Are You A Next Next Next Guy?

Show me your desktop and I tell you who you are. If this line sounds vaguely familiar you may know where I'm heading with the initial question. A computer user belongs to the Next Next Next generation if Next Next Next describes the user's actions when installing software on a computer system.

Those users usually install a bunch of crapware on their system because of the way they install software. This includes toolbars, changes to their web browser's homepage, desktop shortcuts to tempting offers and basically everything that is not needed to run an application. Yes, that includes the "do you mind if we track your use of our program and transfer the data to our main server to analyze" it option.

To make a valid point somewhere in this article. A lot of problems with computers would vanish over night if users would opt for custom installations more often. They would discover a wealth of options and features that they could uncheck before installation to reduce system load, increase system resources and have am overall better computer experience.

So what is it. Are you a next next next guy?

I can understand when end users do not want to read through 20 or so pages of a terms of service agreement, but when it comes to selecting the custom option during installation of software, I don't. Free applications sometimes include offers for third party software to earn some money from the program. This is a valid business model and nothing to be looked down upon unless the way the offers are presented try to fool the user.

Read also:  Play Music on a Surface While the Screen is Off

Computer users who install software most of the time do not need these offers. More often than not, they are an inconvenience, especially when they change the search provider, install toolbars in browsers or change the home page of the browser.

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Responses to Are You A Next Next Next Guy?

  1. Rarst July 21, 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    I am easy to install programs... Which doesn't mean that it's easy for a program to do something nasty between firewall, antivirus and my habit of having Process Explorer constantly open on second monitor and tracking what executables are up to. :)

    It's not really install process' fault that users are fast to click. I actually prefer fast installation so that I can get to real options inside of normal interface faster.

    PS my desktop at work is completely empty (not even trash icon). Tasks are common and heavily scripted/hotkeyed. I like the face colleagues make when they sit at my PC to grab some doc or app. :) Some take time even to launch explorer.
    I hope it teaches them a bit that desktop is not only (and productive) way to work.

  2. Dante July 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm #

    I do the NEXT NEXT NEXT for imbeciles that I know will hose their PC within 3 months anyway. Why waste time reading for these dingbats?

    Besides, the sooner their machines freezes up, the sooner they stop spamming the rest of us. You know they're zombies in waiting the moment you set them up.

  3. Alex July 21, 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    I too have my desptop fully clean, not even a trash icon, I mainly use the quick launch toolbar to work.

    And I also agree with this article, a lot of programs install toolbars and whatnot but if you take time to see what happens during the "next phase" you can be able to uncheck all that stuff and have a better computer experiencie.

  4. earle.allen July 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    this is MY DESKTOP
    http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cjir67V5M

    pretty bare cause I use Windows and Winkey shortcuts

  5. shitu July 21, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    I use to install these craps first but now i live far away from them.

  6. anonymous July 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    I am next next next .. cos its too painfull to read the licenses and all that shit.

    But you will find my desktop etc. all clean, I find it much easier to remove junk from my startup/services than to check every installation I do.

    Ofcourse I don't install anything that I see .. but If I do start an installer I always do next next next.

  7. Transcontinental July 21, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    I try to stay aware of my incompetence and therefore am I perhaps often exaggeratedly cautious. I like to know what is on my drives, what is currently in memory, what is coming in and what is going out. To choose between chaos and order I opt for the latter since risk and creativity require computing skills I have not. My desktop is filled by wallpaper only, have links a click away, I tend to have things home-made, so when friends come around they experience the same as Rarst mentioned above!

  8. Abd July 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm #

    No, I'm not one of these Next Next Next Guys. I strictly use custom installations. It's really suprising what kind of software u get, when u use the "full installation" method. My hard disk would be full within months.

  9. Kieran July 21, 2008 at 11:39 pm #

    This is mine:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/2cwo047.jpg
    I am not one of those guys.
    Although I do frequently install and uninstall things to suit my needs. I just do it properly :)

  10. Jojo July 21, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    I always do custom installs. Generally, I install programs on my D: or E logical drives.

    HOWEVER - there are a good deal of MAJOR programs that don't give you a choice as to where to install a program, or even do allow you to do so and then ignore your input.

    Example:
    - Google Earth no longer allows an install choice. Defaults to C:\Program Files\

    - Acronis True Image - Allows a choice but then installs most everything in C:\Program Files\ anyway.

    - Intuit Quicken - Allows choice of custom install location but then installs all kind of crap in numerous folders on C: drive anyway.

    - Other unruly vendors or applications include Brother printer software, Adobe, Canon, Citrix GoToMeeting, Epson, Garmin and X1.

    Speaking of Epson, I wouldn't buy anything from them again. They never update their drivers or software and their support is awful (just cut and pastes from their limited FAQ).

    I'd like to see reviews mention if a custom install location is supported.

  11. Jojo July 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    I'm always mystified by those people who pat themselves on their back because they have a "clean" desktop. Big deal. What's the point? Why not use the space for icons instead of some pretty picture? I have over 100 icons on my desktop (1600 x 1200), nicely organized into groups.

  12. Kieran July 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm #

    I do think some people take it too far but I also think it depends on how you like to operate. I like things filed away while you (Jojo) may like them ready right there and then (although organised as you say). I never have a need for anything more than whats in my task bar so thats all I have. I prefer to think of my desktop as my front door. I wouldn't put all my belongings there.

    But thats just me.

  13. rruben July 22, 2008 at 12:47 am #

    I already have nearby everything I need and with launchy I don't need a bunch of shortcuts. So everything looks nice and clean, and runs smooth.

  14. eRIZ July 22, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Jojo: I have no icons there at all. Why? Because I see my desktop only when my system has just started and it's shutdowning. :P

    Minimizing all toolbars when you're looking one icon is not a good idea, IMHO.

    Better is having toolbars hidden behind screen, available even if you have fullscreen app in foreground. ;]

  15. eRIZ July 22, 2008 at 12:54 am #

    @authors: there's something wrong with WordPress.

  16. gm July 22, 2008 at 2:21 am #

    Jojo . . . take each group of icons scattered around your desktop and copy them into new folders. Folder names represent contents - Graphics, Net, Music, etc.

    Once that's done right-click on your taskbar and choose Toolbars > New Toolbar. Locate the new folders you've created on your desktop and choose them. Their names will appear on your toolbar. You can now click on them and your icons are made available. Subfolders and their contents will also show up.

    No matter what you've got on your screen a couple clicks off the taskbar will run whatever you want without having to clear the screen and hunt down what you want to run.

    .. gm

  17. Jojo July 22, 2008 at 5:44 am #

    Let's try this post again. The first try hasn't shown up.

    I always do custom installs. Generally, I install programs on my D: or E logical drives.

    HOWEVER - there are a good deal of MAJOR programs that don't give you a choice as to where to install a program, or even do allow you to do so and then ignore your input.

    Example:
    - Google Earth no longer allows an install choice. Defaults to C:\Program Files\

    - Acronis True Image - Allows a choice but then installs most everything in C:\Program Files\ anyway.

    - Intuit Quicken - Allows choice of custom install location but then installs all kind of crap in numerous folders on C: drive anyway.

    - Other unruly vendors or applications include Brother printer software, Adobe, Canon, Citrix GoToMeeting, Epson, Garmin and X1.

    Speaking of Epson, I wouldn't buy anything from them again. They never update their drivers or software and their support is awful (just cut and pastes from their limited FAQ).

    I'd like to see reviews mention if a custom install location is supported.

  18. Jojo July 22, 2008 at 5:50 am #

    Ha Kieran - I also have 80 icons in Quick Launch bar. Yes, I like everything where I can see them.

  19. Rarst July 22, 2008 at 6:17 am #

    >I’m always mystified by those people who pat themselves on their back because they have a “clean” desktop. Big deal. What’s the point?

    Had you tried other ways of organizing? :)

    My points are following:
    1. I don't want and don't need to get to desktop when I have maximized window running (I know Win+D, but still time wasted).
    2. I have a lot more stuff that I can comfortably fit on desktop.
    3. If I launch everything by desktop I'll have trouble finding portables on flash drive because they are clearly not on dekstop when I am away from my PC. :)

  20. jun July 22, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Me, I am a next next next guy sometimes, especially if I trust the software makers. That's for my computers.

    As for other's computers (I'm an IT guy), I do custom installation because the most common thing I've heard my officemates say is that their computers are so slow.

    As for my PC's desktop, I like it messier because if I would work slower if I don't find the files I need on the desktop..

  21. Ella July 22, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    Nice post. You know my Desktop have many programs installed I need it for my job.I put my belongings there so that I cant forget what programs that I used in every task, my desktop is my front door so I think its not clean but I tried it to be clean my desktop. Once a week I maintained the cleanliness of my desktop. But now I have a tool for goal setting its helpful tool for me.this tool is impactful actions.

  22. Obi-Wahn July 22, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    The standard Software of my System is included into the Win Installation disc.
    If I think a Program could deliver crap, and I'd need the Program only one or two times, I extract the installer with 'Uniextract'.
    But if I have to install software for real, I'm a Next Next STOP-Guy. Skipping the EULA, but checking the Path and choosing options like Toolbars (doesn't come on my system), Shortcuts and so on.

    Although, my desktop is filled with Folders and files, you'll probably find a temporary shortcut to a website. Everything else is Shortcutted (AutoHotkey) or I do it with cmd.exe (I like it :) )

  23. unruled July 22, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    Im more of a next-next-custom-next-next guy.

    I keep my system totally clean, which means I keep it running efficiently and smoothly. (perhaps most importantly, stable)

  24. Thinker July 22, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    I prefer "keep it clean" rule ^^
    http://img37.picoodle.com/img/img37/4/7/21/f_Untitled1m_b3e99ba.jpg

  25. Dotan Cohen July 22, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    I use an operating system with vendor-controlled repositories of software. I can simply click on any program, enter my admin password, and the program is installed. I don't have to search the web finding shady apps from who-knows-where, Next Next Next my way through the installation, or worry that I'm installing potentially malicious software. Amazingly, I've yet to need a piece of software not in the repositories (and as an engineering student with a wife and family, we use a _lot_ of different types of software), and every single application that I've seen mentioned on gHacks has an equivalent in the repositories. They are all free, too, by the way.

  26. abhishek July 22, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    Just got to know from you, I am the next next next guy

  27. Obi-Wahn July 22, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    Attachment to my first post:
    I'd prefer a custom installer, but sometimes, especially when I install unattended, theres no custom option.

    If someone else installs unattended - how do you fix this?

  28. Jojo July 22, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    @Rarst-Full screen windows! Only newbies do that [lol]. I typically have 4-7 different sized windows open on my desktop at any one time.

    The problem with a lot of these comments is many people have a _little_ knowledge, which we all know is dangerous.

    I've developed and optimized my style over 15 years of PC computing (from Win 3.1 forward). I still use the old Windows classic format and DON'T have any Windows wallpaper. I'm the only one using the computer and I normally have too many windows open to see much of the desktop anyway.

    I probably have over 500 applications installed on this machine. Many I only use very infrequently, so why bother putting most of them on a tool bar or leaving them on the desktop? I can find them very easily when needed via Explorer because everything is installed and highly organized in certain locations.

    I have the taskbar on the right and a toolbar on the left (with 60 links in it, mainly forums), both auto-hidden. My Quicklaunch area on the taskbar has 80 programs in it.

    As for managing open windows, I use a Cirque touchpoint mouse (have used touchpoint mice for 15 years) which allows me to merely touch the upper right hand corner and minimize a window. I use the TweakUI X-Mouse control which allows me to switch windows by merely mousing over them. If I want to look under a window, I right-click on the title bar because I am using WinRoll.

    I run 1600 x 1200 resolution with icons set to 25 pixels in size on a 20 inch CRT. Why still using a CRT? Because I can choose to magnify or shrink web pages, word docs, etc. by merely sliding my finger up/down the left side of my mouse. I don't believe you can do that with an LCD.

    The icons on my desktop are ones that I either refer to frequently or want to follow-up on/test out (new apps). As I get around to testing the new ones out, they get removed and replaced by others. I could make an additional toolbar on the top or bottom of my screen with my desktop icons but then I would not have the icons in my face and would likely forget to look at some of them.

    In the lower left of my screen I have 2 small performance monitoring windows, one for the system and one for the net connection.

    My System tray shows 32 icons right now. FF has 50 open tabs right now.

    Most everything I want to get to normally is no more than couple of clicks away. I find my way of working and the helper apps/tools I use to be very efficient. AND MY SYSTEM IS STABLE. I haven't had a BSOD in ages.

  29. garbanzo July 22, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    install? i don't remember the last time in installed something. portable freeware for me!

    all i have installed are my alt shell, my file manager, and a few other apps that can't easily be made portable.

    anyway, most installers can be unpacked with Universal Extractor so you can put the files where you want them, not where someone else thinks they should go.

    and if, heaven forbid, an installer can't be unpacked, then it gets installed in Sandboxie so i can see exactly where it puts files and what it writes to the registry.

    so to answer the question, NO, i am most certainly not a next-next-next kind if guy!

  30. eRIZ July 22, 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    Jojo: why are you lowering everyone to the lusers' level? In my opinion X-Mouse behaviour is for noobs. :P

    If you don't write long texts/develop the code, you don't need to maximize the windows. :P

    Don't put everyone into one category and make yourself the best of. :P

  31. Rarst July 22, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    @Jojo
    >Full screen windows! Only newbies do that [lol]

    Only newbies think they have supreme knowledge. :) You are not only person on the planet that remembers 3.11 and that doesn't make you automagically right to say what people should or shouldn't use. :)

    >The problem with a lot of these comments is many people have a _little_ knowledge, which we all know is dangerous.

    *sighs*

  32. Ken July 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    I used to care, now i just think it's a waste of time. I used to put everything in a different partition, neat and organized.

  33. Jojo July 22, 2008 at 10:43 pm #

    Whatever, but without fail, people who single thread full-screen windows for all their apps, in my experience, are almost always those with the least experience and understanding of computers. They tend to be poorly organized and not very sophisticated. Why do you think they call it "Windows", not "Window"? [lol]

    ==================

    @RIZ says "Jojo: why are you lowering everyone to the lusers’ level? In my opinion X-Mouse behaviour is for noobs. :P"

    It's OK to make a blanket statement but it would be nice if you could explain WHY you feel this way. I tried to explain my philosophy and I'd like to see you do the same. WHY do you think x-windows mouse isn't useful?

    =========================

    @Rarst - I'm curious. I know you are quite experienced, so WHY do you fill up your screen with full screen windows? I don't see this very often from experience people. It's just not efficient to work that way [shrug]. Have you had your vision checked recently [seriously]?

  34. Roman ShaRP July 22, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    I'm a geek, so I just can't be "next-next-next". I don't need any crapware, so I have to be cautious.

  35. Rarst July 23, 2008 at 6:16 am #

    >I’m curious. I know you are quite experienced, so WHY do you fill up your screen with full screen windows? I don’t see this very often from experience people. It’s just not efficient to work that way [shrug]. Have you had your vision checked recently [seriously]?

    1. I don't need check to know I have bad eyesight. :) But that's not the main reason.
    2. I mostly deal with web/text/code nowadays. Working with text the more you can see without scrolling - the better and more efficicent it is.
    3. At home I have dual monitor setup, main stuff goes maximized on primary monitor, rest goes on secondary. Rarely I use two maximized editors on both screens.

    I am not maximizing every single window (of course), but all of my core programs are better maximized. And btw I hadn't ever noticed link between window setup and level of skill. It depends on what is being done and what person finds most comfortable.

  36. Ч July 23, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    portable. a lot of apps work if you just drag their p folder to the new p folder. icons and associations aren't perfect. context menus don't show.
    i have a lot of folder icons on the "desktop" (along the edges) because i use them as drop holes for topical bookmarks. there are also a few app icons i leave in case (eg) somebody visits my seat and needs to startup the browser. and belarc automatically drops a new icon when it runs, so i keep that icon with a group near the center (out of the way)
    o startup, i use gl, with some less frequent (ĈЧǎґМд¶, calculator, datetouch, etc) in startmenu.

  37. garbanzo July 23, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    jojo is kinda pompous, eh? making blanket statements about people's lack of sophistication based upon their computing practices... sounds like an attempt to compensate for severe social ineptitude by exhibiting feigned mental adeptness.

    full screen windows are utilized by people who are able to focus on the task at hand rather than scattering their brain across many different areas - i believe 'scatterbrained'
    is the technical term.

    anyway if you can remember the alt-tab order of your windows, you can get to the one you want much faster than your hunt-and-peck x-mouse method that relies on visual cues rather than quick motor skills.

    "My System tray shows 32 icons right now. FF has 50 open tabs right now."

    that's not efficiency. it's bloat and waste. it's indicative of a typical 'more is better' attitude. no one could possibly need to access that many items simultaneously.

    i bet you're a little obsessive-compulsive, aren't you ;)

  38. Rarst July 23, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    People, let's keep this nice and friendly. :) Topic is bit explosive but it's better to learn from people not quarrel who is most right.

  39. Jojo July 23, 2008 at 10:09 am #

    Ha ha ha garbanzo. Now we have an armchair psychologist to turn to to help us deal with our mental issues. Anyway, thanks for the analysis. Bill my account.

    To tell the truth, I usually don't get into these "discussions" because they are a waste of time. 99% of the time when I have [politely] asked someone WHY they do something (on a computer or not), they take offense. Most people do what they do out of habit and driven by emotion. Few can actually back up why they do anything nor explain what logic drove them to any solution.

    There are efficient and inefficient ways to "skin the old cat". I explained WHY I do what I do in hopes it might help some people. Few others in this thread were able to explain why they thought their approach was advantageous. Then, some, like yourself, just want to sling mud.

  40. garbanzo July 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    i'm just tossing back the mud you threw at us. your initial post was really obtuse, you sounded like a ral bigot, and i merely called you on it. your further posts contained insults which prompted retaliation from the flock.

    yes, you sort of explained why you do what you do. but you also insulted anyone who does it differently. that is pompous.

    perhaps i truly am a poorly organizee creature, lacking sophistication, driven by emotion and mired in a quagmire of old, inefficient habits. but in spite of my back-woods ways, i have earned three degrees, a strong career and a wonderful family. go figure!

    hi, i'm garbanzo, and i run my apps full screen :)

  41. eRIZ July 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    ~Jojo: why? I don't understand your computer using phillosophy; you haven't fullscreened windows and activated X-mouse. When you move your cursor from corner to corner, it activates all windows on its way. Of course, you can increase the timeout but then...? It's faster to point and click than point and wait more time. :P

    I prefer FULL control over my system, not partial.

    About fullscreen windows: maybe you know people only called "experienced"? :P Windows' sizes depend on current work and purpose. For example, it's easier to move your eyes when you're reading a huge text instead of scrolling the object.

    Oh, I forgot to answer to the post's question: I'm not next-next-next guy :P
    "Typical" program installation is not for me :P

  42. Jojo July 23, 2008 at 11:07 pm #

    @eRIZ - Yes, I use full screen windows occasionally also. However, there are many people who only use full screen windows for everything regardless. They don't even seem to know that one can resize windows. Many don't even know about Alt-Tab. And they often have a lot of windows open but they can't find or get to anything easily. They keep going back to the task bar to change from one full screen window to another. This is all I was trying to get to (apparently not very successfully).

    For reading docs longer than a screen, it has been proven that a narrower window/column is faster to read than moving your eyes side-to-side. This is the essence of speed reading actually. It is also why newspaper and magazine columns are only a few inches wide. So scrolling is actually more efficient (and I would contend, less tiring) than moving your eyes back and forth.

    As to x-wnidows, I want the window to open up when I mouse onto it and pause for a very short period of time (this eliminates windows popping up when I merely brush across it). I don't want to have to click whenever I want to see a window. I have a 400ms popup delay set which works nicely for me.

  43. Rarst July 24, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    >For reading docs longer than a screen, it has been proven that a narrower window/column is faster to read than moving your eyes side-to-side. This is the essence of speed reading actually. It is also why newspaper and magazine columns are only a few inches wide. So scrolling is actually more efficient (and I would contend, less tiring) than moving your eyes back and forth.

    So why books aren't few inches wide? You are generalizing and twisting the facts to fit your opinion. Not all speed reading techniques are based on columns and not all benefit from them. Some use diagonal movements, some use three points per line jumps.

    And it was mentioned that it is issue of editing as well, not only reading.

  44. Jojo July 24, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    @Rarst - Printed books and magazines are constrained by economics. Paper cost money and they want to use as little of it as possible. The sizing of books and magazines is based more on costs and fitting advertisements than any real concern with reader usability.

    Yes, I am generalizing. To do otherwise would require writing a dissertation type document which would likely exceed the space allotted here, no one would read anyway and regardless, this being the internet, some would want to pick it to pieces.

    I've read on speed reading in the past and played with some speed reading software. I just did some searches to refresh my knowledge. You can read a bunch of articles here (some free flash examples to download here also):

    http://www.magicspeedreading.com/index.html

    But it is really is about "eye span" and peripheral vision. You CAN read shorter lines faster with more comprehension.

    Here are some articles on optimum line width. Best I can tell from the searching I did in terms of any type of consensus, is that a line width of about 10 [major] words in 9-12 point text is considered optimal.

    http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/nov02.asp
    http://www.plainlanguagenetwork.org/type/utbo340.htm
    http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/feb02.asp

    Here is a story on some very interesting technology called Live-ink and a direct link to samples on the source web site. I really like this technology and found the samples very easy to read fast. Unfortunately, the software costs $90/year and you have to cut and paste it into the program, which is not workable in real life.

    http://venturebeat.com/2007/05/10/live-ink-offers-better-way-to-read-text-online/#more-10459
    http://www.liveink.com/demo_samples.php

  45. eRIZ July 24, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    ~Rarst, that was an example. ;]

    ~Jojo: 400ms... too long for me. :P

  46. Rarst July 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    @Jojo

    I am not interested in link war. :) I just said what I said - not all speed reading techniques benefit from narrow columns, that is only one of numerous ways to do it.

    And you are kinda keep ignoring "editing" part of argument. :)

  47. Jojo July 24, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

    @Rarst - NOT a link war! Just information. You can choose to read the info I provide and learn more or you can choose to ignore it and continue believing anything that makes you happy.

    An old rant of mine is that the internet makes it possible for anyone to always find something that disagrees with whatever is being said, even if it is unsubstantiated, has been discredited or is not backed by any science or logic. Too many people take these rouge snippets of info and then try to build a real argument based on them. Mainly, they just like to hear themselves talk, whether they make sense or not.

    But enough of this I say. Let's move on.

    #eRIZ - 400ms works for me. You can choose any other number than makes you happy.

  48. Rarst July 25, 2008 at 5:19 am #

    >Just information. You can choose to read the info I provide and learn more or you can choose to ignore it and continue believing anything that makes you happy.

    I am sorry if I wasn't clear - I speak from actual experience, I had passed speed reading cource in the school. It's way better something to believe in than Internet links. :)

    >But enough of this I say. Let’s move on.
    Ok, anyway we have another holy war in Vista vs XP that is way more flamish. :))))

  49. Jojo July 25, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    For sure, I'm staying out of the Vista vs. XP war. Have a good time :)

  50. garbanzo July 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    "Mainly, they just like to hear themselves talk, whether they make sense or not."

    hahaha! this is the funniest thing i have heard all day.

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