While at the beach, I did some writing. I noticed that during my writing session that I got distracted. I decided to specify a writing time—say 1 hour—as a hard limit. The idea is that during that time, I’d write, knowing that there’s a hard limit.
To help with this, I searched for Windows timer apps to help. I found an article on CNET reviewing 5 applications. I tried a few, eventually uninstalling them. One, Cool Timer (no link provided—you’ll see why.), seemed like it’d work okay. I installed it and accepted the license agreement, multiple times. Unfortunately, I wasn’t pay close enough attention, and I agreed to install a bunch of crapware.
This is bad. Annoyed over this, I didn’t even try Cool Timer—it may be the best timer in the world, but if it’s going to trick me into installing crapware, I don’t want it. I did a Windows uninstall of Cool Timer and everything else installed the same day. If the software played by the rules there’d be no harm, no foul.
Later on, I ran Firefox and was offered to install the AVG Secure Guard toolbar. The Cool Timer software install doesn’t play by the rules. It installs programs without my permission.
I ran MalwareBytes Anti-malware. It found several issues, and I corrected them. The AVG Secure Guard still showed. I ran Spybot Searchand Destroy. I found two entries, and I corrected them. The add-on still showed.
Make no mistake, I’m really annoyed at this point. I don’t like unknown processes running on my box, especially when they nag me to do something I don’t want to do. They waste my time and system resources.
Now, I googled the issue. All I discovered was that Cool Timer became a crapware fiesta at some point in the past. But there were no easy solutions. I found the directory where AVG Software was installed (thanks to Firefox Add-on page stating it). I re-checked the installed programs. Nothing showed that was installed on that day. I checked my Scheduled Tasks and nothing ran at the time that directory was created. I deleted it and the next day it reappeared.
I checked the Services running on the box and there was one, vToolbarUpdater17.0.12, that stood out. I stopped it and disabled it from starting again.
For a couple of days, I haven’t had any issues.
Don’t install Cool Timer. There’s better software does the same thing without the crapware.
The next time I try software, I’m creating a System Restore point.
As far as the timer situation goes, I’m working with Watch Me timer. It seems to do the trick. I haven’t decided yet if it’s helping me focus.