Today I came across a poster with the “Crazy Old Man” meme that said “Back in my day - We downloaded a program, not a program to download a program”.
To be honest, I find this very irritating as well.

Websites (which I will not mention by name or domain name here, out of protest) that offer program downloads in the mentioned “Crazy Old Man” meme’s referenced form have not been like this until only a few years ago. I remember that when downloading a program from one of these “catalogue type websites” there were a few links to different mirrors or actually having the very download happen from the hosted directory on the very website. Nowadays these websites make you download their “installer” which, aside of the program you want, by default (and if you are not careful what you check and uncheck during the “installation”), installs a lot of completely useless, unwanted and junky programs that can sometimes even be very dangerous (I’m talking about those toolbars that can sometimes have some very nasty security holes).

If you are careful and lucky you won’t get to install one wanted program and four unwanted ones, but why should I even be put through all that completely needless effort to “install” a simple program? I shouldn’t. What I do? I boycott websites which have taken this wrong way.

I understand that those websites started off as nonprofit projects and that over time it became expensive to sustain it. I know that banners and paid ads just don’t cover the cost of hostings, servers etc., but denying me the comfort of installing a program in a regular way and selling my comfort of having a normal program installation to companies which want to make me (mark this: “make me”) use their toolbars, downloaders, have their webpage for my default search engine or homepage etc. just won’t be allowed.

I’m sorry websites which I will not name and mention by domain name here, but you have lost one of your year’s long user (and visitor for that matter), who will prefer to go to the developers website or who will prefer to get the desired program from an alternative source.