Our readers are a pretty savvy bunch. You're up to speed on what software is and isn't worth downloading, and you're likely the "friend that knows about computers" to a lot of people. Wouldn't it be nice if some of those people started paying attention to our advice - and quit downloading things like... 1. A second (or third...or fourth) antivirus program. Despite what we tell them, some people think "more is always better" when it comes to PC protection. Inevitably, those people end up bringing their computers in for service saying "it just slowed right down" and - here's the kicker - "maybe it has a virus." So wait...You installed Norton, AVG, Spyware Doctor, and Ad-Aware because you thought it would keep out all the badness and you still think it's a virus slowing down your machine? /facepalm 2. Just...one...more...toolbar (thank you J-Walk blog for the image). Apparently a lot of people love to search. So much, in fact, that they need dedicated toolbars for Google, Yahoo, Ask, Live, MyWebSearch, and a handful of others. They wind up with less browser real estate than an iPhone on their 22" LCD. I launch their browser to download something, and it's like a punch in the face. Enough is enough, people. Use your browser's search box already.
3. Apps with annoying avatars. Incredimail, I'm looking at you. Bonzi Buddy is dead, and for a good reason. Isn't an AOL-style "You've Got Mail!" alert good enough? Apparently not for some people. No, they need to have some snooty butler announce the arrival of every message like he's Alfred bringing Bruce Wayne a phone call from the mayor. 4. P2P apps. Don't get me wrong - it's not apps like Frostwire, uTorrent, and eMule that I have a problem with. But if you're not going to take the time to learn how to configure these things, don't use them. And don't call and get uppity when your internet connection slows to a crawl and tell me I screwed things up. 5. Piggybacked programs. I'm shocked how much software people wind up with on their PCs that they never use and claim to not know how it got there. Checkboxes are there for a reason, folks. You don't have to install Safari. You don't have to install Adobe Media Player. Remember that Ask toolbar? You probably could have opted out of that, too - if you would take a second to read before you click. If I put food in front of you, you wouldn't just grab it and eat it without looking, right? What about you - what do you wish people would stop installing?