More UnBox

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The reason Amazon’s Unbox connects to the internet to uninstall is that everyone’s local objects are mirrored at Amazon. To disable an account, it has to be disabled both at Amazon and on the PC.

The only problem is, the uninstall disables the validation of the PC as the first part of the uninstall process, and if it doesn’t go through clean, you can’t run the app, reinstall the app, or uninstall the application. The computer is permanently ‘tainted’ as not validated.

The only response I had from Amazon is:

I am sorry to hear that you are dissatisfied with the Amazon Unbox
service. The uninstall process should proceed without issue.

To uninstall application, follow these steps:

1. Close any open applications that may be running on your computer.
2. Open the Control Panel and double-click the Add or Remove Programs
3. Locate “Amazon Unbox” in the installed programs list and click the
“Uninstall” button.

If you still can’t uninstall the software, please try these options to
make sure your uninstall goes more smoothly.

First, please confirm that you are logged in with an account with
administrative privileges.

Next, please follow these steps.

1) Press the Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys on your keyboard at the same time.
2) Choose “Task Manager” from the Windows Security window.
3) In the Windows Task Manager, click on the “Processes” tab.
4) Look for these programs in the list of running processes:
ADVWindowsClientApp.exe, ADVWindowsClientService.exe, and
5) End Task on these three services.
6) Open the Control Panel and double-click the Add or Remove Programs
7) Locate “Amazon Unbox” in the installed programs list and click the
“Uninstall” button.

Assuming that ending these processes does not allow you to uninstall
you can try these optional steps and try the uninstall again after
each. After taking the following optional steps please be sure that
the aforementioned processes are still not showing up in the Task Manager.

You may want to confirm that the following directories on your PC are
– “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Amazon\Amazon
Digital Video\Data”
– “C:\WINDOWS\Temp\Amazon Digital Video”

You can also check if there are multiple copies of the installer in
your Task Manager. If there is an instance running please end the task
on this. The process name should end in “msi.” If there are multiple
instances of this installer and you can not end task on these because
they are locked by the system or if the previous steps do not work,
you may have to consult a local PC technician to assist you further.

Aside from being intimidating to a non-tech, these instructions are inaccurate. By closing down the Amazon client you break the uninstall process; it has to connect to the Amazon site in order to disable the account’s mirrored data store. Even with connection, if the change is committed at the remote site, but not the local site, then the PC never validates to complete the uninstall.

The need to synchronize between two data sources and the problems associated with this not happening, is what led to two-phase commit in database systems: all updates are synchronized and a failure at one point is a failure at all points and the change is rolled back across the board. This has been around as a fundamental understanding of technology since the 1960’s! And Amazon violated it. Absolutely unbelievable.

Amazon, in its rush to paint itself a Web 2.0 company, has put out a Bad Product. Not just a bad product, a Bad Product: one that defines the company and undermines confidence in its technical proficiency. I had originally thought about trying some of its services such as S3. Now, I don’t trust the company’s quality controls and engineering practices enough to incorporate a dependency on it for anything I create.

This is symptomatic of the Myth of Web 2.0–that innovation transcends consistency, and an IT department should be able to handle late changes in requirements, be flexible and agile. To hell with agility: the only -ity I want is reliability. Perhaps Jeff Bezos needs to attend fewer Web 2.0 conferences, and spend more time at home, creating stuff that doesn’t break.

Excuse me while I go manually dig this piece of crap out of my system.

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