Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Removing iLivid crapware

It’s rare that I get hit with non-sense like iLivid.  I was reloading my main PC because I bought a larger SSD and while reinstalling my applications I got careless and didn’t notice that some app was about to release the popup from hell called iLivid.  These folks should be jailed.  Googling the solution of course was not easy because iLivid kept taking over my requests.  So I solved it partly by changing my host file to nuke their popups.  Then I luckily I found this gem called “Junkware Removal Tool” and in one simple keystroke iLivid was gone from my computer.  You can download this handy utility at ThisisUdax.org

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

iGoogle replacement

It’s amazing how Google is pulling the plug on their projects.  iGoogle has been around since 2005 and is used by a lot of users.  I used to be an Excite user until iGoogle came along.  Excite was decent enough customizable home page for its day but was riddled with too many ads.  Now Excite belongs in the Smithsonian. Microsoft also has a customizable page that looks like it has not been touched in years. 

Luckily I found igHome.com.  The nice part with this site is it looks similar to iGoogle.  One of my must haves for my customized page is bookmarks.  They have a great app to fill that requirement.  You can find the basics like CNN, USA and Reuters news feeds.  TVguide, Hollywood and People news also.  There are plenty of tech sites like Engadget, MacRumors, Slashdot and DSLReports.  Sports are also no problem, they even have a dedicated app for the NY Yankees.

Another important area is weather apps.  They have plenty but my favorite WeatherBug app is royally broken.  It defaults to Germantown, MD.  There is an option to change your location and save it.  Too bad it does not work.  It’s been reported by many users but so far the reports don’t yield a fixed app.  I don’t know why the WeatherBug folks don’t fix this.

igHome has a nice app to track your favorite stocks.  The data is coming from Yahoo and works as expected.  Only issue I don’t like is the bottom area to enter your stock symbols is always there.  That should be relocated to the settings area.

igHome also has a menu on the very top of the page to your google apps like gmail, Calendar, Maps, Drive, YouTube and others.  Since Google pulled their RSS reader igHome uses Feedly to replace it.  Another nice touch is when select these links they open a new tab by default.

One thing that bugs me on igHome is the scroll bars.  Each app/feed has a scroll bar in the window.  It makes the page look very busy and when you are using the scroll wheel on your mouse the app grabs the wheel when my intention was to scroll the entire page, not the app.  I found a solution but it requires tuning each app individually.  You can change the size of the window or reduce the number of stories so the scroll bar will not appear. 

So I found a new home, it’s called igHome.  My concern is will it survive?  When Google pulls the plug this November will igHome be able to handle the thousands of potential new users that may come their way.