Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Installing Digsby without InstallIQ

Back in early 2008, I heard about Digsby. I didn’t tested it at that time but recently I’ve been told that Digbsy got awarded by WebUser. Eventually I decided to give it a try in 2009.

I naturally went on the digsby web site to download the installer. First visit to the Digsby website ever. The experience is *very* pleasant: colorful but not-flashy, engaging color theme with dynamic visual effect while hovering with the mouse over some areas of the home page.After reading through the various information from the home page I clicked on the big Free Download button, I liked to see it transforming into buttons for the supported OS’s (I realized though while writing this article that both Mac and Linux version are not available yet).  Clicking on the button representing the Windows’ logo redirects you to a clean page with yet again a bif “Download Now” button. Hey didn’t I just clicked once (euh actually twice because of the OS selector sequence) and it asks me again to click to install. This frustrated me a bit and I clicked on the big button waiting no more to start downloading Digsby installer.

Clicking on the Download Button causes Firefox to pop up with a download confirmation box.

digsby-ff-popup

Something bizarre just hurt my eyes. Did it to you ? Digsby.exe is downloaded from http://download.freeze.com ! My sensors are now awake. I’m turning into “proceed with caution” mode. I eventually accepted the download. 4.36MB, FireFox said in the Download History window. Mmmm, I bet it is going to be yet again a netinstaller rather that the real install program.

I launched digsby.exe and my second surprise was about the Publisher of digsby.exe: W3i, LLC.  Yet again my sensors were wide open. I eventually clicked on Run.

xp-open_file-security_warning

And now here was the surprise:

installiq-initializing_installation

Do you see something bizarre ? … Of course InstallIQ instead of Digsby!

Huh. I thought I was about to install Digsby. Bad feeling. What the heck is this?

Tadaaa…

digsby-installiq_first_screen

Waw. This first screen is rather crowdy. Digsby will be installed by InstallIQ. Mmm, Okay, so installIQ is the netinstaller. But the piece that definitely put me on hold is this:

I understand by Clicking “Accept” I am agreeing to the InstallIQ Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Why do I need to accept Terms and Conditions as well as Privacy Policy for InstallIQ when I install Digsby. Mmmm… This is rather bizarre. I’m not going to accept before some careful ready here.

I read these as well as the links Lean More and Why is this free?. This is really not smelling good:

  • Learn More told me that InstallIQ creates a key into the registry to uniquely identify you should you cross InstallIQ again that you may uninstall manually the created key. This makes me think that if you uninstall Digsby, that InstallIQ key is very likely to persist ensuring InstallIQ to uniquely identify you later on.
  • Why is this free? indicates that additional but optional software are going to be offered for installation.
  • Terms and Conditions refers to changing my home page and my default search engine to Freeze.com

That was enough for me –> I clicked Cancel. I’m not going to install Digsby on my machine and I’m not going to recommend to any one installing Digsby with such Installer in place.

Oh, by the way, I checked into the registry after cancelling the install (so not having accepted the Terms and Conditions and Data Privacy of InstallIQ)… Guess what!… InstallIQ created and entry with a unique ID in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer !

UPDATE (from 09-July-2009): I received a comment from W3i telling this is not longer the case. I went through the same installation sequence again. Indeed, after cancelling the install, the Unique ID is not in the registry anymore but the “folder” HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer still is.

Nevertheless being curious I googled to discover more about InstallIQ in the context of Digsby. The least I could read on the official Digsby forum is that a part of Digsby’s user community is not happy with the installIQ approach that Digsby took. Digsby’s developpers also posted on their blog a clarification about the installer.

More importantly I found a blog talking about this and providing a link to install Digsby without InstallIQ.

Should you want to install Digsby without InstallIQ netinstaller, see on this screenshot taken from Digsby’s download page or click here.

digsby_without_installiq-click_here

Now I may decide to install Digsby.