After purchasing my HP 15 laptop and getting adjusted to it, the time was right to start personalizing it. I use a lot of different programs so this was going to take a while, I started off with the browser.
Every edition of Windows comes with Internet Explorer already installed and set up as the default browser. I wasn’t having any of that so I only used it to download my favorite browser: Google Chrome. While I like Chrome the most, one problem I have with it is that there’s not really any way to download the full program anymore. Now, what they have in place is known as a “bootstrapper.”
Bascially, this is what happens: you go to download Google Chrome or some other program, but what you actually end up downloading is not the full program, but a program that goes to another location online then downloads the actual program from there. So basically, you’re downloading one program just to download another one.
I take exception to this for two reasons: 1) is seems a little redundant. Why not just provide us with a direct link to the full program so we can download it from there? 2) With bootstappers, you don’t get any information on the progress of the download. You have no idea how big the file is, how long it’s going to take to fully download, or anything like that. These are things I’d like to know, it helps me plan out my day. I’m a busy guy, I have a lot of computer work to do so it would be nice to have progress reports.
When you download a file directly through your browser, it gives you information like that so you can keep an eye on it. When you install a bootstrapper, all it tells you is that it’s working on it. That really helps, thanks.
This is what frustrates me the most: bootstrappers take all of the control out of your hands. You’re completely helpless while you’re sitting there waiting for it to download. I have a slow internet connection so I’m forced to wait even longer. I’m not just sitting there twiddling my thumbs waiting for a download to finish, I’m doing other things on my computer and it’s nice to have some idea of how much time I have. It would’ve been nice if I could’ve downloaded the full program file ahead of time and then just installed it, but why should things ever be easy for us?
Suffice it to say, it’s a real pet peeve of mine.
After dealing with my frustrations towards bootstrapping, I eventually installed Chrome and I was able to browse comfortably. The next program that I installed was the second-most important one in my arsenal: foobar2000. It’s a music player and the reason I use it more than another program such as Winamp is because it allows me the most control over how I play my music. When I listen to music, I don’t just listen to 1 or 2 songs from one band, I listen to all of their music. With foobar, I can have multiple playlists open at once and can choose where I want to go at any given time. It also allows for a lot of customization of keyboard shortcuts. If I want to pause or play a song, I can hit the space bar. Turning the volume up or down can be done by using the up or down arrow key. If I want to rewind or fast forward a song by 5 seconds, I can press the left or right arrow key. Going back to the previous song or skipping to the next one can be done by pressing the Page Up or Page Down key. It can be any key you choose, I program it to those keys because most of them are located near the bottom of the keyboard and I can access them quickly.
That was enough for one day, more installing and exploring to come tomorrow.