An IT person's favorite joke about Windows is how you click "Start" to stop the computer. The Start button is perhaps the most joked about icon in Windows, but I suppose without some sort of text written on the screen, figuring out what to click in lengthy 2 hour technical support calls would only extend the painful experience.
Of course, VerifyMyPC reduces technical support times from 2 hours to 5 minutes. And you have a more intelligent conversation with the person on the other end. And you don't end up having the user re-install Windows because you can't figure out what they did to mess up their computer.
But that's not what I want to talk about. Instead, Add/Remove Programs finally drove me up the wall. I have a 3GHz PC. Even though it is about 3 years old, it is still a considerably high-end PC. How long does it take to figure out what is installed on my PC? About 1 minute. I've been on slower PCs where it takes several minutes before I can do anything.
I set out on a journey to find a solution. And found one:
MyUninstaller is a pretty nifty piece of software. I read plenty of reviews on various products. A couple of them sounded like the VerifyMyPC Advanced uninstall feature but I can guarantee you that those types of uninstallers don't work nearly as well as VMPC Advanced. VerifyMyPC is a crazy awesome product to begin with, but VerifyMyPC Advanced has some seriously powerful functionality that blows away installer monitor programs.
Anyway, I installed MyUninstaller. Well, unzipped it. Then I ran it. As it loaded, I thought, "Uh oh. Those reviews didn't say anything about this taking a while to run. They all said it was fast." I let it finish and then fixed the window positioning to my liking. Then I experimented with it a bit to see what all I could do. I put a shortcut on my desktop. Moved some headers around to my liking. Then I closed the app. Then I started it back up. Bam. Instantaneous load. Okay, so it loaded fast. Then for the real test - did it load fast AND pick up new stuff? I had an upgrade to MySQL I wanted to install, so that would be a perfect test. I left MyUninstaller running during the install to see if it would pick up the new software. It didn't. So, I exited and re-entered the app. It picked up the change right away. And still loaded just as fast.
I figured out that if I disabled icon loading, the MyUninstaller loading time is instantaneous and uses less memory. It is just that first scan/use that takes a while. After that, it "works as advertised". Can't really complain - it IS freeware.
Ironic: I installed an uninstaller to uninstall software.