A letter to installation programs

Dear Installation App,

I'm sure you are happy that I invited you for a visit. I know that the product you belong to would like to be used by as many people as possible. I know I only see you for a brief time before the product installs, but our time together is valuable. With that said, I'm going to be blunt and tell you that you are not always a good visitor on my computer. I've outlined some of the problems with your last visit below. These items are in no particular order, but please address as many of them as you can.

Please don't put the program icons anywhere but my start menu. I like to keep my desktop clean and don't like it when you litter it with icons. It just takes time from my day to go delete them. If application shortcuts were supposed to be on the desktop, we wouldn't have a start menu. While you're at it, don't put them in the quick launch bar either. I like to choose what goes there myself.

Also - I'm perfectly ok with you putting files anywhere you want in the Program Files directory, but the other directories are off limits (I do know that some of you may need to put drivers in the windows directory, but otherwise, this rule holds true). I don't like to see "mystery" directories show up on my hard drive. This just causes me to open the directory and look at files until I can determine what application created it - then I have to figure out if it's safe to delete. I invited you on my system, but I didn't give you permission to create more work for me later.

There are other things you do such as changing file associations that are ok to do as long as you ask first. Basically, I'd like it to appear that nothing has changed except for a new item in the start menu. If you need to do more than that, it's probably ok - just please ask.

Last, but not least, if I decide that I don't want the program anymore and you are called on again to uninstall, can you please clean up properly? You can leave any files I created, but there's no reason for you to leave any other files laying around after you're gone. And don't forget to clean out all of the goo you put into the registry too. It's you're job to leave it like you found it and I don't like finding your crud in there 6 months after I've last seen you.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but keeping the above in mind will be a great start. Looking forward to our next visit.

-Alan's Computer

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