The SDIO Story: Why The Vigilance Of Users Is Required For Safe Computing

This is an interesting story that is illustrative of a common problem in software development and IT: takeover of valuable tools and services by the unscrupulous.

This is about a tool called “Snappy Driver Installer”. This is the story of how this new version, Snappy Driver Installer Origin, split off from the original and why a new version of this great and useful tool came to exist.(This is a frequent occurrence in open-source software development, called process is called "forking" in an analogy to a path or road splitting off in two different directions.)

The Snappy Driver Installer Origin website describes the tool thusly:

"Snappy Driver Installer Origin is a portable Windows tool to install and update device drivers. It can be used offline to install drivers where Internet isn't available. No more searching for drivers after a clean install, just let Snappy Driver Installer Origin do it's thing and your job will be done in no time. The perfect technician's tool."

Features:

  • State of the art driver matching algorithm.

  • Portable, run it from a USB flash drive, no installation necessary.

  • Built in application and driver pack updates.

  • Can be fully automated using the built in scripting engine.

  • Multilingual interface.

  • Built-in and custom themes.

  • Supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10.

Snappy Driver Installer Origin remains a free, open source project. Free means it costs you nothing to download and use. Free means it is free of adware, malware, backdoors, unwanted third party software or other dodgy stuff.

The about page of the website tells an interesting - and instructive - tale:

ABOUT SNAPPY DRIVER INSTALLER ORIGIN (or The Reason Snappy Driver Installer Origin Exists)

I had been using SDI as part of my business for a little while. The program is a huge time saver and it "just works(tm)". In 2016 the author was looking for someone to take over the project. I began learning the code, fixing bugs, adding new features and doing the official builds.

A few months later, the author handed the project over to someone else. I never received a satisfactory explanation as to why this was done. These 'other' people started doing their own builds and inserting adware, backdoors and hidden third party software installations and posting these dodgy builds on the official web site.

Needless to say, I was not happy and neither were our loyal end users. SDI is a free, open source application. It has never contained any malware. When I discovered these unethical practices and realised I was powerless to do anything about it, I forked the project and set up a new web site to continue Snappy Driver Installer in the tradition in which it was originally developed.

So, to answer your question, Snappy Driver Installer Origin, the web site you are now reading, is the original Snappy Driver Installer as it always was and will continue to be. The old project known as Snappy Driver Installer is no longer in the hands of the original developers, is no longer open source and is not safe to use.

Snappy Driver Installer Origin remains a free, open source project. However, if you want to show your appreciation for my hard work and help keep the project alive, please contribute via Patreon or Paypal. Subscribing via Patreon gives you access to the developers and allows you to participate in the SDIO community and have a say in it's future direction.

This kind of thing happens with some regularity, unfortunately: a great FOSS (free-and-open-source-software) application gets hijacked or taken over by unscrupulous opportunists who play on the goodwill and recommendations the offering has received to try to monetize it.

The take away lesson is that no software or service is inherently and forever trustworthy.

As users of these things, we have to pay attention to what we use, and what happens with the teams that produce the things we use. This is especially true with anything that is "free" in the sense of "no monetary cost" and even more so in the case of things that are also "free" in the sense of "freedom" - open source tools and services.

In short: PAY ATTENTION, USERS!

All that said, I love and use this specific tool - Snappy Driver Installer - myself, and have for some years. I will continue to use it in the forked "Snappy Driver Installer Origin" form.