[Be sure to see my follow-up post on this topic, Taming iTunes 8.]
In preparation for a trip next week, I just took a notebook out of mothballs and proceeded to install updates and make sure all the software and data files I need are in service.
Along the way, I noticed an iTunes icon on the desktop and decided to check in with Apple Software Update. The blow-by-blow description appears in the extended version of this post.
Here’s what I saw first:
I don’t want Bonjour or Safari on this machine, so I deselected the iTunes + QuickTime check box, clicked the Safari box so that both it and Bonjour were selected, and then chose Tools, Ignore Software Updates. The entries for Bonjour and Safari went away, the updater refreshed itself, and a new list appeared, containing only iTunes + QuickTime. The check box was selected already, so I clicked Install 1 Item and approved the UAC consent box.
While the download proceeded, I opened the temporary folder where the update program stores its downloads (%LocalAppData%\Apple\Apple Software Update) and watched as the following five installer packages appeared:
Next, I watched as the status box continued to tell me that only iTunes + QuickTime were being installed. And then, when setup was complete, I looked in Control Panel’s list of Installed Programs, filtered to show only Apple software, and saw this:
The mind truly boggles here. I had previously uninstalled Bonjour and Apple Mobile Device Support. When Apple Software Update offered Bonjour to me, I specifically selected it and told the Update program that I wanted to ignore that update. I’m not sure how much clearer I could have been with my wishes. And yet Apple went and installed it anyway and then reinstalled Apple Mobile Device Support. Do they have no concept of how a software installer should work?
If anyone from Apple is reading this and wants to explain why they even bother to offer this choice and then ignore it, I’m all ears.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go uninstall the whole mess.
Update: The closer I look, the worse this gets. While the installer was running initially, I copied the five individual installer packages to a folder on the desktop so that they would still be around instead of being automatically deleted at setup’s end. Next, I uninstalled everything from Apple except Apple Software Update and QuickTime. After confirming that these were the only Apple programs installed, I ran the iTunes.msi Installer package. It proceeded to install itself and Apple Mobile Device Support and Bonjour.
Even more bizarre: I renamed the Bonjour and Apple Mobile Device Support installer packages, then selected iTunes and clicked Uninstall in Control Panel. The setup program appeared to remove iTunes and cleared its entry from the list of installed programs. But after restarting, when I ran the iTunes.msi Installer package, I was prompted to Repair or Remove iTunes. Despite the fact that I had explicitly chosen to uninstall iTunes, enough of it remained on my system that Apple’s setup program believed it was dealing with an incomplete or damaged installation. Choosing Repair finally got me the two programs I specifically authorized and no others.
Update 2: An anonymous contributor suggests a new “I’m a Mac” ad:
PC guy walks on screen with a softball-sized lump growing out of the side of his neck.
Mac: “What is that hideous thing, PC?”
PC: “Oh, that’s my new Bonjour. I didn’t really think I needed it, but the folks at Apple thought otherwise, so they just kind of stuck it there when I was trying to update iTunes.”
Mac: “It looks kind of weird.”
PC: “Yeah, I know, please stop staring at it. Say, did Apple stick you with a Bonjour, too?”
Mac: “Um, yeah.” He squirms uncomfortably.
PC: “So, where is it?”
Mac: “Are we on basic cable?”
Mac: “Then, uh, I can’t tell you.”
PC guy winces.
You’ve been a wonderful audience. Don’t forget to tip your waitress. And try the veal!