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December 11, 2009 / lawrencebarsanti

Is your app really that important?

I recently bought an HP laptop that came loaded with its fair share of bloatware.  Over the years, I have managed to shake my OCD dreams of a ‘clean’ system so when I brought my shiny new laptop home I just started using it.  I started installing all my development tools, some handy apps (see clipx, notepad++), ect…

Once my system was setup the way I like it, I sat down to write some code.  I fired up Delphi, typed in a new function definition, then used one of my favourite shortcuts, Shift+Ctrl+C, to generate corresponding code in the implementation section.  Hmmm… this is taking longer than usual… HP Health Check… WTF?  Maybe it’s just a coincidence?  Shift+Ctrl+C …. HP Health Check … Dammit!

That right, someone at HP thought that HP Health Check was important enough to warrant the use of a system wide hot key that supersedes any application hot keys (accelerator keys).  News Flash… it isn’t.

In their defence, they probably have a semi-legitimate reason for doings this (make life easier for tech support?) and they did pick a lesser used combination.  Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless convenience actually breaks any application which uses that accelerator key combination.  A quick search for Shift+Ctrl+C revealed several post requesting help because Shift+Ctrl+C is not working in their version of:

  • Photoshop
  • The Sims
  • Spore
  • etc…

Before you plan on adding any global hooks to your application please consider the following:  It is unlikely that a user intends to do anything with your application unless they are actually using it.

Are you the victim of Accelerator Key theft?

To get rid of unwanted system wide hotkeys you can use this approach:

  1. delete the executable that is launched by the hotkey
  2. use the hotkey sequence
  3. a window will pop up stating that there is a problem with the shortcut
  4. choose to delete the shortcut
  5. restore the executable
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One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. W / Dec 31 2009 2:08 pm

    And that’s why it’s not OCD to delete the crapware. Or just wipe your machine and reinstall. Because the vendors are the insane ones, not you.

    Warren

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