Fixed version: how to get pictures off Kodak CX6230 with minimal spyware (Geek challenge!)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Keith, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Keith

    Keith Guest

    (Slightly longer version, and edited it so google
    doesn't wrap lines.)

    From these two threads, I see concerns about backdoors
    and bloatware in Kodak EasyShare. I have a little Kodak
    camera CX6230, and I want to get the pictures out of it.

    Of course I prefer not to have Kodak spyware and backdoors.
    Now, I prefer to have the pictures even if I must accept
    spyware and backdoors, but it would be nice to minimize
    the Kodak spyware and backdoors, and that is where all
    you geniuses come in!

    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=...rnum=7&prev=/groups?q=kodak+easyshare&ie=UTF-

    8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26hl%3Den%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch

    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=...nz&rnum=2&prev=/groups?q=kodak+easyshare&ie%3

    DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26hl%3Den%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch


    So, in the installation routine for Kodak, what is fewest
    set of checkboxes of things I have to install, to minimize
    spyware and bloatware, but to still be able to get pictures
    out of it?

    I have no "docking station" (I'm not familiar with them).

    Again, I would prefer not to have any dumb bloatware process
    running all the time wasting processor time and tying up memory,
    because 99% of the time the camera won't be plugged in, so
    it would be stupid to have Kodak spyware whatnot running when
    there is no camera connected at all :)

    The only alternative I see is to select some checkboxes in
    the installation routine--below I list the ones available -- this
    appears to be EasyShare for Windows 3.1. I'd also be interested
    if there is any simpler alternative where you just get a nice
    driver, like in the old days, when you just got a driver
    for device (before spyware became the order of the day for
    the printer makers and so forth).


    ****

    Kodak camera connection software
    KODAK 6-in-1 Card Reader
    Kodak EasyShare software
    KODAK Software Updater
    Apple QuickTime

    ****

    It is pretty clear to me that QuickTime is spurious,
    and can be left off. The Software Updater sounds like
    obvious spyware. But I don't know about the first
    three. I took a shot at installing and only selected
    the first item. It is installed now, but the manual
    says I should see a camera icon in the My Computer
    explorer window (so I guess they installed a shell
    extension), but, well, they seem to, um, prevaricate --
    no such camera icon is present. Perhaps I was not
    supposed to select only that option (and the
    installer just is not smart enough to warn me that
    what I selected will not work)? Or is there an exe
    I can run to download the pictures? I don't want any
    stupid shell extension anyway, as that sounds like
    bloatware that will affect me all the time and be
    loaded 100% of the time. :(

    That is, all I want is a program to get the pictures
    off the camera. I don't want spyware, I don't want
    shell extensions that bloat my computer 100% of the
    time (when I use the camera less than 0.1% of the
    time), I just want to retrieve the pictures; I would
    think this would be what the public would normally want.



    PS:
    I saw this allegation: "The Kodak Updater will get
    it for you in the background. " which sounds like
    there is spyware that will go out without my
    permission over my (pathetically slow) dialup connection,
    and that will be really unfortunate, if I can't avoid that.

    PPS:
    I may sound cynical, but I've not only seen a lot
    of spyware, but I saw Kodak EasyShare show up over
    on the net abuse sightings list.


    PPPS:
    I started to look at kodak.com, but it looked kind
    of bad; I'm on dialup, and it was struggling loading
    pictures, which is a bad sign. I did get to the Kodak
    FAQs popup page (hm, popups, not a good sign), but
    the "Browse" button doesn't do anything. Perhaps they
    don't support modern browsers? I saw someone say
    that their Mozilla wasn't working on Kodak's site;
    I use what I think is pretty modern Mozilla.
    (Just checked; Mozilla 1.5).




    PPPPS:
    So as I guess is obvious, if anyone can tell me how
    to just download pictures from a Kodak CX6230 camera
    without a lot of bloatware and spyware, I will worship
    the ground you walk on :) :)



    PPPPPS:
    If it isn't possible to get Kodak pictures without
    spyware and bloatware, for the record (and for
    recommendations), what camera would not have this
    problem?
     
    Keith, Jan 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Keith

    Keith Guest

    (Followup my own message to record an answer I found)

    Only checking the first checkbox ("Kodak camera connection software")
    turns out to work--like an idiot, I was testing before with my
    camera not actually turned on.

    I do have a shell extension added now, due to that installation, but
    hopefully it is only a dll, which is more lightweight than a fulltime
    process running. The drag&drop of files is actually fairly
    convenient :)
     
    Keith, Jan 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. how many times to I have to say it here that the Kodak software updater
    (installed with EasyShare) has no capability to spy on you. Nothing is sent
    from your PC to our servers. NOTHING

    please do not propagate this myth



    AGAIN THERE IS NO SPYWARE IN THIS SOFTWARE
    As long as you're running anything after Windows 98 first edition you should
    never notice. Why:

    1: the software is "interrupt driven" and does not USE CPU until the OS
    tells it that it has something to do. It sits there and waits for USB plug
    events to get handed to it.

    2: the software is resident in memory to allow it to start quikly when the
    plug event happens, but as Windows is a virtual memory system, if the memory
    that EasyShare is taking is needed by something else, it will be paged. But
    when the plug event comes, all of the overhead of creating a process and
    loading everything from disc will be avoided.

    For example on my system that has been booted since 6:30 this morning,
    EasyShare has been running and has taken 0.05% of the long-term CPU
    resources or less than 2 seconds of CPU time. Most of that was probably
    taken up doing the startup since I have not used a camera today. It's
    sitting there in the tray using 2.5MB of system memory which is probably
    paged out. (as an aside, WinLogon, the process that logs you into Windows XP
    is sitting there having used 3 seconds of CPU time and has an in memory
    footprint of 1.9MB)

    Tray icons and tasks aren't bad things as long as you're not running Windows
    95, Windows 3.1 or Windows 98 first edition. The newer the OS the less bad
    they are.
    No, Qicktime is there to play video clips from the camera. If you don't
    use those, you don't need Quicktime.
    No, see above
    The first item is the camera drivers and the installable file system that
    allows you to see the camera as a drive

    The second item is the drivers for Kodak card readers, this software ships
    with those too
    The updater checks to see if your "pathetically slow" dialup connection is
    in use, if it is it does nothing. If it isn't, it'll start trickling bytes
    of an update down to you. It may take a month to get the whole package
    there, but who cares. When it's there, you are asked if you want to
    install it and then don't feel the pain of downloading the update (however
    large it is)

    In reality, the updater was designed for YOU. Broadband people really don't
    care since they can suck down a 5+MB update in a couple of minutes.
    errantly, I might add.



    Run the easyshare installer, do a custom install and install only the camera
    connection software. The camera will then appear as a drive in the "my
    computer" folder after a plug event.
     
    William Jackson, Jan 5, 2004
    #3
  4. Keith

    Keith Guest


    As I posted a day earlier (but which probably hadn't propagated
    to your usenet site yet), I did exactly that, and it works like a charm.

    But you provided also much other info (all of which I've snipped, here,
    as it can be read in the actual replay)--thank you!!
     
    Keith, Jan 6, 2004
    #4
  5. Keith

    Keith Guest

    BTW, I suppose that one way to try to convince people would be
    to point at where the source code is. That doesn't prove that
    the exe you ship is actually that source code, but if some
    random, apparently third parties, compile the source code
    and make their versions available as well, then you can say,
    "for the paranoid, either compile it yourself and go take a
    version compiled by a third party". That might be pretty
    convincing?

    Or maybe you already give out the source code location
    and I'm just too ignorant to know that :)
     
    Keith, Jan 6, 2004
    #5
  6. Keith

    Keith Guest

    Don't all the spyware authors say this ("oh, no, it is not spyware")?
    Like the spammers, who can trust them? Perhaps some spammer
    is trustworthy, but, who is willing to risk it?

    Um, using all caps may not be a very good way to convince
    anyone of anything :) [It is a very common practice of
    spammers and spyware people, I think, from observation.]

    Probably pointing at the source code would be the best
    solution, I think ? Is the source code available on the
    Internet?

    Because if it is a closed source black box, how can anyone
    trust you? (I'm not sure what could be an answer to that; anyone
    have a suggestion?)

    Anyway, hope this helps provide some food for thought for
    someone.
     
    Keith, Jan 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Keith


    Kodak has a very strict privacy policy and has been acknowledged by privacy
    experts as a company that is very forthcoming and honest about the policy.
    I encourage you to read it and can again assure you that the BackWeb client
    that we install as part of EasyShare not only does not spy on people it does
    not even have the capability to spy on people.

    I guess if a person in authority from a reputable company with immense
    interest in protecting their brand name states a fact you can always choose
    to ignore it. But let me ask you this? What would be in it for Kodak to
    have the world even begin to perceive that we are misbehaving in this area?
    We have a brand that stands for trust, built on 120 years of actions that
    instill trust. To blow it on something like this seems insane to me.

    People who have been around in this group for a while know who I am, I don't
    hide behind an alias, I am an employee of Eastman Kodak and am responsible
    for the team that delivers the EasyShare software. But for others, I can
    assure you that the software works in the way that I described.
     
    William Jackson, Jan 30, 2004
    #7
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