Okay, so now I’m not quite as happy.
First, Wi-Fi access to the Z10 suddenly stopped working. Where before I had not been asked for the password, now attempting to open a folder on the Z10 instantly displays a pop-up asking for the password. Worse, the password is simply never accepted. I tried rebooting everything, changing the password, connecting the Z10 via a different access point, switching from 2.4GHz to 5GHz. You name it. Same problem: password not accepted.
So I broke down and installed the BlackBerry Link app. Ugh.
It’s not quite as ugly as iTunes. But it’s up there. I’m giving BlackBerry the benefit of the doubt and assuming a lot of the junk has to do with enterprise access. But whatever it is, I don’t need any of it. Plain old USB file access would do me fine. Whereas the Link software went ahead and installed at least two services, plus several other even less-obvious things that want to autorun with Windows. PeerManager.exe runs all the time, consuming 0.01% of my CPU capacity and about 5MB of memory. Is this really necessary, just to support a device that may be connected once every day or two? (Or even more rarely, depending on the user.)
What’s more, I immediately got a firewall warning, informing me that mDNSresponder was trying to receive a connection from the Internet. I had to Google that one. Turns out this is a standard component of Apple’s thrice-cursed Bonjour service. So I’m almost back to iTunes levels of intrusiveness. Apparently, mDNSresponder is also included with all sorts of other shovelware, including the drivers you get with a lot of cheap peripherals. In any case, it is not something I asked for in so many words.
You can get rid of it, apparently. I found the executable file in
Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Research in Motion\TunnelManager
Fortunately, if you run mDNSresponder -remove from a command prompt, it seems to go away. USB access to the Z10 still seems to work. But I still have multiple services running all the time, even when I have no intention of connecting to the Z10. This is just sloppy, rude and ugly. A huge win for Android.
To be sure, this is something that most users of the BlackBerry Z10 will never know about, or care about. Well, call me crazy, but I resent having my PC treated as a doormat. Software should either be a single executable with a single function, or it should come with discrete options for every piece of resident junk it wants to install. Period. No exceptions. Not even for a nice device like the Z10.
Some of the complexity is probably aimed at providing secure access for enterprise users. That’s understandable. But there’s an obvious trade-off between capability and complexity. It would be nice if there were tiered installation installation options, with simple USB access as a default for private use. Enterprise users taking advantage of the BlackBerry Balance work/home capability may need something more secure. And even then, I have to wonder if it couldn’t be implemented in a simpler and more direct way than it is now.