view its properties, and delete the shortcut key combination.

HP Battery Check is to supposedly check the health of your batteries, and advise you if calibration is required or if the battery is in poor health. Well, my battery lasts me for only an hour, and I am still being told that my battery is in good health.

HP Wireless Assistant is there to supposedly make it easier for me to create secure wireless home networks. Seriously! And why can I not secure my network the good old fashioned way? Interestingly, this software needs you to be connected to the internet to work. I wonder why that is so...

HP Wireless Assistant just misses the top spot on my list of the most useless software ever, because that position is held by HP Update software. Like Shannon's Ultimate Machine

this software simply exists to update itself.

The most annoying thing to happen then is to have driver issues installing Ubuntu, and then hear HP people say that they shall not provide drivers for Linux.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Cornell Graduate Students United: At What Cost?

On Monday and Tuesday, we graduate students at Cornell will be voting on whether or not we want to unionise. Actually, scratch that, only graduate students who hold a TA, RA, or GRA appointment can unionise.This is a shitty arrangement, and I will be voting against it.For those of you who are not aware of how graduate school works at Cornell, you could be on one of many appointments.FellowshipA graduate student on a fellowship gets a stipend and tuition paid without associated teaching or research opportunities. Graduate students on a fellowship typically work towards their own theses, but will be excluded from the unionGraduate research assistantshipsA GRA gives a graduate student stipend and tuition without teaching responsibilities. However, this money comes out of a specific project grant, and the students typically work on their own theses. Students on GRAs magically qualify to join the union, whereas there is virtually no difference between a GRA and a fellowship for the most pa…

Reading List, April 2017

Adam Carroll, When money isn’t real: The $10,000 experiment, in TEDxLondonBusinessSchool, 9 July 2015. [Online]: Carroll presents an interesting point – we have abstracted away money through the use of a number of instruments, such as credit and debit cards, NFC payment systems on our phones, and in-app purchases, when we don’t realise how much we are actually spending. Carroll spends some time showing how his kids, aged 7–11 played monopoly differently when they were playing with real money. He goes on to lay his premise, that financial literacy must be taught to children at a young age, when they should be allowed to fail and learn from their failures at a small scale, not at the hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are in student loan debt and just out of college.Carroll’s talk hit a lot of notes with my own experiences with money, and I’m sure that it would resonate with your experiences as well.Brett Scott, If plastic replaces cash, much tha…