In the tradition of All Your Base Are Belong To Us, Hampster Dance, and Snood, this download, a tiny purple animated ape with the ability to sing, tell jokes, bring you the latest news, deliver email, etc. seems to be the current internet flavor of the month. Admittently amusing, the greatest use I've come up with for this little fellow is to utilize his "speak" option to read me web pages and email when I'm too tired to see clearly enough to read them myself.

For some reason, his "Search" option does not seem to work on my computer. Another gripe is that he only knows two songs and you have to "send him to school" for ten bucks to learn more. Still a funny little download if you have the extra space.

Nasty, nasty, evil, nasty, horrible waste of computer memory and space.

Bonzi Buddy is the bastard offspring of Bonzi of web advertising fame, and the Microsoft Office paperclip (Bonzi Buddy uses the same engine, Microsoft Agent.). He is usually downloaded by newbies, enticed by the flashy popups ("Interact with your computer" my ass) but is instantly irritating to pretty much everyone.

Ostensibly, as mountain_dew says above, Bonzi Buddy can be used to tell jokes, or read web pages aloud. But, as he also says, there is a catch. Or three.

1) With Bonzi running this operation, it is obvious that you will get advertising. Think Gator...product entices newbies, newbies download and get a sub-par program and adware. Joy.

2) EVERYTHING costs money. EVERYTHING. The first Bonzi Buddy (a green parrot named Peedy, who was fine on systems that had no internet access) was OK, he would sing a few songs, tell a few jokes, read a few stories (all involving the word Bonzi, IIRC) but if you wanted more features, like email checking, you would have to pay out. Fine. No problem there. Then the famed purple gorilla came along, and he wanted money ALL THE TIME. He would ask for money on attempting to do anything, and would say jack shit. Even worse, you couldn't go back to the parrot...if you fired up the parrot, he would say "Do you want to meet my new friend, Bonzi?" and this would happen on any attempt to do anything with him. So you were stuck on the monkey. Talking of Bonzi being stuck...

3) Uninstalling is like grabbing eels in a barrel of vegetable oil. Read the following USENET comment...

"totally screwed up her PC. I come in this morning and her PC is in a state. Apart from the fact that it's slowed down to a snail's pace, she can't read or send e-mail (as it tries to use a diallup instead of the LAN), and I can't uninstall it... Believe me, I've tried the Uninstall shield program that comes with it, I've tried manually installing the program, but some of it is still there."

The Complaint Station seems to be obliging too. (

So, a friendly warning...never download, install or otherwise let BonziBuddy anywhere near your'll regret it.

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