What is malware? My definition: anything you install on a computer that does things to that system that you don’t want and can’t opt out of beforehand. The more wrong it does, the worse the malware. Some companies have terrible histories of malware, such as Adobe, RealNetworks and Apple. The arrogance goes: ‘If you want our product, you must surely want to let us do everything we wish. How could you not Just Trust Us? We’re so wonderful; our products are so unimaginably superior that your mortal mind can’t possibly find a reason not to give us free rein.’
Because, companies, whenever I let your camels’ noses under my tent, I have extra work ahead in order to clean up after the camel.
Apple Itunes is malware. In this case, it caused a piece of hardware to stop working.
Not long ago, my old Hell Inspiron’s power supply died. Not unexpected, but inconvenient to be sure. A glance at the motherboard showed swollen capacitors, which I am advised is a sign of a hosed or soon-hosed board. It was slow anyway (like any XP PC seven years old), so this wasn’t all bad. I had backups and peripherals, just needed a new machine. Of course, I dealt with computer vendor rudeness and failure to listen carefully to me, and as a result the recovery took far longer than it should have, but I’m tech enough to battle through most of that. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect was buying it from anyone but Hell. Their business model broke years ago when their support became an evasive illusion. I have no idea what Michael Dell could possibly have been thinking to let his brainchild go so far astray.
So, most of the way into recovery, the time arrived to install Itunes and get my music library set up once more. I’m always wary of installing anything from Apple, and especially upgrading it to a new version, because Apple has a department full of evil little elves who work long hours thinking up new ways to make software more irritating for no additional benefit. If you want to have guaranteed headaches, just install some Apple software on your PC and make sure you let it automatically update itself as often as it wishes. The software will do the rest.
What I learned: Itunes can cause your system to forget that it has a DVD player/burner. Evidently Itunes has some facility for playing, burning and otherwise interacting with these devices. Fine, but making it disappear for all other purposes? The short-term fix involves editing the Windows Registry, which is never done casually or with slack attention to detail. Some research has told us that Apple has known about this issue for years, several full-digit versions back into history. And still does not correct it. Why should it? Apple paid those elves good money to come up with such a diabolical ‘feature.’ It’s been a problem since Vista. And by the way, the next time you run Itunes, it breaks the DVD functionality again. You can choose to use your DVD player, or to have Itunes, but not both.
No, I did not pay for Itunes. However, I do own an Ipod, for which I paid, and its instructions did advise me that I could and should use Itunes with it. Thus, I did so at Apple’s instigation after paying for a product. It is very reasonable to expect that this product not behave as malware, at least in a reasonable world.
Apple evidently doesn’t live in that reasonable world. And that’s why you, good reader, should approach any Apple software for the Windows OS as a form of malware. If the Apple camel’s nose appears at the base of your tent, my advice is to hit it hard enough to make it go away.