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Where's the Tiny?

TinyApps.Org disappoints. Dramatically.

Miles Wolbe seems to be sitting strategically atop his mountain in the middle of the Pacific, keeping an eye on Windows software, but initial appearances deceive - he's just another fool on the hill.

The premise is convincing:

Small is beautiful
While Microsoft Windows as an evolving operating system might be dead, Miles knows you can run legacy Windows without too much pain and misery as long as you watch what you are doing and use caution when adding on software. He runs TinyApps.Org as a clearing house for software that treats your system right.

Apps dependent on MFC, VB or similar runtimes are not welcome. Neither are apps which require an 'installer'.

The website itself deserves attention. The click button in the ULHC isn't a button at all - it's pure text. And the entire site contains only five graphical images for a total bandwidth of only 259 (two hundred fifty nine) bytes.

That, anyway, is the premise - but it is full of holes.

For starters, the apps listed at TinyApps.Org aren't tiny at all - not even close. Most are bloat monsters written either with a statically linked MFC (to avoid prying eyes) or with Delphi (which Miles evidently doesn't know much about) and use UPX compression to get their footprints down to the finite. All the applications radsoft.net tested were in this category and resulted in their being 'evicted' from TinyApps.Org. In short, Miles applies black and white rules that software must follow, but his rules are neither well thought out nor particularly effective. The average executable footprint at TinyApps.Org is currently a walloping 229KB, while the average footprint for the XPT is only 7.8KB or one thirtieth the size. The TinyApps.Org apps don't even come close - where's the tiny?

Miles wants apps that run on any version of Microsoft Windows 9x damn the consequences. He doesn't know much about software, he is certainly not a programmer, but he picks up rumours and news group postings and may have tried to do as well as he can. But there is a thin line he has passed, between the reasonable and the maniacal or insane, a thin line where on the one side you are still a proponent of quality software but on the other are suddenly Sancho Panza's companion, rushing at windmills and totally missing your goal.

He's even gone so far as to outlaw Robin Keir's excellent software because it doesn't comply with his rules. While BONEhead's incredibly lame SpamStopper, which weighed in at an incredible 1MB - and which radsoft.net duplicated at only 4.5KB or one twentieth the size - would still qualify in Miles' TinyApps.Org book as 'tiny', because it still fit on a diskette. Now if 'tiny is beautiful', and we certainly cannot see the tiny anywhere, where's the beauty in that?

TinyApps.Org, it is unfortunate to say, is a big disappointment.

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