‘Useful’ toolbars. Not.

Kat was complaining that her laptop was going very slowly, and some programs not working properly at all. So, I had a look to see what might be up. I did think that there was a virus to start with since there was a process that was chewing through memory, and restarted itself when stopped. But it turned out to be one of the many toolbars that offer themselves up for internet explorer or whatever instant messaging system she is using. These seem to be far from benign. They take up screen room, have processes running in the background, consume processing time, slow down startup and shutdown, and all to provide a pretty way of doing something very ordinary. The are also a right pain to remove, since they seem to uninstall very badly – I ended up having to edit the homepage by hand or internet exporer wouldn’t start at all (90 minutes work all told!). A virus would have been easier! I know it isn’t a Windows driven thing, and that they are only targeted there since most people use Windows … but it does a much slicker experience to use Linux than have to wrestle with Windows,

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