The move to Norton Internet Security 2009

I apologize for the long absence. I’ve had a lot of ideas to blog about, but interestingly, I’ve daunted by the flood of ideas and how best to present them. Like I always end up solving dilemmas like this (i.e. a lot to do and being at a loss for how to tackle tasks), I take it one step at a time. I’ve twittered about my woes with Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 and how I started a trial of Norton Internet Security 2009. Well, I’m here to let you know that I’m now a bonafide customer of Symantec once again.

I once used (back in 2005) Symantec Client Security and it bogged down my computer. I have had such a horrible experience with Symantec products, ranging from being a resource hog to being plain impossible to uninstall. Fast forwarding to 2009, I find that the installation experience for Norton Internet Security 2009 is remarkably smooth and very unobtrusive. I mean, I didn’t even have to restart the computer!! This was mind-boggling to me after coming off Bitdefender Internet Security 2009’s rather clunky installation method. According to a review on CNet, this streamlined installation process is indeed new and borrowed from another of Symantec’s flagship products (Norton Ghost). Scanning my laptop (a full scan) does not leave my system hanging although in fairness to Bitdefender Internet Security 2009, a full system scan didn’t bog my laptop down.

There are a few things I miss about Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 and I wish these things would be incorporated into Norton Internet Security 2009: Continue reading The move to Norton Internet Security 2009

The fine art of negotiation or not. :)

Wow. The internet is indeed the great equalizer. Yesterday, I penned a post about shady business practices. In that post, I levelled my ire at AWS Convergence Technologies, makers of the WeatherBug software. I had purchased a subscription to WeatherBug Plus and I almost instantly had buyers’ remorse. To make matters worse, activating the Plus part of the software was taking longer than advertised. The last straw was the deafening silence on AWS’s part in responding to my pleas to look into my activation issues. Then, I decided to obtain a refund and got no word. For the gory details, check the other post out. The purpose of this post is to talk about what I learned from this experience (from the consumer’s standpoint) and highlight what went wrong.

What happened: In the end, I was able to get an amicable resolution to the matter of my refund. This didn’t happen instantly. My first email to AWS was about the activation issues I was having and no response was received. My fraud radar went up and I followed that email up with one requesting a refund. When I received no answer, I instantly began researching online for any history of weird behavior with WeatherBug. To their credit, I didn’t find anyone who had been given the run-around like I felt I was being given. In fact, this should have told me that, maybe, just maybe they were under-staffed or something. However, I have had a few close calls with online purchases and I take my finances rather seriously. After some more email-fu and a couple of calls, I sent a email missive laden with phrases like “good faith effort” and “legal system”. 🙂

Seeing results: When my best effort at sounding serious didn’t raise any responses, I blogged about the problem on Jane Talks Tech!. My intent in blogging about it was to see if I would get anyone online to sympathize with me or even give me a hint as to what the deal with AWS could be. Well, in less than 24 hrs after sending the strongly-worded email and publishing my post about the saga, I was contacted via my blog by a representative from AWS. According to the representative at AWS I spoke with, they were ‘backed up’. I can understand that and I probably over-reacted a little bit in thinking the worst of them. Nevertheless,  you should know that AWS Convergence Technologies does have humans in charge  who care (:)) and they are actively monitoring the intarwebs which is why I believe this case finally got resolved. Ultimately, some lessons for consumers and sellers alike are: Continue reading The fine art of negotiation or not. 🙂

Monetizing software and keeping your users

This post was inspired by the current (it’s dying down) kerfuffle generated over FeedDemon’s latest Release Candidate containing adverts. Now, I haven’t installed it or tried it out yet. However, I left a comment on Nick Bradbury’s blog about the issue that I’ll repost here:

“Has anyone considered Text Ads in FeedDemon? More than anything, it’s the notion of ads contaminating FeedDemon that gets my goat.I understand you need to survive. How about experimenting with a different area (less obtrusive although that might defeat the purpose of placing ads in FeedDemon to begin with) to put the adverts? I will go ahead and echo several commenters in saying that I would gladly pay a subscription fee for a robust NewsGator Online Service and/or FeedDemon development sans ads. My own love/hate affair with FeedDemon started back when it was a paid app. Lately, my own issues with it have been stability, but I’m sure you’re addressing that already so the issue of ads just added salt to my own wounds. Good luck deciding what to do, Nick and I think that after all is said and done, FeedDemon is truly a superior product and at the risk of ‘jinxing’ you, I’d say you could possibly get away with introducing ads to your product. The only thing you/developers need to keep doing is making the product faster, better, et cetera.”

I have switched to RSS Bandit although that switch hasn’t come without its minor issues. Anyhow, that’s just my 2 cents. Right now, I’m putting my money where my mouth is by ponying up ~$20 for the Weatherbug software because the free version comes with adverts. Yes, I’m one of those people who installs adblocking software on her browser, but my desktop is my sanctuary and I am intensely distrustful of software that’s running ads in the background while I’m using it. I won’t pretend to know much about the cost of maintaining & developing FeedDemon so it’ll be up to them to decide what to do. I am solidly in the “remove the ads” camp. In any event, I’ll make lemonade from what I have right now i.e. RSS Bandit. Now would be a great time to explore what other desktop feed readers are available. Here’s a short list of programs (feed aggregators) that I intend on testing out on my laptop (I’ll start with the ones that abide by the free & open source software [FOSS] principles). Oh, before I forget, check out this Wikipedia comparison of the various feed aggregators.