We have to install many programs to open the variety of files we are sent or download off the Internet, and we have to install more programs to keep in touch with people on the Internet.
These programs are often quite large and the install files can take a while to load, even on broadband connections. Thankfully there are some free lightweight alternatives to these bloated applications.
I have already mentioned Real Alternative, which enables you to play RealMedia files without installing RealPlayer, in a previous post, and in a recent post I drew attention to the slim image editor Paint.net; although, you may have install Microsoft's .Net Framework, which is quite bloated too.
Meebo is the slimmest of all these sveldt options, as it doesn't require the installation of any new software at all. This website offers an alternative to various messenger clients such as Microsoft's Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, ICQ and Google Talk. Whilst it does not include all the features of all these clients, it does enable you to have a single contacts list and you only have to enter one username and one password to access all your messenger services once you have created a Meebo user and configured it.
I am always on the search for quality free lightweight alternatives to bloated applications. If I find any more I will post them here, and if you find any, dear reader, please add a comment to this post with the details.