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
I'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...Kazaa
I 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... Outlook
I'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. AOL
What 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
Perhaps 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 ME
On 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 Edition
The 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 IIS
Supposedly 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.