This blog is primarily concerned with NIS 2007 (and a bit on NIS 08). I have nothing to say about more recent versions.

This blog is more or less dormant (except for occasional comments on related news), and is being left on-line as a historical record and perhaps as a warning to future generations of anti-virus coders.

2010-11-06

I just uninstalled AVG 9.0 FREE from my primary desktop PC

I really like AVG. Very good and reliable software. Virtually nothing to complain about. But I'm going to try MS Security Essentials on my primary desktop PC.

I have to mention that when I uninstalled AVG, I then ran CCleaner to make sure that AVG had uninstalled cleanly. It had. Not a single Registry error found. Not one.

This compares to Norton Removal Tool (NRT) that left 88 errors.

2009-09-29

The Symantec OS - LOL...

No, just kidding. It's the way around.

Microsoft has announced a complete security suite.

Free. Free is good. Why pay money for a three license pack when one could have a free license pack.

CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/09/29/tech-computer-windows-antivirus.html

Security Essentials http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/

It remains to be seen if MS-Security Essentials will be as trouble-free as I have found AVG to be.

Update 2010 - yeah. It's slick and trouble-free. And free as in beer.

2009-07-18

Important news... ...BORING IS GOOD...

Nothing has happened.

AVG (the free version) is just working along perfectly fine.


It's working fine on the old XP desktop.

It's working fine on the new Vista desktop.

And it's working fine on the Vista laptop.


Having Norton Internet Security (2007 and 2008) was like living in a war zone. Having AVG (current free version) installed is, in comparison, like a warm tropical beach with a cool drink.


PS: While typing this post, I just updated AVG. Including some sort of program update. It was totally transparent and I note with some amusement that I'm not rebooting right now.

2009-03-20

Report:: Credit cards leaked to black market

REPORT: Symantec renewal customers - credit card details end up on black market. ...

Three of the victims of the scam had bought software renewals from a call centre which handles Symantec software licences. ...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/20/call_centre_credit_card_fraud/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7953401.stm

I'd put this embarrassing corporate misadventure into the Karmic-Balance category. LOL.


By the way, AVG's free edition is still working just fine so far as I can see. I haven't been forced to spend much time on it; it just works quietly and with zero fuss.

2009-03-13

Symantec deletes reasonable PIFTS questions

I couldn't let this pass.


The appearance of a file in a non-existent folder suggests rootkit-like behaviour. PIFTS.exe attempts to contact a server in Africa, which has been traced to Symantec.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/10/norton_pifts_mystery/


These conspiracy theories were further fanned by Norton's decision to delete threads on its forums related to the update. ... Symantec claims it wasn't censoring posts, but rather fighting off a spam attack. "Within minutes, several dozen user accounts were created commenting on the initial thread, and/or creating new threads on the topic," the company says in a statement. "Over the next few hours, over 200 user accounts were created. Within the first hour there were 600 new posts on this subject alone."

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/249314/symantec-apologises-for-patch-havoc.html


Well duh. You make a major, multi-layer, screw-up like that, then fail to explain yourself promptly, and then you're surprised and shocked that your customer base reacted with dozens or even hundreds of perfectly-reasonable questions?

What - are you really that stupid?

(Yes.)

Please - get a brain and have it installed.

2009-02-10

Worth mentioning - just for amusement's sake

Auntie-virus firm Kaspersky Labs has had its US website violated by an anonymous hacker who claims to have gained access to the company's customer database.

See the full story here.


Perhaps this amusing story will put the Symantec Fan-boy (of previous post fame, now going by the handle "OkiNava") in a happy mood.

Oh. Wait. Noooo... Do you you think? No way!! You don't suppose...?

2008-11-30

This blog is more-or-less dormant

This blog is pretty much dormant because I have (several months ago) removed all Symantec products from: 1) my old XP desktop, 2) from my Vista laptop, and 3) from my newer Vista desktop. Therefore I have nothing more to observe and report about Symantec products.

I have installed the free version of AVG on all three PCs and it is very much trouble-free and efficient. All three PCs are percolating along nicely. My frustration level is dramatically reduced.

I cannot comment on NIS 2009 because I've never seen it. I have seen some reports that it is better than the previous editions (well, duh, it couldn't possibly be worse!). But I'm not going to try it, not even if it were provided for free (why waste my time?).

If NIS 2009 (or later) comes as a free trial with your PC, then you might as well give it a fair shot. But if you start seeing the same old errors, don't be scared to try a freeware AV solution (such as AVG or others).

Good luck everyone.

Comment moderation enabled

Some Symantec fanboy has started taking issue with this blog. That's fine, but he is making accusations that are simply not true.

1) I am nothing more than a former customer of Symantec. No, I've never worked for them.

2) My comments are about NIS 2007 and (recently) a bit on NIS 2008 (thoughtfully provided as a free update to the long-suffering NIS 2007 customers).

I'm not reviewing NIS 2009. I've never seen it. After my experiences, I certainly not buying it (LOL!). I don't think I'd even take it for free at this point. For anyone looking for details about NIS 2009 and how much improved it might be, they will have to look elsewhere.

3) NIS 2008 updates took forever - just like NIS 2007. The only thing that I'd noticed is that they had hidden the details. Perhaps they've fixed this long-standing, glaring error since I've removed it from my systems.


For those interested in the full story, then start at the bottom of this blog.

[BTW - That's about 110 posts 'south' of here... (LOL).]

This blog is based mostly on cut-and-paste screen capture images of Symantec mistakes. There is no arguing with plain and simple facts like those documented in this blog! Dumb errors are dumb errors. Lack of QA is lack of QA. [Suck it up 'Sunshine'.]

There's nothing to argue about.


When I started this blog, there was no question that Symantec Sucked Big Time (at that time). If Symentec sucks somewhat less now, then perhaps I'm entitled to some of the credit for spuring their improvements. If so, then "You're welcome."

And I note with interest that I haven't been tempted in the slightest to start complaining about AVG. It is not only 'Free', but also virtually trouble-free.

PS: This blog is more-or-less dormant.

2008-10-10

AVG updates are Lightning Fast compared to NIS

I notice that AVG can update the virus database in about the same time that it takes Symantec Norton Internet Security simply to check for updates (but not download them).

When Symantec NIS [2007/2008, in case you've not been following along...] checks for updates, it downloads dozens and dozens of little files (46 individual files at last count). Each file is small, but each download takes some back-and-forth latency. It all adds up so that it can take roughly a minute to simply check for updates. Which is inexcusable.

AVG checks for updates using a much more intelligent algorithm. It takes almost no time at all. And even when there are updates, they tend to be fairly small (most have been well under 1 MB). I've seen AVG update the database in less than a minute, which is comparable to the time it takes Symantec just to CHECK for updates.


One of the problems in many software companies is that the programmers demand and receive very high-end computers and ultra-fast connections to the Internet. It would be better, as a corporate QA decision, to mandate that all programmers must use a trailing edge computer and a dial-up access to the Internet to try out their software at least a few times per week. It would help to reveal to them how out-of-touch they are with the real world.

My PCs are not all trailing edge (one is), but I can see how crappy their algorithms are even with decent PC hardware.

Basically what I'm pointing out is that it would help if management applied some intelligence to the overall process of creating software instead of letting things run on autopilot. When we pay for software, we're paying for some intelligently-designed product. Use your head.

2008-10-06

Symantec-free zone

This blog may go more-or-less dormant now this household has finally achieved Symantec-free status.

The free version of AVG seems to be fine.

I hope that this blog has been a valuable exercise for all concerned. I certainly allowed me to vent my spleen about the extremely poor QA of Symantec software - which may have peaked with NIS 07 (the "Windows ME" of antivirus software).

It has to be admitted that NIS 08 is marginally better than NIS 07, but some of that was simply window-dressing such as hiding the 46-file progress dialog. But it was a nice gesture to allow the long-suffering NIS 07 users to have a free update to NIS 08.

But there is still much that can be improved.


Thanks very much for tagging along.

Later folks.


PS (13 Dec 2008):

Dung4Brains wrote: "...there isn't a single post on this blog with any constructive criticism."

When things are as bad as NIS 2007/2008, then any criticism is constructive.

It has been very obvious that some Symantec folks have been monitoring and reacting to this blog. It's been to their benefit. Many of the software problems first identified here have now reportedly been 'fixed' (or at least hidden). Sometimes the timing has been hilarious, like when they apparently disabled the cut/copy features from the 46-file LU progress window.

Imagine how much money they've spent on their various ineffective quality assurance processes. For all the good it did them. It wasn't until I started this blog that they're paid any attention to some of these long-standing issues. They should send me a damn paycheck for all the work I've done for them. I've done better QA inspection on their software than their own people.

Hey Symantec: You're welcome.

Symantec removed from laptop

Well, end of an era. Good bye Norton aka Symantec.

Last evening I removed NIS 08 from the laptop. That's the last of the three PCs around here.

Something of amusing interest was noted during this process.

I had downloaded the Norton Removal Tool (NRT) and the latest version of AVG. I then took the precaution of rebooting, was disconnected from the Internet, and then ran NRT. It uninstalled all the Symantec rubbish fine so far as I can see.

(But I haven't run a Registry Checker, such as CCleaner, to see if it cleaned up properly. Last time, on my XP desktop, NRT left 88 items of junk that needed to be cleaned up.)

Anyway - I then rebooted to have a clean start and installed AVG (which also went smoothly).

Amusingly, AVG identified 5 "infections" when it ran the first scan (see screen capture below).

[Note - I intentionally used the word "infections" in quotes because I knew at the time that these five files were probably not active in any way. But still, why would Symantec leave them hanging around? Do these files have any positive benefit for humanity? Delete, or quarantine, the friggen things...]

This after the laptop having been protected by NIS 08 for all this time. Makes one wonder...

By the way, it is nice how fast AVG is able to check for updates. Their update algorithm appears to be about 30 times faster than Symantec's patented 46-file method.


Five "infections" found by AVG (missed by NIS 08?):

2008-10-02

Two down, one to go...

I've removed NIS from my new desktop. It was already gone from the old desktop as previously reported.

It used to be that when the Symantec Subscription expired, it was just the signature updates that were no longer available. Now the entire second tab of the program is disabled. This appears to block access to many of the program functions. So, no question - time to remove it.

I ran the Norton Removal Tool and rebooted. It appears to be gone, gone, gone. I reenabled the Windows Firewall and Defender.


I note with some amusement that the 'Memory Used' desktop gadget indication has dropped from about 45% to about 34% of the 2GB or RAM. This is with nothing running.


Next up - the laptop.

2008-09-19

Now this is funny...

I attended a public lecture last evening. It was the sort of lecture held in a very large university auditorium (several hundreds of people attended). The guest speaker used his laptop connected to a large projector aimed at a huge screen (more than 30-foot diagonal).

Right in the middle of his PowerPoint presentation, which was extremely well done, a Symantec warning message flashed up. "Blah blah blah... run time blah blah blah... allow or not?" It covered about half the screen.

Hint to Symantec:

Unless it is The End Of The World As We Know It , if MS-PowerPoint is running, and if the Video Output is turned on, then perhaps now is not a good time for error messages and warnings. Please consider disabling them until the show is over.

2008-09-04

New 'annoying feature' report

NIS 08 on my Vista desktop PC.

I'm on another user's account and browsing around the C: drive seraching for where-in-the-flipping-hell Google squirreled away the Google Chrome browser executable. I thought they would have put it in plain sight. I just wanted to put a short-cut so that the other user could use it. But Google didn't make it that simple. I guess each user must install their own copy.

In the course of searching, I opened a folder (later determined to be the MS-MRT program folder). Being on another account, I had to enter the Admin password to gain access to the file.

On my...

The system locked up while a very long green bar slowly scrolled across the address bar. The green bar slowed perceptibly as it neared the end. It took forever.

I suspect that NIS 08, having seen that the MRT folder was unlocked, jumped in to run a virus scan. And made me wait and wait, in spite of having already tried to move the focus to another folder.

I'm not positive this is Symantec's handiwork, but it has all the hallmarks.


2008-09-02

Still crazy after all these years...

The NIS subscription is down to the last 30 days and NIS 08 is going into full panic mode. Although everything is 'Secure', the silly NIS 08 software is displaying all sorts of orange exclamation marks (!) warning of dire consequences. The thing is, these financially driven warnings obscure the true security status (which is fine, all secure). They should have used a green dollar sign ($) to make the distinction more clear.



2008-08-19

Cute... #7777

I just stopped by to check my blog...

2008-08-16

Remember when I tried to count the issues?

The previous post was #100 (as was pointed out by Fred).

This just reminded me of the early days of this blog (waaay back then, all of about ten months ago), when I actually tried to count the problems. I think I gave up counting at 'Issue 19'.

Nobody has ever explained to me how commercial software could be released with so many of such obvious problems. I know that Symantec is not alone in this regard, but they're certainly one of the clearest examples.

Clicky-clicky no worky-worky

(Update 1: 100th post!)

Just when I thought things had calmed down a bit. I guess I'll have to reboot the new Vista desktop PC with the 'New-And-Improved' NIS 08 to see if I can wake up the Symantec user interface.

Update 2: By the way - this is the same problem as before with NIS 07 and on a different computer. Common element? Symantec of course. I guess NIS 08 isn't all that different from NIS 07 - smells like some crappy code reuse (just a guess).


2008-07-22

Commenting policy change

Apparently this blog has caught the attention of Symantec. We are starting to see what are basically advertisements for NIS 09 Beta appear in the comment section. For that reason I am going to turn off anonymous commenting.

Apologies in advance for any slight inconvenience that this may cause.

2008-07-19

NIS 08 installed on Vista desktop PC

Well - there is 50 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

The first download was 0.5 MB. Once I found the executable file (under Public/Downloads) and executed it, it downloaded another 68.35 MB. After the first restart, it was noted that NIS 08 was not up-to-date and required an immediate 'Run Live Update' and another restart.

The grand totals are:
1) Almost an hour (skipping the recommended Full Scan)
2) Almost 70MB of downloading (not including the unknown LiveUpdate)
3) Two restarts


The long-standing issue of the world's most inefficient update process (downloading some 46 files to see if any downloads are required) has been addressed: they've hidden it.

Now there is a simple three-step process. Each step still takes forever and the progress is completely hidden. There is an animation, but you have no idea if the update will take 2 minutes or 20 minutes. This is substandard.

This new non-communicative LiveUpdate process also hides all of their can't-do-simple-math errors.


More later.

Step 1 goes badly...

Support / Special / Upgrade2007

The URL for the upgrade is interesting.

It is filed under Support / Special / Upgrade2007.


www.symantec.com/home_homeoffice/support/special/upgrade2007...

Symantec blinks - free update from NIS07 to NIS08

I've been a faithful user of Norton Anti-virus and their similar products for many years. I've never seen them offer a free update from one year's version to another. But it appears that they've decided that enough is enough with respect to the disaster that is NIS 07.

They've just offered an update from NIS 07 to NIS 08.


If you choose to download Norton Internet Security 2008, you will have the right to use this product until the expiration of your current subscription...

Well, that's fine. It aligns with my plans anyway...



2008-07-07

AVG fixes fake traffic scans

"...bring out a new version of its software on July 9th, minus the problematic pre-scanning of results tool." HERE

Peace and tranquility will return on Wednesday or so.


2008-06-27

avast

www.avast.com (free version)

"avast! antivirus Home Edition is FREE to use but it is necessary to register before the end of the initial 60 day trial period. ... Following registration you will receive by E-mail a license key valid for a period of 1 year."

I haven't tried it.

Clam: The ultimate in low resource usage

www.clamwin.com

"Please note that ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware."

Talk about your low resource usage. Zero until you invoke it to scan a file.

If you're not sure it is the right AV tool for your PC, it probably isn't.

2008-06-22

Common sense malware avoidance

The risk that many people talk about these days is drive-by downloads.

This is where you visit a malicious website and they install malware with no action on your part by taking advantage of security flaws in your browser or in the add-ons. I've heard about these, but I've rarely seen them.

One commonsense avoidance technique is to avoid websites with cheap, disposable URLs. In other words, a website with a valuable domain name is much less likely to contain such malware than a website with a cheap, disposable domain name.

For example, www.XXX.com (where XXX can be whatever topic you want) is a valuable domain name and it's not likely to be sacrificed to infect a few victims' PCs.

On the other hand, www.XXX-936367.com (for example) is obviously an inexpensive, toss-away domain name and is therefore much more likely to be a malware site.

So before clicking on links, look at the actual URL and make this distinction. It's not fool-proof, but nothing is.

2008-06-14

Before installing AVG, read this...

The Register: Here

It's about AVG's stupid Link Scanner.

When I installed AVG the other day, I instinctively deselected that feature. But a few minutes later I noticed my Google searches were infested with extra indicators of safety. So I double-checked and found that the Link Scanner was enabled again. So I turned it off again. Since then, no problems.

But this is a very bad move on the part of AVG. On the above link, the management of AVG has posted a comment indicated that they will find a way to fix this problem.

AVG

Link to AVG (free, highly-rated, less troublesome antivirus and security software)

UPDATE: See next post for important information first.

LINK = http://free.grisoft.com

2008-06-12

6 months unprotected - no viruses

My old Desktop (Dell Dimension 8100 circa 2001, Windows XP) has been running without any virus protection since I was forced to remove NIS07 back in December 2007. I reported that removal here.

Running naked on the 'net for about six months.

Well, I finally got around to installing AVG onto that system. It's free for home use. The download is about 45MB. Installation takes about as much time as you'd expect. It complained that my Roxio burning software was out-of-date, but I'm having some troubles updating Roxio, so I ignored the warning for now.

Anyway, here is the interesting part. I let AVG do a complete scan overnight. It found nothing but mostly harmless tracking cookies. No viruses. No malware.

I'll provide more details about AVG later. So far it looks fine.

2008-06-06

Repeated Activation

A few posts back, I reported that NIS07 experienced a license issue and it made me re-Activate the product (which I did, although not reported here).

Well, this morning it wanted to be reactivated again. It took a couple of minutes and it seems to be happy again.

It is worth noting that we don't do anything out the ordinary with this laptop. Surf the web and similar activities. It is not as if I'm hacking the registry or anything like that. So these problems are arising from within the Symantec software, or possibly due to Windows updates. These are not 'user issues' in any reasonable sense.

What's the point?

In an ill-informed comment on the previous post, some wag suggested that I should stop blogging about Symantec software and simply use something else. That is almost exactly the same logic as telling someone that is complaining about their local government, "Hey, if you don't like it here, then move!" It's not quite the same thing because uninstalling Symantec and installing another product is easier and cheaper than moving, but it is otherwise a very similar concept.

In fact, when NIS07 became completely intolerable on my older Windows XP desktop, I did uninstall it. All that was reported here. But, on the other desktop and this laptop (both Vista), it hasn't quite got to that point yet. I have no plans to renew the subscription, so when it runs out I will uninstall NIS07 and turn my back on Symantec products. And this blog will probable become dormant at that point.

But the main point is that this blog is not about 'me'. It is about Symantec and their decline. Years ago they were the leading antivirus solution. No longer. Now they are a pain in the butt and not worth the disk space.

The point of this blog is to document the flaws in the NIS07 software. It is a bit like a public service, so that other users will realize that it isn't their fault that the software is malfunctioning or just badly designed. And if Symantec monitors this blog and uses the information to improve their software, then that is another benefit. But the evidence suggests that they aren't exactly using all the information in a positive spirit.

If you think that this blog is a waste of time, then don't waste your time. Browse on...

But I hope that the information I've captured in this blog is useful to some.

2008-06-03

Symantec is embarrassed

In a previous post, I had included a simple cut-and-paste of the extremely long and obviously inefficient LiveUpdate screen.

Well, guess what? They've done something to that LiveUpdate progress window so that right-click cut or copy doesn't work anymore (it did before). But they didn't fix the world's most inefficient update algorithm; they just made it slightly more difficult to mock them.

But they're idiots. There are other ways to copy the data out. Here (took 3 seconds):

The following Symantec products and components are installed on your computer.
> Firewall Program Updates
> LiveUpdate
> LiveUpdate Notice
> Norton AntiVirus
> Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions
> Norton Confidential
> Norton Internet Security Resource Updates
> Norton Internet Security program updates
> Norton Internet Security security updates
> Norton Protection Center
> Symantec Intrusion Prevention Signatures
> Symantec Security Software
> Symantec Security Software Update
> Symantec Shared Components
> Symantec Trusted Application List
> Vulnerability Assessment Program Updates

Initializing...
Connecting to liveupdate.symantecliveupdate.com...

Downloading catalog file (1 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (2 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (3 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (4 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (5 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (6 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (7 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (8 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (9 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (10 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (11 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (12 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (13 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (14 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (15 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (16 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (17 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (18 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (19 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (20 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (21 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (22 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (23 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (24 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (25 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (26 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (27 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (28 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (29 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (30 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (31 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (32 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (33 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (34 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (35 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (36 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (37 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (38 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (39 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (40 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (41 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (42 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (43 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (44 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (45 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (46 of 46), product up-to-date.

The following updates have been found:
> Symantec Security Software, 7.4 KB
> Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions, 86.0 KB
Total Download 93.4 KB

Downloading Symantec Security Software (1 of 1), complete.
Downloading Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions (1 of 1), complete.

Installing Symantec Security Software (1 of 1), complete.
Installing Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions (1 of 1), complete.


LiveUpdate session is complete.

2008-06-01

Stupid Symantec - constantly going wrong

We didn't do anything. We surf the net, and maybe watch some videos on YouTube. Nothing out of the ordinary.

But then we get messages like this:

Symantec still sucks

The NIS07 license on my laptop (which expires in October 2008), just suddenly decided to expire or something. It tells me that there is a license or subscription problem and, after poking around, it tells me to click Activate Now.

So I clicked Activate Now. Nothing happened.

Tried again. Nothing.

Tried every possible option. No response.

Stupid phucks. They're just idiots. Do not give them money and do not put their crap software on your computer. If your computer comes with Symantec crap, get it removed.

2008-05-22

Symantec still sucks

I was running a recommended-monthly Full System Scan (which by the way never finds anything), and NIS07 had crapped out after completing the scan.

2008-05-03

Google Gmail now does virus scanning

Since we moved from dial-up to wireless high-speed Internet access, we've been using only Google Gmail accounts. We don't even have any ISP-based e-mail accounts.

Gmail now does virus scanning.

I first noticed it when I saw an attached filename being replaced with the words something like scanning for viruses on the Gmail page. I looked into the new features and it's right there: Virus Scanning.

See LINK

This is huge news - all bad for Symantec.

If I have hardware (router) and software (windows) firewalls, and Windows Defender to scan for malware, and monthly malware removers (that have never found anything), and all my e-mail is scanned to viruses on the way in, then the risk is getting pretty low.

This means that Norton Internet Security is not worth the negatives.

I'm a step closer to removing it from all my systems in advance of its expiry. And I certainly will not be renewing it.

2008-04-19

LiveUpdate "Express"

Not much going on.

We've slipped to #2 on Google.

Why do they call it "LiveUpdate Express" when it actually takes about three minutes to get 246kB of minor updates installed?

2008-04-09

Guess who is Number One?

Search on Google for: Symantec Sucks [LINK]

2008-04-01

April 1st, but no joke

Our 2nd poll is closed, the results are:

2008-03-25

46 files? Oh puhleeze, shuddup already.

There must be a more efficient algorithm than this crap:

The following Symantec products and components are installed on your computer.
> Firewall Program Updates
> LiveUpdate
> LiveUpdate Notice
> Norton AntiVirus
> Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions
> Norton Confidential
> Norton Internet Security Resource Updates
> Norton Internet Security program updates
> Norton Internet Security security updates
> Norton Protection Center
> Symantec Intrusion Prevention Signatures
> Symantec Security Software
> Symantec Security Software Update
> Symantec Shared Components
> Symantec Trusted Application List
> Vulnerability Assessment Program Updates

Initializing...
Connecting to liveupdate.symantecliveupdate.com...

Downloading catalog file (1 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (2 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (3 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (4 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (5 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (6 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (7 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (8 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (9 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (10 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (11 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (12 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (13 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (14 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (15 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (16 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (17 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (18 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (19 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (20 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (21 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (22 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (23 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (24 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (25 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (26 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (27 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (28 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (29 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (30 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (31 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (32 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (33 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (34 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (35 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (36 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (37 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (38 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (39 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (40 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (41 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (42 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (43 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (44 of 46), complete.
Opening update list
The digital signature found on the catalog file has been signed by Symantec Corporation.
Processing update list
Opening update list
Processing update list
Downloading catalog file (45 of 46), product up-to-date.
Downloading catalog file (46 of 46), product up-to-date.
All of the Symantec products installed on your computer are currently up-to-date. Remember to check for new updates frequently.

LiveUpdate session is complete.


How do they create software at Symantec? Do they throw all the 'zeros' and 'ones' into a big bucket and then pull them out randomly?

10 Diggs

Thanks Diggers!

Only a few days left on the latest survey. 'Resource Hog' leading far and away. Symantec, assuming they choose to try to survive, could get some valuable marketing information from that survey.

2008-03-15

Suggestion for Symantec

Okay - it's pretty clear that Norton Internet Security 2007 is a load of crap. It's likely that anyone that has NIS07 will be reluctant to purchase any future Symantec products. Also, they would be quite willing to share their experiences with anyone that might want to listen. Some might even start a blog to vent their frustration.

Norton Internet Security 2007 is so bad that it is a perfect cases for a Class Action lawsuit. I would certainly be willing to provide input (this blog) to such an action. I've seen successful Class Actions on issues less clear than this one.

The only solution might be to offer a free copy of, or a massive discount on, some future version (on the assumption that most of these stupid errors are fixed) to those that had to experience the nightmare of NIS07.

Seriously - Symantec really should make amends for the fiasco that is NIS07...

2008-03-02

End of an era...

For years, I have purchase my latest version of Norton at the same time as I purchase the annual QuickTax software. The various mail-in rebates (another torture-session story in itself) always made it reasonably cost effective.

But not this year.

This year I just bought the QuickTax tax software by itself.

There's even a few missing from this portrait. It's been continuous since 2001.

2008-02-23

Interim Poll Results - Resource Hog

The current opinion poll (in the right-hand column) currently shows the issue of Symantec Software being a 'Resource Hog' is the prime concern. In second place is 'Destablizes system'. I note with interest that 'Subscription fees' is the LEAST concern!

On the subject of being a Resource Hog, I can attest to that. When I removed NIS07 from my old XP desktop (necessitated by terrible stability issues), it was as if I had a brand new computer. My 2001-era Dell Dimension 8100 with a 1.3GHz P4 running Windows XP suddenly seemed like a high performance computer. Click-pause became click-react.

If a PC is infected with a virus or spyware, it might cause the computer to slow down and perhaps become unstable. On the other hand, apparently if one installs Symantec software it will cause the computer to slow down and probably become unstable.

So we pay money to change 'might' to 'will' and change 'perhaps' to 'probably'.

I guess having more certainty in life is a good thing [ARGH??!!??].

2008-02-19

Attention Symantec employees and reps

If there are known solutions to any of these issues, then let's not keep them a secret. I don't really want to have an off-line private discussion about these issues. If there is a known solution to a known issue, then leave a specific comment with the details, or with a link to the Symantec web page with the solution.

I'm not going to begrudge solutions. I will help to publicize them for the benefit of the many NIS07 users that are likely experiencing the same issue.

Of course, if the solution involves magic command line incantations that are supposed to be controlled from the user interface, then I may gently mock such foolishness even while promoting the solution.

But I believe that it is perfectly clear that the vast majority of these issues are plain and simple programming errors by Symantec. And there is no reason why they couldn't be fixed almost instantly, and the updates distributed via LiveUpdate.

Phishing Protection and the 'Fix Now' nag

Okay - look. I don't need Phishing Protection. Simply not required. And I don't like the extra delay that it imposes when surfing. And I'm sure if I want anyone to have a complete list of every URL we ever visit. For these reasons, I'm not the slightest bit interested in enabling Phishing protection. It's all useless with no benefit.

I've not found any setting to get Norton Internet Security 07 to shut-up the stupid 'FIX NOW' and red '!' nag about how my Phishing Protection should be enabled. All that their steadfast but stupid approach accomplishes is to make their task bar icon less than useful. It is now dedicated to being permanently red '!' and I have to try to ignore it. This means that if there actually was serious security breach, I wouldn't know.

It is as if they have a Vice President of Product Development (or similar powerful position) that is a complete moron. There are so many consistent bad decisions on display that it can only be evidence of a moron in charge - a single point of failure.

FIX NOW!!! Argh...

2008-02-03

Default Browser ignored...

On my new desktop, I downloaded and installed the Firefox browser (to replace Internet Explorer). I also set Firefox to be the default browser via it's own start-up welcome screen.

In the Norton Internet Security 2007 window, I clicked on 'Learn More' because I wanted to know more about Windows Account Control. It opened in Internet Explorer.

So I went to 'Default Programs' under the Start menu to make sure. I clicked on Firefox to make it the default browser.

In the Norton Internet Security 2007 window, I clicked on 'Learn More'. It opened in Internet Explorer.

Let me guess. The morons at Symantec are calling up Internet Explorer directly.

2008-02-02

New desktop

I was in Walmart (Canada) on Friday and wandered past a pallet load of Dell Inspiron 530 desktop PCs, which included a nice 22" LCD flat panel monitor. They were marked down from $900 to $600. The included 22" LCD flat panel monitor is worth about $300 by itself. 2GB of RAM. 320 GB HDD. But a bottom-of-the-line 1.6GHz dual core processor. 3-year warranty.

When I got home with it, I went to Dell.ca and tried to reproduce it on-line. It was just over $1000 on-line, but that's with a 1.8GHz processor instead of 1.6GHz.

And hey! It even came with everyone's favorite software pre-installed. Symantec's world-famous Norton Internet Security 2007 - a 90-day free trial. So I typed in my product key from my 3-license CD and this time it was accepted no problem. There's no point waiting for the 90-days to expire because the license from the CD expires in about 8 months anyway.

The expiry date is set by the first installation, the next two expire on the same date as the first. I guess it's not really a three license pack is it? It is more like a ONE LICENSE pack that can be used on up to three PCs.

When I ran LiveUpdate, it downloaded about 45MB of updates followed by a mandatory reboot. I ran LiveUpdate again and it download another few MB followed by a mandatory reboot. I ran LiveUpdate again and it download another about 200KB (no reboot). I ran LiveUpdate again and it download just 12KB (no reboot). I ran LiveUpdate again and it download another few hundred KB followed by a mandatory reboot. I ran LiveUpdate again and it download another few MB followed by a mandatory reboot. I ran LiveUpdate again and it download another few hundred KB followed by a mandatory reboot. I ran LiveUpdate again and it finally seemed to be done.

I then rebooted one last time just out of spite.

Back to the new desktop. What a great machine (although perhaps not for hard core gaming). The screen is huge both physically and in terms of resolution (1600 by 1050 pixels). The screen resolution provides a huge amount of space for windows and desktop gadgets. It's really nice to be able to see more of each web page without scrolling around. The system emits a 2-second burst of fan noise at start-up, but then it is basically silent after that. It comes with Vista Home Premium preinstalled and the performance is acceptable. I watched a DVD on it and the picture quality (upscaled to 1600x1050 pixels) was glorious.

2008-01-27

LiveUpdate is cleaning up....few moments...

Okay, I give up. I can't guess. Please explain.

LiveUpdate was running when the ISP went off-line (rare, but it happens every now and then). So I clicked Cancel and LiveUpdate threw up a message that it was going to be 'cleaning up' for a 'few moments'.

I'm trying to imagine what sort of update algorithm, aborted at the point of checking for updates, would require more than a few milliseconds to abort. I can't even imagine what sort of thought process would generate a system that needs almost a minute of (modern dual core) CPU time to simply abort an update check. It defies logic.

Cleaning Up

2008-01-23

Idiots...

A little Symantec message box popped up from the system tray mentioning that Symantec updates are available and politely asking if now would be a good time to download them.

So I click 'Yes'.

It then puts up a message about how now is not a good time for it.

Idiots. Complete fricken idiots.

I'd call them stupid, but that would be an insult to stupid people everywhere.

2008-01-18

Now open for your comments

I've just opened it up for comments. You'll have to type in the word-art to prove that you're an actual human. Anonymous comments allowed.

NIS'07 refuses to open...

Well, I knew it wouldn't last...

Tonight Norton Internet Security 2007 on my laptop refuses to open. Clicky-clicky no worky-worky. There's no rational explanation. Everything else works. I just thought maybe it was time to run Brain-dead Update. But it appears I'll have to reboot because the Symantec programmers are idiots.

Hong Kong at night

2008-01-09

No. 7 on Google.

Link= Google 'Symantec Sucks'

Things are pretty quiet on the Symantec front. The main reason is that I have removed every trace of their products from my desktop PC. It now is much more stable and much more responsive. And to address The Peril That Is The Internet, I told the family members using it to not open strange attachments or click on weird things. So far so good. The WiFi router has a firewall with Stateful Packet Inspection, so that helps a bit.

In other words, for a more relaxing lifestyle, avoid Symantec.

PS: The laptop is also working reasonably well since I spent those several hours uninstalling and reinstalling NIS'07.

2008-01-01

Happy New Year

Yay! We're back on Page 1 of Google. Never been higher at position 8.

Also, we've now got 8 Diggs. Thanks everyone.

01 January 2008: #8 on Google, 8 Diggs. Year of the 8.

8 is a very auspicious number. Kong hey fat choi.

First 'Symantec Sucks' poll is now closed

Happy New Year.

The first 'Symantec Sucks' poll is now closed.

Results


Their products are great: 65 votes (22%)
Their products are okay: 13 votes ( 4%)
Their products have some problems: 14 votes ( 4%)
They're terrible - run away: 194 votes (67%)

Total number of voters: 286

The results seem to indicate that only a small fraction of people taking the poll are satisfied with Symantec products. More than two-thirds recommend 'running away' from Symantec products.

Thanks to everyone for participating!

2007-12-28

60 posts to Symantec-Sucks.blogspot.com

Will it ever end?

What's the difference between these two screen captures?

About one-and-a-half minutes !!!!!!!!!!

"...complete."

"...complete."

Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha...

Installation "complete".

Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, take a screen capture, crop it and edit it for clarity, waiting, take another screen capture, etc...

What the hell is Symantec doing in that one-and-a-half minutes? Is is secretly computing additional digits of Pi? What could it possibly be doing? The installation is complete, so what the hell is it doing for the following 90-odd seconds?

One of the great mysteries of life... The Way Of The Symantec.

2007-12-27

Freeware alternatives

Link= NoNags - has four anti-virus packages listed

Link= Avast - seems to be highly rated

Link= Pricelessware - also has four listed including AVG

Disclaimer - I can't recommend any of these because I haven't yet tried any. However, for my full and detailed review of Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2007, please see below...

New poll on Symantec-Sucks blog...

"What is the WORST thing about Symantec software?"

You can choose multiple answers at once.

Poll closes end of March 2008.

Now available on Feedburner...

The Symantec-Sucks blog is now available on Feedburner.

There are more than 50 posts covering various bugs and software issues with Symantec Norton Internet Security 2007. It seems like the Feedburner doesn't go that far back in time. So if you would like to see the entire blog from the beginning then you may have to visit the original Blogspot link.

Link= Symantec Sucks blog

Only four days left to take the poll.

2007-12-23

So slooooooooooowwww....

I just clicked on Run LiveUpdate on my laptop.

It took about 30 seconds (and I'm trying to be accurate) for the LiveUpdate window to appear. What the hell was it doing for 30 seconds?

It found "Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions, 33.0 KB" and "Total Download 33.0 KB". The download itself took just about one second, but then it wandered off for more than a minute to install 33KB.

What the hell is it doing in its little diminutive brain?

Maybe Symantec is participating in the Folding At Home protein folding project? Using our computers? Well - either that, or they're idiots.

Sailed right past 50 posts...

Whoosh. We went from 35 posts to 51 posts so quick that I didn't even mark the occasion.

PS: We're back on Page 1 of Google again.

PS2: Speaking of Google, my total AdSense revenue is $1.64. In total. From all my various blogs. What does Google do with all the money that they have on account?

We've got seven (7) Diggs!


Fabulous!

Thank you to everyone that has 'Digged' this blog.

Link= If you're a Digger, then Digg It here.

FIVE Symantec problems in one morning

...On my laptop. Plus the unresponsive icon from last night.

In contrast my desktop PC (with all Symantec products removed) is working better than it has for years. It is much more responsive. It grinds away mysteriously much less. The Internet is even noticeably faster.

I'll go have a look at AVG (free, smaller performance footprint) for the desktop later.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Except Symantec - they're turkeys, so they can get stuffed.

You MUST reboot - NOW!

When you download updates to your operating system from Microsoft, no matter what sort of updates they are, you can always dismiss the reboot dialog box, continue working, and reboot later.

REBOOT NOW!!!!

With Symantec, even if you click on the red X close window button, your PC will immediately reboot. This behaviour is different than Microsoft and is obviously unnecessary.

I mean if Microsoft can update THE OPERATING SYSTEM with a reboot whenever you get a chance, then Symantec should be able to provide the same sort of approach.

But when you hire 3rd rate programmers, and have management that just don't care, then this is the sort of result that you'd have to expect.

46 files downloaded JUST TO CHECK for updates

What idiot would design such an update system? They have to download 46 individual files in order to check for updates. Just to check; not to actually update.

46 catalog files

Any normal (intelligent) programmer that can spell the word algorithm (and not confuse it with the ex-VP) should be able to design an update system that is much more efficient.

Zero percent = One Hundred percent

All the quality control of a train wreck...

0% done

What is the point?

After Automatic LiveUpdate grinds away in the background for almost ten minutes, it finally stops. So I bring up the Norton Protection Center and some of the indicators show that some files are still not up to date. So I run LiveUpdate manually and it finds a whack of things that are not up to date.



So what the hell has it being doing for the past ten minutes?

With high speed Internet it only takes a few minutes to download everything, but it has been cranking away in the background for ten minutes. What the hell is it doing?

Is it spying on me? Is it sending all my files to some secret underground lair? I'm just asking... I mean, it obviously hasn't been running LiveUpdate to any worthwhile effect, so what the hell has it been doing?

Still not paying any attention to the humans...

This morning I turn on my laptop, and I can see that there is some background activity. So (suspecting the usual culprit), I click on Run LiveUpdate to see if it is already running in the background in spite of me specifically and deliberately turning it off.



Set to manual only (Automatic OFF). It ignores me.

When I see a news story about someone that just went right over the edge, I wonder... ...maybe they have Symantec products on their PC.

Norton Protection Center won't open

I click on the Symantec icon, but it won't open.
I right-click and then click on Open Norton Protection Center, and it still won't open.
I dig through the Start Menu and click on it there, and it still won't open.

For no apparent reason, it won't open.

I have to reboot to wake it up.

2007-12-20

Symantec Removal Tool - more crap...

After uninstalling NIS'07 from my desktop using the very latest version of their official Symantec Removal Tool, I ran CCleaner to make sure that the registry was all cleaned up. It found EIGHTY (80) remnants and errors. 80! I've never seen that high a number before. Most software uninstallations leave a few or perhaps a dozen, but 80? Geesh.

Poll snapshot - 11 days to go...

Damn, we've slipped onto Page 2

This blog has slipped onto Page 2 of Google.

At least it is right at the top of Page 2.

Update: Back on Page 1 again.

It's gone...

So I carefully plug in my LinkSys USB Network Adapter and see what happens...

It works.

Everything works.

Turn on the Windows firewall...

Hello, still works.

Network doesn't drop out.

Wow.

Go Away part 2...

Okay, the first deSymantecing didn't go so well. Apparently their Uninstall routines aren't exactly written by coding experts.

But, I have a Plan B already in mind. Using another computer (my laptop, everyone using Symantec products really should have a spare PC on standby), I downloaded the Symantec Removal Tool from their website. I moved the file across from the laptop to the desktop using a USB memory stick.

Clicky-clicky and off it goes. At one point it makes me type in some graphical letters to make sure that I'm a human. One can't be too careful...

A little while and a reboot later, Symantec Notron Internet Security 2007 is apparently gone.

To be continued...

Go Away NIS'07!

Today is the day. I'm off for Xmas holidays for 17 days in a row. This should be just about enough time to get the desktop back in shape.

Tonight I slipped the NIS'07 CD into the drive and (after waiting) clicked Uninstall. After thrashing and threatening and generally carrying on, it eventually locked-up solid about 1cm into the 10cm long progress bar. Seized up solid.

To make sure, I put the cursor on the progress bar to mark its position, and then went away to have dinner. I came back, no progress.

Hard reboot. Crash and burn. One sick puppy.

To be continued...

2007-12-19

Desktop fading away...

My old reliable desktop is slowly sinking under a rising tide of Symantec problems.

It locks up. I do a hard reboot. It runs a Check Disk and typically finds about a dozen corrupted Symantec files. Nothing but Symantec files.

I'm going to have to set aside a day during my Xmas vacation to uninstall Symantec, repair XP, and then try a fresh install of NIS 07.

Then of course, I'll have to download 137 Gajillion bytes of Symantec updates (which undoubtedly will involve about 900 reboots).

Better make that TWO days...

2007-12-17

Back on Page 1 of Google

Looky, we're back on the front page of Google...

Link= Symantec Sucks

Right at the bottom, number 10 (...of about 211,000...)

2007-12-10

Post # 35. Please make it stop...

Will I still be finding more bugs, like, forever?

Enough to reach 50 posts? 100 posts? 1000 posts?

Will it ever end?

0% Downloaded, but we'll install it anyway...

Math is so hard!

2007-11-21

Dial-up versus High Speed

Within the past few days, we finally got high speed Internet access. Instead of dial-up access at maybe 33kbps, we can now access the Internet via a cell-phone EV-DO data network at about 1Mbps. The reason we got high speed now is that the EV-DO carriers just started offering an affordable (well, barely affordable) unlimited plan.

Anyway, the relationship to this blog is the following:

With a high speed Internet connection, you don't really have as much time to notice some of the Symantec errors. The errors are still there, but you might not notice as many. This might explain why some people think that there's nothing wrong with Symantec software (high speed access combined with them overlooking the remaining can't-miss defects).

So I would recommend to Symantec (if they're reading along with the rest of us), that perhaps they should have at least some of the QA personal (assuming that they have any at all) test their products using only a slow dial-up connection. They'd need people with something called 'attention to detail'.

And I'd reiterate that Symantec software is a really bad choice for dial-up users (and is poor quality software no matter what speed access you have).

It's important to note that 'dial-up versus high speed' is quite often not simply a financial decision. It is often a case that there is no other reasonable choice than dial-up. There are many neighbourhoods where DSL, Cable and WiMax simply do not reach.

2007-11-18

Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid...

A message suddenly appeared on the screen.

"8/11/2007" ??

It says "Your last protection update occurred on 8/11/2007".

Huh? I'm pretty sure I ran LiveUpdate within the last couple of days...

So I checked.

"16/11/2007" ??

Yep, two days ago (16/11/2007).

Obviously Symantec hires the stoopidest programmers in the world. They're just idiots. There's no excuse for these sorts of elementary mistakes.

And these are just the self-evident errors. How many of the unexplained little day-to-day glitches are they also responsible for?

2007-11-13

Item 4 update

It looks like they've (finally) updated their Vista FAQ.

2007-11-11

Subscription note...

Once I had activated this new installation on my laptop, the subscription counter started with 327 days. Interesting...

Item 19: (Re)Installing NIS '07 on my laptop

My laptop came with a 90-day free trial (trial by fire) of Norton Internet Security 2007. The 90 days had expired recently. My retail copy of NIS '07 (as used on my desktop) allows installation on three systems. So I'm all set.

I thought that I might be able to simply punch in the replacement product key, but the screen where this happens is expecting four digits per group (the key on the CD sleeve is five digits per group). In other words, you can't simply punch in the new key. So I had to do a fresh installation.

I did the fresh installation at a location that had a wireless hot-spot (not at home using dial-up). The installation went smoothly, but...

IT TOOK ABOUT ONE AND ONE-HALF HOURS (not including the scans).

The actual installation ground away for more than 30 minutes. Then I had to run LiveUpdate about EIGHT TIMES (often including a restart) before it finally reported that it was up-to-date. I don't know exactly how much it downloaded, but the first was more than 26MB, and there were others that were 9MB. If I had to guess, it downloaded almost 50 MB of updates.

Remember, the trial version of exactly the same software was already up-to-date when I started the new installation. The installation routine wasn't smart enough to preserve the data files. It isn't a failure, but you'd think that they might actually plan the product so that the real-world application would be more efficient.

The installation time is incredible. The amount of downloaded updates is incredible. Even with high speed Internet, it is still a huge exercise.

If I had attempted this from home (using dial-up) it would have taken days...

Not a good product.

2007-11-09

2007-10-23

Item 18: So many errors on one small window...

How many errors per square foot?

SELF-EVIDENT ERRORS:
1) The Trusted Application List has already finished downloading. The Status should be 'Done', not '1506.0 KB'.
2) Why did it pause for about 10 seconds with only '1 bytes' remaining? And if they're going to make these sorts of stupid errors, they might as well spell it properly ('byte', singular).
3) Norton Confidential: 745.3 KB - 672.0 KB = '1 bytes'? Really weird math.
4) The 'Getting update...' counter indicates that 257.4KB remains (5990.1 - 5732.7). This matches neither the Status column (in any combination), nor the 'Norton Confidential' (green bar) numbers. None of them match, nor do they make any sense.

That's a lot of borked-up numbers on such a small window. And these examples weren't even the oh-so-complicated business of having more than one download per category (as previously reported).

And these are in addition to the 10 MB -> 5 MB issue for the same download (reported earlier today).

It's all so very very stoopid.

Today's subscription counter (including reboot)

Hmmmm....

It didn't even decrement one day.

And I even rebooted.

Weird.

Who are their programmers?

Has Symantec out-sourced the actual day-to-day programming to some off-shore outfit that hasn't got a clue? Or are the making these dumb-ass mistakes themselves?

Some of these errors and mistakes are so blatantly obvious that you need to question the brain-power of the people involved in their production. Honestly, anyone with even half a brain should be able to spot these sorts of obvious errors.

If Symantec were in charge of the USA Space Program, you could probably stroll from Florida to Africa walking on nothing but heaping piles of twisted and smoldering aluminum. The Atlantic Ocean would be filled in.

Item 17: Have they ever heard of a Download Manager

I mean, a download manager that actually works?

Wussy programmers.

How about: "Click here to reconnect and continue."

But no, that would be oh-so complicated.

Of course, most other software packages do exactly that.

Item 16: Download filesize = random numbers

I manually run LiveUpdate. After it downloads 47 library files (I'm not kidding, 47 files) it tells me I need to download about 10MB of updates. Fine, so I click Next and it almost instantly changes its diminutive little mind and now tells me that the 10MB is actually 5MB.

Why are they so stupid?

The only thing separating the two screen captures shown above is clicking [Next] and a few seconds.

I really dislike Stupid and with Symantec it's like you're up to your ears in Stupid.

They should be called 'Stupidmantec'.

2007-10-21

Item 15: LUSetUp = useless

A newer versions of LiveUpdate exists on your system. No changes were made to the system.

Ah, okay... So exactly what is the point of offering this 3MB program on your file server? Is it in case someone washes up on a beach somewhere clutching their very out-of-date laptop? It's useless to 99.99% of the user population - right?

Item 14: LUCallBackProxy multiple instances plugging up the Internet connection

My system's access to the Internet has been impeded by something. So I monitored the running processes during these delays and discovered three or four instances of LUCallBackProxy taking most of the resources.

LUCallBackProxy. In case you haven't guessed, the LU stands-for LiveUpdate.

Surprise, surprise - Symantec strikes again.

Why they feel the need to spawn three or four instances is beyond me.

Geesh - they suck so bad...

Item 13: Their FTP server sucks too...

So I surfed around on the Internet, and one wag suggested downloading their LiveUpdate set-up utility (LUSetup.exe). Sounds like an interesting suggestion. So I follow the link and start to download the 3 MB file.

Part way through, this is what happened:

Gag...

These idiots can't even run a file server.

I'll try again...