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Messenger - probably the mallestware you'll ever install

Rant Seek and destroy
Wed Apr 12 2006, 16:20
OF COURSE the first thing my 11 year-old daughter does when I step away from the PC is to log on to Messenger. All her mates seem to have names made up of brackets and asterixes and dollar signs, but I guess she knows who she's talking to. This is all fine, I'm sure. I mean, she certainly seems to be able to type faster than me already.

Anyhow, she's got her own little user space on the Windows XP Pro PC we're using here, so you'd hope that whatever she gets up to on her bit of the computer would have no effect on me. Wrong, of course. For that MSN Messenger is the sneakiest, most invasive little bug you'll ever want to delete from your system.

I mean, this is a fresh installation of XP following the death of a hard disk. Of course, I've had to download a good 200Mb of patches from Vole HQ. 200MB! Sheesh, these guys have got to be the sloppiest programmers on the planet...

Anyhow, since little Dahlia (let's call her) has gone out with her mum today, I hoped to get on with some work. So I log on to my bit of the PC only to get that godamned Messenger popping up and barking at me, and updating itself without asking. I think I fix it by telling it to stop logging on automatically, but this fails.

Worst of all is that when next I reboot and log on to the PC as me, Messenger springs into life and I'm bombarded with little messages from Dahlia's little schoolfriends. Bear in mind here that Dahlia herself hasn't logged on and the main Messenger screen is still asking for her password. Anyhow, what to do? I mull over posting a message saying "Sorry this isn't Dahlia," or "Sorry, this is Dahlia's dad," but decided that such a a course of action might be more troublesome than its worth. Still hesitant, I notice the next message - "Do you still h8 me, is that why you're not talking to me..?"

Panicking, now that my inaction is evidently destroying my little one's social life, I click on Exit and try to annihilate that bastard little icon at the bottom right of my screen. Useless of course, so I head for control panel and go to Add/Remove programs. I do notice when I finish and am told that Messenger has been removed from the system that bastard little icon is still there.

I reboot. This time around, I'm greeted by Messenger but it's not Dahlia's little mates, its her bother Ted's (let's call him). Nice to know that when XP says it's deleted a program it's lying through its poxy little digital teeth.

Now sitting in my Recycle bin is a little file called msmsgs. You'll find in the folder named Messenger which you'll find in the Program Files folder. Mark my words, it's the best place for it. µ

That's enough flames about Windows or MSN or any other Messenger thanks. MessengerTools explains some of these issues well enough here.


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