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 Visual Basic


Findings of the Tribunal:

Submitted by Bloatbuster volunteer Sune Riedel, the author of a 1KB self-contained "Game of Life" for MS-DOS. Sune writes:

The bloat I wanted to share with you is a clever 'little' app called 'Disappear98'. What it does: It removes the background colored boxes around the icon text on the desktop allowing the wallpaper to fill the area.

Yep - and here comes the good part:

It's just a 1.55MB zip file with a nice setup program inside. The actual Disappear.exe is just about 50K, but when all the MFC and VB runtime DLLs are added it sneaks up to 1.5MB. - Oh, yeah - I nearly forgot: If you want to register this bloat, it'll cost ya $12.50.

But Sune's done his homework, and here comes the bloatbuster:

It seems that I'm not the first one to notice this amazing bloat, though. Some guy called Jay Guerette liked what Disappear98 did, but didn't want to pay, so he wrote an app which does essentially the same. Transparent is available here:
And that's a 55KB download. The unpacked executable is actually just 25KB, but the zip file contains four of them. One general file, which takes a lot of command line parameters, and three others which override them with different defaults for icon text color.

So basically what we got here is a hook into SHELLDLL_DefView and paints are caught and the background mode changed from opaque to transparent. Guerette could have linked dynamically with the MSVCRT and got the executables down to 6KB, but that's a minor detail at this point.

Whoever wrote the retarded Disappear on the other hand needs to follow his own lead.


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