The Revo paradox

There’s this computer program, see? It’s called the Revo Uninstaller. The name is self-explanatory.

It uninstalls unwanted programs on your computer, but it does it far better than the uninstaller that comes with your PC, an uninstaller that usually leaves clutter strewn about. Revo sweeps the floor sparkly clean.

One element of Revo, however, presents a dilemma of logic and brings up religious issues. Open Revo’s screen, and there’s a list of all your programs, the stuff it can kill.

But there on the list sits the Revo icon. It can uninstall itself. How is that possible?

The Revo Uninstaller first uninstalls a program using the same program’s own uninstaller. Then Revo goes back and mops up, which is its true beauty. Its thoroughness.

Like a Mafia “cleaner” who arrives after a hit.

Revo’s claim that it can kill itself in the Revo fashion mocks logic. It’s as if it will not only shotgun itself in the head, Hemingway-style, but it will then get a mop bucket and wash up, perhaps calling the coroner and next of kin to boot. Will it pen a posthumous note?

I mentioned religious issues. Some major religions claim God has always existed, but we know that cannot be. Everything has a beginning. So God created herself, clearly. This is merely the flip side of ending oneself, and then sweeping up the pieces after the departure.

How can you create yourself? How can you terminate yourself and then tidy up?

This Revo paradox has been troubling me for years. I want to test it, watch it end its life and then sweep up its own body parts later. I want to witness that impossibility.

But I hesitate because Revo does such swell work killing unwanted programs. I want it alive, not dead due to my morbid curiosity.

I love my Revo, so I live with this eternally disturbing paradox.

13 thoughts on “The Revo paradox”

    1. Ah, Carole, I wondered when I intentionally wrote it that way how long it would take a black-attired Apple nut to pick up on it. Not long, it seems.

      iTunes corrupted, irreversibly, all the music on my computer some years back, and I’ve had it in for the company ever since.

      I imagine Revo will work on your demon machine just fine.


    2. Carole; Macs don’t need uninstallers, for the most part. You just drag the unwanted app to the Trash, and empty. (There many be a few preference files left behind, I suppose.)

      I will agree with Felipe, insofar that iTunes is a mess. It used to be effective, but they added too many bells and whistles, and now it’s less effective and nearly incomprehensible, even to intelligent Mac users such as me.

      Don Cuevas


      1. Yep, but people that haven’t converted to one may not realize the pros. And also a matter of getting use to.


  1. I have little need of such a program or its existential baggage. I just leave old programs on my computer — knowing that the humidity and salt air here will kill my computer before I need to do any tidying up. They merely slip into the great void.


  2. It is the same as the dilemma of the time traveler who goes back to the year before his own birth, courts the woman who will become his mother and fathers himself.

    Revo does work well. Being a bit of a penny pincher, I only have the free version. I cannot imagine what more it could do if I caughed up a bunch of pesos to upgrade.


  3. Or, not liking his father, the venerable time traveler goes back in time and murders the scoundrel before he can do the deed with his mother.

    Revo has a long way to go.


    1. Croft: And in so doing, he eliminates himself, which means he cannot travel back in time to murder his father, so his father does the deed with mother, and the time traveler is born, developing quite a strange loop of events that can and cannot happen simultaneously.


  4. When it runs, Revo loads itself into memory. (As opposed to being on the hard drive when it’s not working.) Then it does its deletion thing to files on the hard drive and entries in the registry. If Revo itself is the target, the final exit if you will, is it. Once that program exits there’s nothing left on the hard drive to bring it back to life with again.

    Mystery solved.


    Kim G
    New Ipswich, NH
    Where we are hanging out at a friend’s lakeside cabin.


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