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Google Unveils The Google Pack 473

7hunderstruck writes "Google yesterday announced the release of Google Pack, a 'free collection of essential software'. Along with Google's own programs, such as Google Toolbar and Google Earth, Google Pack contains Firefox, Adobe Reader, a six month subscription to Norton Antivirus, and Trillian as well as other apps. Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already (excluding a few things), but it will be nice to make it all widely available to the general public." Commentary on ZDNet.
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Google Unveils The Google Pack

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  • nortan anti-virus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobby1234 ( 860820 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:35AM (#14416364)
    forget it you could get me to install it if it was free forever.... avg for me... []
    • I agree - AVG would have made more sense.
      • My Windows box would require a commercial AVG licence - they want to charge me simply because I run Win2K Server instead of Pro, regardless of what I actually use it for. So I use the Clam [] instead.

        Of course, my other 5 machines run Linux or FreeBSD, and this isn't an issue for them. :)

        (Spelling Nazi Alert: It's Norton, for crying out loud. Geeez.)
    • Avast (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NaNO2x ( 856759 )
      I myself would sugest Avast [], I've never had an issue with it. Though I haven't used AVG for years it could have changed, back then it wasn't looking to good.
    • Free virus checkers (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:49AM (#14416415)
      Going a bit of topic here but what's peoples opinions of AntiVir? Seems fine myself but everyone else seems to use AVG
      • by Nagus ( 146351 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:44AM (#14416821)
        I've switched a PC in my family from Antivir to AVG, and am now recommending AVG to anyone that asks.

        The first reason is that Antivir has a relatively complicated update method for novice users. When it updates the antivirus database (ie. on startup), it sometimes likes to pop up a window with ads for the commercial version or with user surveys. This scares novice users who don't know what to click, and who then promptly call me for support. However that problem gets much worse when an update of Antivir itself is made - because then it just downloads a Setup.exe and starts it. This leaves the confused user (who has never seen an installer before) in front of a (maximized) InstallShield wizard, wondering how to "get back on the Internets". And quite frankly, even I find that installer a bit confusing.

        AVG is much better in this regard: on startup, it checks for updates (to either program or antivirus database). If it finds any, it shows a progress bar while downloading and installing them. Then it shows an "Update Complete" dialog, which will vanish automatically after 30 seconds (unless you click it away before that timeout). Not a single click is required, ever.

        The second reason I prefer AVG is that AVG's updates are much faster than Antivir's. Either Antivir has really slow servers, or AVG's updates are drastically smaller. I've had Antivir's update downloader timeout on me, but never AVG's.

        To conclude: AVG is hasslefree, which is an essential property if you have to support friend's or family member's PCs.
    • I would not use Norton's Anit-Virus even if it was free for life, came on a golden CD and updates were hand-delivered by trained flying monkeys.

      A one-year subscription came with my motherboard, and I duly installed it after everything else (including a few games). Performance across the board plummeted, apps took ages to open, or sometimes didn't, every file seemed to take ages to read in or write back to disk - in short, everything started to suck badly.

      This is on a brand new Athlon-64 3200, with 1GB RAM a
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:37AM (#14416371)
    Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already

    From []:

    System Requirements
    - Windows XP

    I think there is a disconnect somewhere... ;-)
    • by jlowery ( 47102 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:41AM (#14416390)
      Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already.

      Are there any respectable /. readers?

    • by Moby Cock ( 771358 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:49AM (#14416413) Homepage
      Actually the requirement is:

      Windows XP with Administrator privileges

      Which I understand is pretty easy to get over the internet.
    • Why "XP Only"? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:49AM (#14416417) Homepage
      System Requirements
      - Windows XP

      I think there is a disconnect somewhere... ;-)

      This is a bad trend. All of the software (with the possible exception of Norton AV, which I've never used) runs just fine on Win2k. Why the XP restriction? This is twice in one week I've run up against an arbitrary won't-install-on-2000 roadblock. (The first was trying to install Age of Empires III, which actually runs just fine on 2000 if you can manage to trick the installer.) It looks like the days of Win2k are numbered, not because it can't run the software but simply because the software refuses to install. I really hate artificial limitations.

      • You are absolutly right, I'm still amazed how MSN feeds you an outdate version of messenger (called SetupNT) if you use Windows 2000. Yet the installer of the new XP only version can be easly hacked to run on Windows 2000 without a problem.

        More than anything seems than Microsoft is forcing OS update.
      • Re:Why "XP Only"? (Score:5, Informative)

        by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:21AM (#14416738) Homepage Journal
        "Mainstream Support" was end-of-lifed on 6/30/2005. Now it's one thing to make software that only works with a newer version of an OS, but it's another to put artificial blocks on compatibility.

        As a web developer, I don't support older browsers. I do, however, let them load up my sites in whatever they like. As long as users realize that they may not be seeing the same thing or interacting in the same way, they're free to use Netscape 4 or whatever they like.

        So if the Age of Empires developers decided that Win2K was a drastic minority with no mainstream support from MS, I can understand them not testing and support their product on 2000. But if the product works fine and users want to try it (unsupported) then they should let 'em do it.

        I made the mistake - once - of forcing visitors to my site to use a specific browser. I did a browser detection and showed them a message requiring that they upgrade their browser in order to use the site. The problem with this is that the site worked fine in a lot of browsers that I was too lazy or ignorant to test or support. Eventually I learned the term "gracefully degrade."
      • Re:Why "XP Only"? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:52AM (#14416851)
        Why the XP restriction?

        XP has 73% of the market. Up about 1% a month. W2K 15%. Down about 1% a month.

        Mac and Linux 3%. Up 1% since 2003. Linux remaining pretty much where it was in July 20004.OS Platform Stats [] This is how the world looks to a developer. I'll leave it to your imagination to consider W2K's place in the home market.

      • Re:Why "XP Only"? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slavemowgli ( 585321 )
        Welcome to the world of closed-source software, vendor interests and monopolies...
  • Branded? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tango42 ( 662363 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:39AM (#14416376)
    Are the non-google products identical to the versions issued normally, or are they branded? It says firefox comes with the google toolbar (does it add anything to ff? I can already search google easilly and block popups...), is that the only modification?

    I'm not sure why google are doing this, unless they're getting paid (in money or some other way) by the producers of the software...
    • Re:Branded? (Score:5, Informative)

      by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:56AM (#14416442)
      The Google toolbar for firefox only adds a few items that I consider useful, however as this toolbar integrates seamlessly with Firefox toolbar customisation then you can just move the items you need into other areas of the screen and hide the toolbar itself.

      e.g. the Google search box on the toolbar incorporates Google suggest, so I've customised the toolbar and removed the Firefox built in search box and replaced it with the Google one.

      I also like to see the pagerank of sites that I help develop so I've dragged the pagerank icon to the left of the throbber on the menubar (Linux and Windows) or to the left of the personal toolbar (on Mac) so I can see it at all times. Then I hide the rest of the toolbar.

      To customise toolbars simply right click on any area of the toolbars that don't have any other context menu (e.g. reload, stop, home buttons) or select View > Toolbars > Customize.

      Google are also offering $1 per download to members of their adsense program who put a link to download Firefox with the Google toolbar on their sites. For Google it is good to encourage use of Firefox as Firefox will not default to MSN search like IE does - and remember what Ballmer wants to do to Google!
    • Re:Branded? (Score:4, Informative)

      by wazo2k ( 533400 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:11AM (#14416492) Journal

      I'm not sure why google are doing this, unless they're getting paid (in money or some other way) by the producers of the software...

      according to the google blog [] they are not getting paid:

      We worked with a number of technology companies to identify products that are the best of their type to create this suite. (We didn't pay them, and they aren't paying us.)

      • Re:Branded? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tango42 ( 662363 )
        If they intend to get favours in return, that's still payment. I'll believe they aren't getting any money, but I doubt they're getting nothing.
      • Re:Branded? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hkmwbz ( 531650 )

        "There was the initial excitement about its speed and the nice screen and then it came time to actually get it running. Which meant embarking on some real work - downloading a browser, a couple of multimedia players, a PDF reader, a toolbar, and maybe something for voice and instant messaging."

        I don't know about everyone else, but my copy of Windows XP came with a browser, a multimedia player, and an instant messaging program. And believe it or not, but I'd pick Windows Media Player over the evil spywa

    • I'm not sure why google are doing this, unless they're getting paid (in money or some other way) by the producers of the software.
      Partnering to extend the functionality of Google lets both parties create value in a way that guards against M$.
  • XP only (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:40AM (#14416381) Journal
    Wheres the mention that it's XP only in the article text? I personally feel this is rather an important fact in not wasting people's time on stuff they can't use.
  • Not Gaim? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:40AM (#14416382) Homepage
    Google hired the main Gaim developer, and they don't ship it as part of the Google Pack?

    Despite the article- I don't see Trillian listed in on the article page. If they ship Trillian and not Gaim, that'd be even more strange.
    • Re:Not Gaim? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:51AM (#14416423)
      Trillian is included. It's not there by default but they do give you the option here []
    • Re:Not Gaim? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mgs_X75 ( 909437 )
      "Google hired the main Gaim developer, and they don't ship it as part of the Google Pack?"

      well, thats because google doesnt care too much about open source but is just smarter than most other traditional it companies and they see the tremendous - yet largely unstructured and very loosely connected - economic powers of the open source community. once those os communities work more focussed, structured and interlinked be assured others will also try to become "friends" with them.

      google a true friend of open s
      • Re:Not Gaim? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:18AM (#14416725) Homepage
        I'm all about being skeptical but:
        google a true friend of open source? dont think so. 400 times 4500$ for the summer of code is some money and it has some benefits for the open source development in general. but, first, compare this prize money to the millions that they paid this ms guy. second and more important, google gets to know 400 bright people and can approach/hire them when they are students - not necessary to pay millions to hire them from a competitor at a later stage. this certainly is worth the 400 times 4500.

        I don't see the analogy here. They're hiring students to work on Free Software projects for the summer... The students can do what they want afterward. Many large companies have internships for students, but few of them involve Free Software.

        they take lead developers (read: directly weaken the os community) from ff and gaim and hire them to work for google.

        That's what many companies do, hiring smart developers. While it's not good- I don't see how Google is any worse than any other company for this practice. Google has been relatively skimpy on the Free Software front, but does have some useful programs.
    • Re:Not Gaim? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zr-rifle ( 677585 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:49AM (#14416835) Homepage
      Most importantly, why Trillian and not GTalk?
  • Norton? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:42AM (#14416392)
    Why did Google choose to include Norton? I've found Norton AV to be the most worthless antivirus software I've ever used. It has consistently let me down in terms of protecting my computer. I've even tested it against a known virus. A rival AV was able to catch it. Norton wasn't.

    A couple of times I was hit by a trojan by simply going to a web page. Next thing you know, my system gets infected, and Norton shuts down completely and won't start back up again. That's what you call protection? No thanks.
    • Re:Norton? (Score:4, Informative)

      by donovangn ( 728687 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:01AM (#14416465)
      I run into this same issue on so many of my clients' computers. I end up removing Norton as it was either expired or somehow broken. At least half the time the damn thing doesn't uninstall. This is such a pervasive issue that Norton had to write a removal (SymNRT []) to clean up where their uninstaller failed. Eventually they should move that tool to this page [].
    • I have to admit I don't use Windows much since it only runs the occasional game here but I do have clients and friends w/ Norton and both the feedback and my own impression of it haven't been too good.
      It does seem to take a lot of ressources while not being very effective. Nowadays I tend to recommend Avast! or AVG.

      Google obviously didn't pick it based on its merits. A check must have been involved at some point :)
    • I spent about two days of my holiday fixing my host's heavily infected computer. What had he been relying on? Norton Internet Security.

      Painting your face and doing dances to appease the Gods will protect your computer as much.
    • Re:Norton? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spoing ( 152917 )
      A couple of times I was hit by a trojan by simply going to a web page. Next thing you know, my system gets infected, and Norton shuts down completely and won't start back up again. That's what you call protection? No thanks.

      While Symantec's Norton AV is one of the most notorious AV programs out there, if you're relying on an AV to protect you ... as the latest exploit shows ... you are already in trouble.

      AV products "protect" you as much as using garbage bags on top of your shoes when walking across bro

    • Re:Norton? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @12:17PM (#14416939)
      Why did Google choose to include Norton?

      Norton probably paid Google shitload of money to be included in the
  • Odd statement (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toupsie ( 88295 )
    but it will be nice to make it all widely available to the general public.

    That's an odd statement. Weren't all these software packages widely available to the general public before? I like Google and all but come on. I really don't see what the big deal is. You can download all these programs from Google? Whupty-fword. And it doesn't work with my Mac OS X box which makes sense because I don't need Ad-Aware and Norton Antivirus for safe surfing. Plus PDF viewing is built into the OS through Preview.

    Am I

  • Let's see... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CharonX ( 522492 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:47AM (#14416409) Journal
    Google Earth is more of a "fun" program. Nice to toy around once in a while, but nothing I have always installed.
    Picasa is nifty. A free image editor is always nice.
    Google Pack Screensaver Don't really care about that one. I usually blank my screen.
    Google Desktop I don't use since I have "order in my chaos"(tm) and don't really like to things hooked into everything.
    Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer will be a godsend for all IE unsers, but I don't need it since I do Firefox.

    Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar guess this will make Firefox's markedshare do another jump.
    Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition - personally I use AntiVirus Personal Editon [], its free and quite good, but if I think about all the PCs without any up-to-date protection out there its a real godsend.
    Ad-Aware SE Personal 4236 programs found? If you have used IE, not used a virusscanner and/or have a "shiny, let's click it" PC user this thing will cleanse your system. Otherwise once every 3 months is sufficient.
    Adobe Reader 7 A no-brainer, one of the most portable formats around (let's see how Open Document spreads), .doc eat your heart out.
  • by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:48AM (#14416410)
    There's a reason this is XP only and that is because it's designed for people to help out their less computer literate relatives who have just purchased a computer and give them a way to download most of the important 'essentials' and keep them up to date farily easily.

    People who use Linux are not their target, Linux distributions come with all the apps you could need and very few newbies would likely have the option to buy a Linux system.

    For them it's almost always WinXP forced down their throats unless they notice these Mac things in the store they bought their iPod - and there's no need for this pack on the mac either - the Mac already comes with a modern web browser, a decent desktop search (since Tiger), the iLife apps for photos, etc.

    There's two things wrong with the Google offering and that's all I could see - one is the choice of anti-virus (only free for a limited time and not the most trustworthy name around) and the central updater duplicates the roles that the Firefox and Adobe updaters perform. They should have disabled the individual updates if they were going for a central solution.
  • What a letdown. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blkros ( 304521 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:48AM (#14416411)
    This is supposed to be a "great" announcement? That's it? A bundle of software that's available anywhere? And none free/libre? and Norton isn't free since you have to pay for updates after 6 months (just like any other OEM installation). Why not choose AVG, which has free updates, on it's personal version, forever?

    Bet their stock pricer just went down. ...and all of it only works on XP? No wonder Bill Gates dismissed them out of hand at CES.
    • Re:What a letdown. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bwy ( 726112 )
      Yeah, I can't believe this even made the news. For me, a new product or service is newsworthy. Some marketing/advertising/other scheme means nothing. I can't think of a single time that I've cared when someone cross selling something or coming out with a new advertisment or rebundling stuff that already exists.

      Google shouldn't have a free ticket here. Their stock is high and they've done some good stuff, but that doesn't mean the whole world cares when they take a shit and something like Google Pack
  • by know1 ( 854868 )
    "Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already (excluding a few things)"
    well i installed nothing from it as i'm on of the "respectable /. user(s)" running linux on my main box. Seriously google, port some of this amazing software to the operating system that gave so much to you on the back end while you were starting up - all for free
    • by Junta ( 36770 )
      Sounds all nice and good, but when you stop to think about it, they weren't helped so much by the desktop aspects of linux, but server side aspects. In that line of reasoning, how much testing, bug reports, and fixes have they provided back to the kernel and relevant untilities to them? I honestly have no idea, but the areas in which Google would be 'paying back' their benefit of linux is in places very mundane and boring to the linux desktop market, and therefore for a great deal of users so low profile
  • Why Norton?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aminion ( 896851 )
    Why the heck did Google select the resource hog Norton? Norton is by far the most annoying and disfunctional AV on the market. I would have prefered NOD 32 or Kaspersky. They do their job very well and are resource efficient.
  • Everything else is great and I already have, but to install real player. I can't believe google included it. What a shame.
  • Google Philosophy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ignavusincognitus ( 750099 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:05AM (#14416473)
    2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.

    This is a quote from the official "Google Philosophy" [] page. Oh well.

    2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.

    Google does search. With one of the world's largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we've been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service already considered the best on the web at making finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of users. Our dedication to improving search has also allowed us to apply what we've learned to new products, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Maps. As we continue to build new products* while making search better, our hope is to bring the power of search to previously unexplored areas, and to help users access and use even more of the ever-expanding information in their lives.

    • This is probably just a PR thing to help push google toolbar. Packaging a bunch of already free executables? Anyone could do that. Packaging a bunch of nice desirable executables that most people would download anyway while inserting your toolbar and maybe putting google as your homepage for IE and Moz and FF? (I don't know they do that, but they should try with a prompt)

      All it costs them is bandwidth for google. If a few thousand people download google toolbar and clickthrough some high value ads for s
  • Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already
    Who is that guy writing about ?
    Any respectable /. user I know would run only Open Source Software
    and would have nothing to do with anything needing a virus checker.

  • Is there a Linux/Unix version of Trillian I haven't heard of?
  • Respectable (Score:5, Funny)

    by MS_is_the_best ( 126922 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:15AM (#14416503)
    Any respectable /. user should have most of this suite installed already (excluding a few things)

    dpkg-query -S norton
    dpkg: *norton* not found.

    Guess I am not respectable ;-).

  • Good Work Google (Score:2, Interesting)

    by l33tlamer ( 916010 )
    From [], this seems to be true AFAIK for many PC users:

    - Essential: Enjoy safe, useful software for your computer
    - Simple: Download and install everything in just a few clicks
    - Customizable: Choose only the software you want
    - Up to date: Get updates and new software via Google Updater

    For the average user, who generally uses Windows, this is pretty sweet. No fuss, easy to use pack of "tools" that are easy to use and keep up-do-date. Sure, one can argue about having non-open sour

  • Below is a proceedure that will change you life...
    1. Click link in article.
    2. Below the huge button that says DOWNLOAD GOOGLE PACK there is another link that takes you to a page
    3. Use this page to customize your download and use the following: (if you don't already have them..)
      • Google Earth
      • Picasa
      • Google Pack Screensaver
      • Google Desktop
      • Google Toolbar
      • Google Talk
      • Firefox
      • Ad-Aware
      • Adobe Reader
      • and Trillian (and get rid of those other three IM clients!!)
    4. Click the Download Button!!
  • Foxit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:30AM (#14416551) Homepage
    You can keep your Adobe (Acrobat) Reader. Way to heavy.
    I've been using Foxit Reader [] for a while now and it just works and it is fast.

    Besides... the name is just great with one of the other tools in the Google pack: Firefox and Foxit ;)
    Now we just needs a Foxbar, Deskfox, Fox-aware, Foxasa, Anti-fox (hmm, that doesn't sound good), Planetfox, Foxsaver.
    • Re:Foxit (Score:3, Interesting)

      Hell yes, I'll take the opportunity to pimp Foxit reader too. Great, great software.

      The nice thing about Foxit (apart from the instant rendering and startup) is that they went out of their way to make it look identical to the regular Adobe Reader. There is even a little advert bar that amusingly can be switched off in the view menu.

      The company behind it make a PDF rendering component for Windows, which I guess is how they make money. The basic version of Foxit is free (but not libre).

  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:32AM (#14416560) Journal

    OK, let's see... if I were running XP, I'd install ettlz's Essentials:

    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Mozilla Thunderbird
    •'s SSH client
    • Gaim
    Doing Work
    • The GIMP
    • Inkscape
    • 7-zip
    • jEdit
    • Winamp
    • CDex
    • aoTuV Vorbis encoder
    • Audacity
    • ClamAV ClamWin
    • Spybot Search & Destroy
    • Lavasoft AdAware
    • Stern note about limited privilege accounts
    • You missed some!


      putty [] for SSH (even commandline SCP which rules), wget [] for sucking down the web, opera [] if you don't like firefox, and some form of bittorrent client, like bitcomet [].


      gvim [], unxutils [] or in a pinch some downloads from the gnuwin32 [] tools, tools from SysInternals [].


      Don't forget Mediaplayer classic (MPC []) which by happy coincedence is included in the k-lite mega codec pack (from []).


      grisoft AV [], tools from SysInternals [].
  • Almost all the Software is already freely available. Anyone who does some support work for Widows XP users (so anyone here except those that have enough time convincing and installiing free software for their people) should know AdAware, Firefox and Acrobat Reader, where to get them and maybe even have installed them a couple of times.

    Some of the Google software products included are usefull to some people, some are not. So anyone should only install the ones that they use (screensaver anyone, or IE-Toolbar
  • Hmmmmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I notice there's no Mozilla Thunderbird in the Pack.

    Google wouldn't want to cut in on their own GMail market, ehh?
  • I'll admit I'm old-school (face messaging vs. instant messaging) but how many IM clients am I supposed to be using simultaneously?
  • huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by epicstruggle ( 311178 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:52AM (#14416849)
    should have most of this suite installed already (excluding a few things) Thanks for defining most for us.
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @12:51PM (#14417078) Homepage
    Yes, this is redundant, but I just want to help make the chorus louder:


    January of last year I set up a test platform and installed all of the AV programs recommended by the microsoft link page (you know, the page it sends you to when you install XP without AV software)?

    Panda, McAfee, Norton, F-Secure, and two others. They all sucked except F-Secure. It just sits there and quietly does its job -- No bullshit menus or intrusions or dialogs that won't go away. (Hell, Panda even put an icon on my xp LOGIN screen that wouldn't go away after de-install).

    I think this is one of those cases when redundancy is essential.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson