Apple Software Update: I don't use iTunes and I use Nero or other players for my Quick Time files. The main reason for why I do this doesn't come from my anti Apple misgivings. It actually started several years ago when Apple Software Update started to update things I had never installed. Like Quick Time updating iTunes when all I had loaded on that system was QT. This practice of avoidance continued on to Adobe when they started to make it difficult to avoid the other toolbars that would install and load by default if you didn't tab through everything.. and I mean everything to find the "no thank you" buttons, checkboxes or other controls. So I thought this blog post from the Windows Super Site was interesting as Apple is still bundling the company's other software more or less.
A side note if you will. I was asked offline why I refer to the Super Site so much. Two reasons really. One, Paul's DE'man when it comes to tracking down Microsoft legend and lore. And two, he often mentions keystrokes or describes things non visually in his materials. If you listen to the Windows Weekly podcasts Paul will occasionally mention his son who is Deaf. Paul also has brought the need for iTunes to have more closed captioning in the past. And it is rare to find anyone with this big of a net presence discuss Disabled rights.
Vista Data Harvesting: To be fair, and to continue my trend for one snarky Vista article for every snarky Apple article I like to link to now a days, I am not a big fan of the need for Microsoft to archive everything on the computer. I'm not so paranoid that I want ultimate control of both sides of the firewall as I rarely do anything to warrant the need for NSA like security. But at times I find it is hard to know what is really needed by Vista and what is not. The article below is way too FUD ridden for my taste, however, it does mention a lot of these services and what they are used for within Vista.
Also, if you are into this sort of thing, a couple of weeks ago the Fred's head Companion posted an article on Windows Registry tools and tweaks. I generally don't use these methods to manipulate Windows. And I can't use them on boxes that I use for beta testing as you have to simulate the "out of the box" experience in that kind of thing. But I have used a site for testing services and configurations in the past. Black Viper's tweaks are pretty spiffy and I use them to trim down non testing machines. Only once did I screw up royally by disabling a service that my Screen Magnifier was tied to at the time. A trip to Safe Mode and me rubbing my nose across the old 19 inch CRT monitor got me back on the straight and narrow. Therefore, as BV says in the link below, only use the "safe" configuration to start with on your path to the Vista Health Spa. Your Vista could be pounds lighter in minutes.
Black Viper Vista Tweaks
Notetaker Of The Future!: Forget that Omni, K Reader Mobile or Braille Sense Plus. I want someone to add speech to this thing right here. Hee hee...
Ranger says in his best superhero voice "This sounds like a job for.. Code Factory!".