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I think I'm familiar with their equivalent on the PC. When certain
software gets installed or updated, it adds hidden startup processes.
These can be disabled through the Startup tab of the System
Configuration utility (C:\Windows\System32\msconfig.exe).
iTunes and QuickTime are well-known culprits; Acrobat is another serial
(It's kind of funny to refer to iTunes as "3rd-party software" on the
Mac, but I understand the logic.)
From: Phil Snow Leopard
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:09 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)
Subject: Re: Uninstalling vs. Removing
.helper files are generally mini-programs/procedures that run in the
background even when the main app is not running. AV software (pointless
on the Mac) typically uses them, as do some other apps that have
scheduling tasks running independently of, say, iCal or similar
software. iTunes has its own .helper program running from login, too
regardless of whether you fire up iTunes itself or not.
They are useful so long as you want them to do what they do (like human
helpers...). The problem with uninstalling on the Mac is that simply
sending the main app to the Trash (mac's only built-in method of
uninstalling/removing software) tends to leave them in place (with 3rd
party software that is).
Like our (unwanted) human "friends", the only way to get rid of them is
to take direct and forceful action yourself... ;)
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