ON your (website’s) list of things you DON'T RECOMMEND is Weatherbug, which I have. Can you recommend one that does work?
This question was answered on November 3, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
When you consider that there are hundreds of millions of computers that are connected to the Internet, it’s no wonder why the Windows desktop has become a battleground for marketing companies.
The Internet, as a single source, has access to more people than any other marketing medium, so the number of programs that attempt to acquire a spot on your screen is endless.
Free programs like Weatherbug are the entrée for the marketing companies to gain access to your system (a.k.a Adware) If you read the EULA (End User License Agreement), which virtually no one does, you would see that in order for you to have use of this cute little ‘weather service’ it is “supported by advertising revenue.”
What constitutes advertising revenue is completely up to them (pop-ups, pop-unders, banner ads, etc.) and can be changed as they see fit One of the ‘associated’ programs that’s installed with Weatherbug is called ‘My Search Bar’ This little program installs a plug-in for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser so that it can get you to its advertisers search engines and web pages.
So now, in order for you to see what the weather in Kansas City is at this very moment, you have given up valuable resources in Windows, slowed down the performance of your system and modified your browsers search system.
In the over 15 years that we have been servicing computers for consumers, the one lesson that seems to never get through is that every program that you allow to be installed into your computer increases your chances of having a problem or slowing your system down.
Because Weatherbug becomes an active part of the Windows operating system, it must load every time you start your computer Chances are, you have allowed other programs to ‘automatically’ load at startup, which causes your machine to take much longer to start then when it was new.
The various programs that battle for startup position in Windows can often times conflict with one another and cause various performance problems
The ads that get displayed take resources from your computer and use your Internet bandwidth to deliver them, which can have an impact on dial-up connections.
Is all this really worth it so you don’t have to go to sites like Weather.com, Intellicast.com or the National Weather Service’s site at nws.noaa.gov to check the weather?
This same question should be answered by those that download free screensavers, smiley icons for their e-mail programs or file sharing programs such as Kazaa.
Is the ‘freebie’ worth all the ads, pop-ups, slow performance and potential conflicts that accompany the installation of these programs? In most cases, the clear answer is NO!
Windows has enough trouble trying to deal with all of the software that gets loaded with your printer, scanner, digital camera, firewall, anti-virus program and any associated programs from your Internet provider, so don’t make it worse by piling on unnecessary programs.
The list of programs that we recommend and don’t recommend can be found by clicking on the yellow ‘Seal of Approval’ ribbon at www.datadoctors.com.
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on November 3, 2004
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