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The Software Hall of Shame!


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#26 OFFLINE   Paul Thornett

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:27 PM

Microsoft Excel is surely an obvious inclusion into The Software Hall of Shame. Quite apart from the wealth of wrong answers it can be persuaded to yield, its interface is hideous. If you have Excel running but not active, then it requires 2 clicks to, say, scroll down since the 1st click gets swallowed. The Cascade Windows command is buried one level lower than the standard approach. I could go on all day. It's awful!

#27 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:35 PM

Some quick replies:

Quote

Kazaa + other file sharing: a necessary evil thats is almost a necessity for high speed users  i just use it real quick, and disconnect, and then disconnect again from taskbar
Try Shareaza. Interface isn't as good, doesn't use the same network -- but no annoying B.S. adware or spyware. I've turned several people onto it and they all like it. Including my 11-year-old.

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Windows
Now, now. I said applications, not OSes. But I *knew* someone would say that. And I would have to agree on Windows 98. Before you give up on Windows, though, you should try XP.About Paint Shop Pro: We are all entitled to our opinions. And majority will rule here. I don't get extra votes or anything. If everyone agrees PSP belons OFF the Hall of Shame list, then we'll take it off.Outlook Express though: I'll fight this on to the death.Outlook: I'm not a fan, but personally I could be argued out it.I would vote in favor of putting Quicken on the list. I've hated the program for years. Although Cyndy loves it.Just some of my thoughts.-- Scot
Scot Finnie, Editor in Chief, Computerworld; Figure Head, Scot's Newsletter

#28 OFFLINE   Frank

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:56 PM

Hey Scott--How come you don't like Windows Media Player?  I've been using it for about about 2 or 3 weeks now.  I use it to copy some of my music CDs on it and it seems OK to me.   But, I've got to admit that it's the only thing I've used for that--so maybe there's better stuff out there..  I'm sure you know more about it than I do, so I'm going to assume that there is a problem with it since you don't like it.  What else would you suggest to use that would be better.  I have XP Home edition with a cable connection to the internet. My processor speed is 1.8GHz.  I have 256MB of RAM and a 60Gig hard-drive. Anybody else out there, feel free to put in your two cents worth.  Thanks.Frank

#29 OFFLINE   gengar56

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:14 PM

windows messenger comes with windows xp on millions of computers, bugs you and is often exploited to show popup ads.gator and precision time and date manager (site: http://www.precision-time.com/ ) many people have this junk installed on their systems without knowing it. gator popups and activex-type installs are on many sites. "GAIN helps keep many popular software applications and services free in exchange for delivering ads, information, and software based on the Web sites you view." can anyone say privacy (or lack thereof)?windows media player is a brainwasher. it markets microsoft's sites and proprietary windows formats. sometimes it will also steal file associations from other programs. also its functions are limited and it abuses microsoft's monopoly because it is installed on millions of computers that use windows.

#30 OFFLINE   DaKat

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:23 PM

Here is another vote for removing PSP from the list, Scot.  While I'm not too sure yet that I like the changes in PSP8,  I've used the program for years and have always been amazed at the versatility and bang for your buck!  B)

#31 OFFLINE   allshebe

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:36 PM

I'll add my vote for (against?) Windows Messenger. Anything that keeps opening any time you open an MS Office product and can't be uninstalled without a hack WILL NOT find a happy home on my computer. In general, I find all current versions of instant messenger poorly behaved and annoying and do not use any (Used to use ICQ, but it has gotten too bloated and too many security issues have been found in it). (Messenger has been exiled from my computer)I would add Office XP to the list. MS wants to charge me an exhorbitant amount without adding a single useful feature that I can't find a cheaper and/or better version of someplace else. I tried it - I'm back to Office 2000 - does everything I need

#32 OFFLINE   intedeco

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:39 PM

Hi,I have to agree that PSP should be taken out of the list.  I have used PSP since 5.0 and like it very much.  Though I do not use many of the functions, the background eraser and the auto script functions in 8.0 will be very helpful.I suggest that Drive Image 2002 should be added to the list. DI2002 is supposed to have support for XP and NTFS partitions.  However, as I have found after disastrous results with backup and restore it does not work as advertised.  Just read any thread on the topic.  They even charge for tech support and still will not make it work.Regardsintedeco

#33 OFFLINE   joshgard

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:49 PM

Scot,I would like to add Roxio's Easy CD Creator version 5 and Adaptec's version 4 to the hate list.  I've used the popular CD-burning program since version 3 came out many years ago.  I haven't yet had a chance to look at version 6, as Roxio doesn't have any sort of trial, but I must say that burning a CD with Roxio is not an intuitive task, and I consider myself an experienced Windows user.  Also to add to the hate list, is McAfee Virus Scan.  It has become so full of various bloatware, such as personal firewall, ad blocker, internet speed up, etc.  Even Norton AntiVirus comes with various other utility applets, although you at least have the option to not install them.  I actually use Symantec AntiVirus 8.0 Corporate Edition and have never had any problems with background scanning slowdowns, and since it's designed for a corporate environment, it doesn't contain any of the bloatware.   B)  Can I nominate Windows Update as well?  :rolleyes: Josh

#34 OFFLINE   cybernut

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:54 PM

I guess I'll add my voice to the chorus questioning the inclusion of Paint Shop Pro.  I've used the program for years, but never often enough to feel I know what I'm doing.  But that's my fault more than PSP's.  People I know who have spent more time with PSP find it a capable program and a lot easier to use than Photoshop, and a lot less expensive, too.  I'd like to see it removed from the Hall of Shame list.  It surely doesn't belong with the likes of RealPlayer and KaZaa.I was also surprised to see BlackIce on the list.  Why is it there?  I mean, you may prefer Zone Alarm, but does that mean that ZA's competitors go in the Hall of Shame?  Or is there something I don't know about BlackIce?If we're merely talking about programs we don't like, I'd nominate Microsoft Word (I still prefer WordPerfect), InfoLink (which hasn't been updated in about four years, though I still don't know a better link checker), SurfSaver (you have to buy the Pro version to have it work with Netscape, but it won't work with anything past Netscape 4), and Microsoft Internet Explorer (the combination of market domination through Windows coupled with proprietary, non-standard code has made life **** for other browsers and for web designers).There probably are others, but those are the ones I can think of offhand.Cybernut

#35 OFFLINE   basx

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:58 PM

Hi all:I have a long list of pet peeves However I can limit mine to the following foam at the mouth complaints1) New versions of software that turn you into a perpetual newbie. If I've used the same program for years don't make me relearn the program2) Software that  can't be customized very easily or is limted 3) Help files and user manual that suck because they're so uniformative3b) the inability for the user to write his own help notes that can be appended to the regular help files. Better yet that these notes can be exchanged with other users4) incomprehensible error messages. What do I care about core dumps? Tell me what went wrong and if the problem can be resolved5) Programs that overwrite crucial DLL files like MFC42 and then destablize your system6) Software licences that tell me that what I bought I don't own it and then invoke all sorts of restrictions to what I can do with it.7) Upgrades or fix its that don't describe what they fix or update8) Software that steals file extensions. Gee is it so hard to share?9) icons that get added to the system tray without your permission and are impossible to remove (Iomega's 1 step back up)10) Installs that dump files all over the place and you can't track them down; uninstall that don't erase the program from the computer.xavier

#36 OFFLINE   halppo

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:05 PM

I would pull Outlook Express and PSP off the list and add Outlook. Still using PSP v6.0 so may be the wrong guy to comment. It does everything I have asked, well! Outlook Express has always been one of the easiest mail clients to configure with a full ability to adjust where you have to, like server ports. I walk a lot of customers through a setup with never a miss. I also recommend and use a GOOD hardware firewall and a virus scanner that checks incoming and outgoing email messages and have never had a problem. Have seen a lot of contaminated email, but all were trashed before I was. All that said I use Eudora v5.2.

#37 OFFLINE   blitzer99

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:07 PM

My comments, for what they're worth.Paint Shop Pro 7.0:  Terrible, impossible to use interface.  I threw it away.  I haven't yet tried version 8 because of my bad experience with version 7.  I find it hard to believe that anything as terrible as version 7 could be substantially improved in version 8.  Hopefully I'm wrong.Gator:  Invasive.  A definite contender for the hall of shame.Windows XP:  A definite thumbs down because of product activation.  With this single feature Microsoft has done more to promote the use of Linux than any other software producer in history!

#38 OFFLINE   cybernut

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:24 PM

joshgard, on May 27 2003, 08:49 PM, said:

Can I nominate Windows Update as well?  :rolleyes:
Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten Windows Update!!  Arrgh.  That goes right at the top of my list.Two others I'd like to add are  Stomp's BackUp MyPC and Symantec's Norton Systemworks.   BackUp MyPC was supposed to be easy enough to make me want to use it.  Hah!   And as for Norton Systemworks, it keeps getting slower and more bloated, and to add insult to injury Symantec is pulling the plug on software after just a few years, forcing you to buy the newer, more bloated versions.  Their customer service is very disappointing, responding to problems with canned messages that don't address the problem.  Symantec belongs on the Hall of Shame list, I think, even though their Anti-Virus software is very good.Cybernut

#39 OFFLINE   nlinecomputers

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:35 PM

Cyber,I think all Norton <fill in blank> software is bloated crap.  But what is your problem with Stomp Backup MYPC?  It is easy to use the only complaint I have with it is the software doesn't format tapes or CD-RW/DVD-RW during the backup.  You got to format taps/disks before hand.  Other than that it is great.
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How to kill a programmer:  Give him a shampoo bottle.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

#40 OFFLINE   Frank

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:45 PM

I'll add my vote for AOL.  The main thing I hate about it is that it wants to take over your computer.  Instead of naming it "AOL" I think it should be called "SOL".  I won't say what the "S" stands for because Scot doesn't want us to use any bad words on the forum.  :rolleyes: Frank

#41 OFFLINE   RabidWolf

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:55 PM

First Nominees to the Software Hall of ShameThis can be a very controversial and subjective topic. So I'm nominating some to get the ball rolling:RealNetworks RealPlayer and RealOneMicrosoft Windows Media PlayerMicrosoft Outlook ExpressMicrosoft OutlookMicrosoft MSNAmerica OnlineLotus NotesJasc Paint Shop ProISS BlackICESharman Networks KaZaAStreamCast Networks Morpheus---------------------------------------------OK,I also don't understand the PSP thing. But then I still use CorelDraw and perhaps thats why I have never liked the whole Adobe interface. (Illustrator,  and GoLive included)Having used Outlook2000/xp (ok, 98, too), I HATE it. But I can't find anything better, really. It's free with Office and they use it work, and it does a lot, albeit horribly. I'm sure you would find most folks want something better but that works more or less the same as what they started using. PSP/Outlook or Adobe/Eudora. Word vs. WordPerfect. ****, I miss AmiPro before Lotus bought em! Rotten Crap list includes:RealPlayer -  I won't go to a site that needs it. And I tell them that, when they let me.I wouldn't even mention AOL/MSN other than that they prey on the weak.RW

#42 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:37 PM

cybernut, on May 27 2003, 08:54 PM, said:

I guess I'll add my voice to the chorus questioning the inclusion of Paint Shop Pro.  I've used the program for years, but never often enough to feel I know what I'm doing.  But that's my fault more than PSP's.  People I know who have spent more time with PSP find it a capable program and a lot easier to use than Photoshop, and a lot less expensive, too.  I'd like to see it removed from the Hall of Shame list.  It surely doesn't belong with the likes of RealPlayer and KaZaa.I was also surprised to see BlackIce on the list.  Why is it there?  I mean, you may prefer Zone Alarm, but does that mean that ZA's competitors go in the Hall of Shame?  Or is there something I don't know about BlackIce?(snip)Cybernut
If you research the software firewalls issue going back over a couple of years, you will see only a few at the top, including Zone Alarm, Sygate, and Tiny. There are no doubt a couple more good ones too. BlackIce took a big hit because it was not providing any real protection against _outgoing_ mischief and mayhem, and it has become an expected norm that firewalls block phone-home spyware as well as all the incoming port probes. Do a little reading on Steve Gibson's site:http://grc.comThe navigation there can be a little confusing since the site got  updated, but you can find the relevant discussion as to why Steve has a problem with Blackice on the following two pages: http://grc.com/su-firewalls.htmhttp://grc.com/lt/leaktest.htmThe last page spells it out clearly- Blackice failed to stop questionable outbound traffic and they did not fix the problem apparently, even after suffering the embarrassment of public exposure, but rather they simply tried to conceal it. This has probably earned them a well-deserved inclusion in the 'shame' list. As near as I can tell, their few supporters are folks with an emotional investment  in them, having shelled out bucks for a firewall that proved to be not so reliable after all. It is hard to admit making a mistake.

#43 OFFLINE   pgirl

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:41 PM

I've been getting the Scot's newsletter for a while now and I've never registered to post in the forums because until now nothing inspired me to prose:But software.. sheesh...PSP inMessenger outICQ outMy vote for worst software?  Visnetic ANYTHING.Try installing their firewall software.  Someone must have got intuitive mixed up with obfuscated.Their antivirus is incompatible with .... actually... it's just incompatible.Just my humble opinion.

#44 OFFLINE   scorpio

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:57 PM

I have to agree that PSP has become more disappointing with the last two versions especially. The UI is just ugly. And it got worse with version 8 with the attempt to be XP-like. The "learning center" just looks cheap. They seem to try to be PS-esque but never quite pull it off. Look at the UI for Elements, it just looks cleaner and more professional. PSP has a lot of good feaures but the UI really interferes  in the interaction with the software.

#45 OFFLINE   epp_b

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 12:54 AM

Yes, I definatlely seen some pretty bad apps:-Comet CursorBringer of doom to your computer, loading it with a bunch of useless cursor crap that just looks plain dumb ;) -Windows Backup UtilitiyPiece of junk that completely changes the structure and form of the files you're attempting to back up.-Windows Degrag and ScandiskHave anything running in the background, and it will die.-Adobe IllistratorVery frusterating after using such an intuitive competitor: CorelDraw (9).  Illistrator is not intuitive at all, and the controls are always 10 clicks away for what you want to do (when they should be 1 or 2).-Logitech Mouseware and iTouch version 2 & upI absolutely hate those butt-ugly bright yellow letters flashing on my screen every time I use the keyboard locks.  Not only that, but this software causes blue screens (gaaaahhh!)And now, for some renomiations:-KaZaADefinately a bad one.  Installs malicious spyware (such as MediaLoads, SaveNow, etc...)  Good way to mess up your OS.  No-one needs KaZaA, and lets face it - no one uses it for downloading RPMs for Redhat - it's all for illegal file sharing of music, movies, etc.-MSN MessengerOne of the reasons I strongly dislike Windows XP.  Forces you to have MSN Messenger, which is a terrible piece of software that causes enough problems to give you a migrane.In a general field of software, it really makes me cringe when some no-name website wants me to download some no-name media player.  Just use the standard -- Quicktime, Windows Media, or RealPlayer.

#46 OFFLINE   ibe98765

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 01:14 AM

1. Anything Symantec makes - Have you ever looked in the registry to try and trace the keys that, say, Norton AV installs?  Over 500 of them!  Support is awful with the only recommendation apparently being "uninstall and reinstall".  And if you do uninstall Norton AV, you'll find that there are still hundreds of keys from Symantec left in the registry.2. Anything from Powerquest - Their software is expensive and their support is useless.  Consider Paragon Hard Disk Manager instead.  For $60, you get what would cost hundreds of dollars from Powerquest.3. Intuit - I've used Quicken since 1995.  Every year I have paid the upgrade ($50-75) for the Home & Business Deluxe version.  But they went over the line with the 2003 version.  They radically revised the UI so that there were ads for Quicken services and partners everywhere you turned.  Seems they spent most of the year working on eye-candy instead of substantive updates.  After one day, I uninstalled the 2003 version and returned it.  Also, their support, like most any other big company is worthless.  They won't even talk to you without a credit card number.  It is very difficult to get into one of their chat sessions and they still don't offer a web forum or email for support (apparently, they don't want others see what the problems are). 4. MS Money - The Microsoft turkeys claim that they can easily convert a Quicken data file to Money format.  Not true!  I tried.  They said that they could only convert SIMPLE files, not my 8 years of financial data.  I tried to convert separate accounts on their recommendation and it failed miserably.  Worst of all, Money DOESN"T produce any log files from the conversion process - so no one can identify WHY a conversion failed.  And of course, without knowing why a conversion failed, there isn't any way to fix the problem in subsequent releases. Once you commit to particular financial software, you are probably stuck with it forever.5. Microsoft - It's criminal how they can sell a "suite" of products, such as Office, and each product has a different command structure and different options.

#47 OFFLINE   arekyyz

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 01:19 AM

I've got to add my voice to take off PSP of this list, Scot.  I have used this application since 1995 and although the interface in version 7 was nothing to cheer about, it's still a D*** good program with great features at quite an amazing price (compared to Photoshop, at least).  By the way, version 8 is quite impressive so take a look at it if you haven't already.Arek

#48 OFFLINE   optimized

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 01:45 AM

Hi all!  This is my first post to these forums, although I've been reading Scot's newsletter for quite a while.  This "Hall of Shame" topic has finally prompted me to pipe up.  Here are some thoughts....First of all, the single biggest reason I decided to register and opine on this topic is that (like many others here) I can't fathom how Paint Shop Pro managed to get on the list!  IMHO this program should be ensconced in velvet and placed on a gilded pedestal for providing so many features at such a reasonable price (compared to the likes of Adobe's offerings).  Grousing about the fact that it's not free (as Scot mentioned in an earlier post to this thread) is IMO sort of shortsighted when you're talking about a commercial software product written by professional programmers.  This isn't an open source Linux project we're talking about here, after all.   ;)   While there may be some (less feature-rich) programs easier to use, I think PSP offers a great deal of power to the user (much of what Photoshop offers) at a price that puts the folks at Adobe to shame.  Granted, it may not have all of the features Photoshop has, but how many of us really need all that stuff anyway?In the interest of disclosure, I am currently using PSP6 so perhaps I'm still in the dark about the interface issues Scot's talking about, but having been confronted with Photoshop's array of function windows ringing the workspace it's difficult for me to believe that PSP comes close to that level of confusion.  However, during a recent fit of e-commerce compulsion I purchased PSP7 "Anniversary Edition" (with lots of nifty filters and plug-ins included) direct from JASC during a promotion period that included a free upgrade to PSP8.  I have both of those products now sitting here beside the computer (still in their retail boxes), and I'm just waiting for a convenient opportunity to install the latest editions and dig in.  I suppose my impression may change when that time comes but I'm optimistic that it will be a fun experience in the long run.   ;)   I'll be sure to amend my thoughts here if I'm proven wrong.Moving on to other candidates for the Hall of Shame...Real...anythingI'm certainly in agreement with placing just about any product with the word "Real" in the name high on the list.  Sometimes I'm amazed that a company that has seemingly abused the majority of their users so frequently is able to stay competitive.  It's one thing for Microsoft to do it (they have their monopoly position as their ace in the hole), but a media software company?  It's hard to believe sometimes.  Heck, my RealPlayer won't even work right half the time, typically freezing solid upon clicking webpage links and the like unless I specifically make the effort to fire it up first and paste the URL of the media directly into the address bar.  Pathetic...KazaaI guess I'm just joining the chorus here of folks who don't like the invasive nature of the spyware element in the software, but I'd like to add the ubiquity of "Kazaa-specific" virii/worms/trojans that seem to be increasingly common.  I used to use Napster back in the dark ages (I'm sort of perversely proud to say I was among the very first wave of users banned during the Metallica fiasco - and was back on the network within a day of being banned thanks to some resourceful registry hackers), but when it became apparent that its days were numbered I struck out looking for new options.  Mostly by luck I avoided Kazaa and AudioGalaxy and instead hit upon WinMX (www.winmx.com).  I haven't looked back since... OutlookI'm torn as to whether I think Outlook belongs on the list.  I agree that Microsoft's handling of security issues ranges from criminally negligent (allowing all manner of bugs to be exploited, not to mention their previous practice of allowing virtually any dynamic email format to wield far too much power...by design), to ham fisted (addressing the problem of malicious attachments in Outlook 2000 by setting up draconian restrictions on what attachments would be allowed through).  But, I've been using Outlook 2000 for a few years now and have actually grown pretty fond of it in many respects.  I still wish I could actually remove some of the features that I don't use (what do I need the "Journal" function for, anyway?), but I guess I've become accustomed to Redmond offerings providing features I don't want and can't remove.  Ultimately though, this one makes my list because I think a company with several BILLION dollars in CASH at their disposal should be able to do better than what they have.   AOLWhat can one say about AOL that hasn't been said before?  Yes, I admit that I started my time on the Internet with AOL back around '96 or so, but it became painfully evident to me pretty quickly that the "training wheels" approach to the Internet was not for me.  Since then they've managed to stay dominant in dial-up services, increased the amount of pop-up spam they throw at subscribers (who pay top-dollar to be subjected to the marketing blitzes), and still have the most ludicrously archaic mail management interface imaginable.  IMO, the only reason to use AOL is if you are extremely fond of overcrowded chat rooms full of children trying to meet members of the opposite sex for some vicarious naughty behavior.  I've been trying to convince my poor mother to drop AOL for years now, but still can't convince her that her life would actually be EASIER without it.GatorPerhaps the Heart of Evil in the online marketing segment.  Spookily invasive spyware and obnoxious Internet marketing all rolled into one.  The worst of both worlds, as it were.Windows MEOn the list because not only was it basically just a slightly "enhanced" version of Win98SE wrapped up and marketed as a "new" OS, but it represented a massive leap backward in stability.  What were those folks in Redmond smoking when they decided to release that dog?TurboTax, 2002 Filing EditionThe justice here is that Intuit's wildly invasive and overreaching authentication system came back to bite them in their butt, so they likely will not make the same mistake again (at least not for a while).  I'd used TurboTax for the past several years and always loved it, but H&R Block's "TaxCut" got my business this year.  And, you know what?  I didn't have any problems at all.  Intuit will have to try pretty hard to win me back next year....Microsoft IISSupposedly written for use in a "robust corporate environment," this mess might as well be called a "mission-critical condition" service.  This is the sort of software that gave the MCSE certification value in the marketplace.Anything requiring "Product Activation"I have spent thousands of dollars over the years on software of all types.  I don't like companies assuming I'm a thief and forcing me to jump through hoops to prove to them I'm an honest person.  Anyway, that's the list I've come up with thus far.  If I think of anything else, I'll be back.  :)-op

#49 OFFLINE   Glen8

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 02:05 AM

I vote with others here who request taking Paint Shop Pro off the "Hall of Shame".  It doesn't deserve to be there.   I've used the program for years, from version five through the current eight, and I love it.  And look at the price compared to Adobe Photoshop!  ;) And maybe I'm in the minority, but I quite like the latest Windows Media Player; and for putting music files onto my pocket pc I prefer the .wmp format over .mp3 as you can get smaller files with better quality.The one program on Scot's list I do vote for most heartily is Real Player/One; I hate its obtrusiveness and I'd get rid of it in a minute if I could.

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 02:29 AM

I don't know if this was covered but here goes.  Someone mentioned that had to use AOL messenger.  Have you tried trillian?  Its free and does aol, icq, msn, yahoo! and irc.  I've only come across 2 things it can't do that the full blown messengers can.  It can't do the cool reply feature that aol has (where you write out a funny reply and it fills in the name of the person trying to contact you).  It also can't use the whiteboard in msn.btw I totally agree with msn messenger, aol messenger and especially icq being on the list.  Man I miss the days when icq wasn't bloated and had no ads.




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