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Software installation lies

June 15, 2007

I got a new Fuji Finepix S5200 camera, and like all new cameras it came with a CD full of software.  And man, they’re serious about it!  You’re looking at the business end of the USB connector cable.  They put a little sleeve on the USB connector that says “Important” (on the other side, it says “Achtung!” which I like even better.  It’s physically impossible to plug in the camera without handling this warning.

So I wonder, is it really “important?”  what tragedy will happen if you are foolish enough to connect the camera without installing their crappy software?  Will the camera get screwed up?  Will you have to send it in for service?  Lost in device-driver hell?

Try “none of the above”.  Windows will recognize the camera as a removable drive.  You can use My Computer to cut the picture files from the camera, and paste them into your “My Pictures” folder.  Then use your favorite picture software to manage the pictures. 

Really.  I’ve been telling people this for years: resist the gravitational pull of the instructions – don’t put that CD into your computer.  You don’t need it.  Being in computer support, I’ve encountered a lot of computers totally jammed up with aftermarket device software, conflicting utilities that try to make the process “easy” for users.  Just Say No. 

(The camera was on sale at Sam’s Club for $175 – really a very good deal if you can put up with all the consumer doo-dads built into it.  This is for times when only a 10x zoom will do – eventually I’m still going to get a waterproof pocket-sized Olympus Stylus 720 like Webs05’s, for everyday use)

Categories: Geeky, Software
  1. June 15, 2007 at 14:14 | #1

    Hell that reminds me I need to write a post about my camera.

    I find that hilarious that they put that warning on the cable.  It would be nice if companies would just sell their product and not a bunch of bull****.  Hey maybe that’s an idea for a company, “No Bull**** Products.”

  2. June 15, 2007 at 19:20 | #2

    Unfortunately, a true “No BS” digital camera is slightly out of my price range  :down:

  3. Ted
    June 16, 2007 at 18:02 | #3

    I suspect that this is a cheap way to keep down the support calls.

    I’ve actually had a number of peripherals fail to act correctly because the OS supplied driver was installed on peripheral plug-in and driver search and then the application on CD failed to install the proper driver because a driver was already being used. Additionally, the OS provided driver may be too generic to support some of the features of the peripheral, so here come the support calls.

    I’m just saying, there is a sort of logic to installing the manufacturer’s driver first so that when you plug the device in for the first time the correct driver is bound to it.

    I think that’s a cool warning. Now if only I knew what to do with all these washers and screws after I set up the elliptical machine…must be extras—they just throw a handful into the baggie, right?

  4. June 16, 2007 at 18:19 | #4

    Oh, that would be fine if all it did was install a driver.  But it isn’t satisfied with just the right driver.  The CD also installs automatic picture-loading and transfer utilities, with yet another image editing software (that hijacks your file associations), plus some trialware web utility, plus a TSR that waits to see if the camera is dropped into a cradle or something, and maybe a spot of adware…

    Doesn’t take much of that nonsense to completely jam up a Windows computer.

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