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The Software Hall of Shame!

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cybernut
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.
I had high hopes for BackUp MyPC, but I found the instructions hard to follow--I couldn't figure out which sort of backup I wanted to do, nor how to re-do the backup at a later date. In desperation, I tried to do a one-button backup the next time, and after an endless amount of time, I was getting close to the end when an error message popped up on my screen informing me that there had been a "media flaw" or something like that, and nothing would be saved. Duh. And I deeply resent a company that charges money for its software and then won't provide free tech support after a couple of weeks. In Stomp's case, though, that policy is probably necessary, since so many people would be calling them!That's why I added BackUp MyPC to the list.Cybernut

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cybernut
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.<snip>Outlook Express though: I'll fight this on to the death.
Scot, I'm surprised that you're a fan of XP, given MS's policy of product activation. I'm currently still using Windows98 and am dreading the day when I have to replace my computer, since the new one will almost surely have XP. I've thought about Linux, but I'm too ****** dependent on a bunch of software programs that I LOVE that run only on Windows.I'm with you all the way on Outlook Express.Cybernut

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epp_b

Have a few more to add to the list:-Microsoft PWSWorst webserver EVER. I know it's only supposed to be for a personal intranet network. It worked for playing around with ASP a short while, but then crapped on me and wouldn't run ASP anymore. Piece of junk if you ask me. I also ended up formatting and starting from scratch, partially because of it. You want a good way to ensure you'll mess up your Windows OS? Try PWS...-Microsoft OfficeNow don't get me wrong, I like the software itself. What I don't like is that it is so atrociously over-priced! They want who-knows-how-many-hundreds-of-dollars for the MS Office suite! Stick that -- Open Office (a free alternative that is compatibile with MS Office file formats) works just fine for me.-Microsoft Help & Support Center (for Windows XP)I think what drives me most nuts about this is that it is so bloated and crowded to a point where it is somewhat complicated to use. What happend to the simple and easy-to-use CHM or HLP files? That, and, the "remote-control" feature (that can be used to have someone at another computer take complete control of your computer remotely, used for troubleshooting) poses a very frightening security risk.-IncredimailWay overdone e-mail client. I would venture to guess that it is even more vulnerable than Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail clients, becuase it is so extremely heavy on HTML mail.I would like to state that Norton software products are generally pretty good (Speeddisk and DiskDoctor beat the tar out of their Microsoft counterparts). Norton AV is also very good with keeping up-to-date (I find live-update to be not much of a hassle at all). However, perhaps they should stay on this list because they do leave the registry quite a mess if you ever decide to uninstall a Norton product. Some even remove keys that belong to other software (yikes!!!)

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Prelude76
I've thought about Linux, but I'm too ****** dependent on a bunch of software programs that I LOVE that run only on Windows.
scoot over to our "All Things Linux" and we'll convert you B) With WineX, CrossOverOffice and Win4Lin programs, more and more Windows Apps and Games can be made to run under Linux, and in the meantime while you;'re dual-booting and testing Linux out, you;ll fall in love with it and get hooked on the many fine Linux-Only applications out there.

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mr llanga

hi!wouldn't the solution to the media player problems be a media player that can read all media files?i don't need a sony tv to watch a sony film so why shoud i have to install realplayer to watch realplayer clips?or isn't this possable in the virtual world?

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Prelude76
hi!wouldn't the solution to the media player problems be a media player that can read all media files?i don't need a sony tv to watch a sony film so why shoud i have to install realplayer to watch realplayer clips?or isn't this possable in the virtual world?
i dont know of any way in Windows, but in Linux, by patching their videoplayer (called MPlayer) , you can get all Divx formats, Xvid, real player and quicktime playing on one platform.I wish there was a program that did every format in windows. it just makes sense.

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sea

Great topic. I too am a first time responder.I nominate:JV16 Power Tools. It's a very good program with an awful interface. I would say the same thing about the previously mentioned ZA. I love the software but the interface is not very functonal.McAfee Virus Scan. No redeaming social values.Microsoft Access. Functional but full of bloat and obscure and unexplained functions that interfear with or don't work with other functions. Not really ready for prime time.It's said before but I have to say again. All spyware, adware, and general scumware that install without notice or permission and intentionally make themselves very hard to remove. The trend is getting worse and it seems that every month brings new ways for bottom feeders to make computing more dificult.I second the nomination on Juno, Outlook, OE, Media Player, Quicken, AOL, Netscape, Kazaa, Comet cursor, Gator and IE.

Still the world is wonderious large....

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jalbino

I agree with all of the first nominees except one. I don't understand why you included Paint Shop Pro on the list. I've been a (paid-up) user of PSP going back to the days when it was shareware and distributed on 5-1/4 inch floppies. I recently upgraded to PSP 8, and I also am a registered user of Adobe Photoshop 7.Yes, PSP tends to change a few things around in each new version, but it is far easier to use for simple little tasks than just about anything out there with any kind of depth. It's my default image browser of choice for most image file formats.Although I use Photoshop for my heavy-duty professional-level photo editing (and often that's because of the HUGE third-party support in the way of filters and plug-ins, many of which don't work properly with PSP), PSP is my program of choice for quick-and-dirty image printing for non-critical work. So I'm really curious why it makes the first list of "shamful" software.But I DO belong to the opinion group that says, "Friends don't let friends use AOL, Outlook, or MSN." And I'm starting to build up a real hate for RealNetworks stuff.

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jalbino

I should have added in my post praising Paint Shop Pro, that I'd replace it on the "shameful" list with Quickbooks, and, to a lesser extent, Quicken.I was in the beta for the newest Quickbooks, and it *required* installation of IE6 -- wouldn't work with any other browser! Since I was testing (and using) it on a Win2K machine with a reasonably stable IE5.5 on it, and really didn't have any need or desire to put IE6 on that machine I complained pretty loudly.I pointed out to the Quickbooks team that a very large segment of the target market was of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" persuasion, that *requiring* IE6 very well might limit how well the new version would take off.The official response was, "Tough. IE6 or don't use (test) Quickbooks." And since Quickbooks pretty much requires a product upgrade in order to keep using Payroll features, I think that's pretty arrogant (does, "Let them eat cake?" apply?)With Quicken, every new version adds lots of features I either don't want, don't want to use, or find cumbersome compared to other ways of doing the task, and mostly ends up being just overhead. And they keep changing around the interface just enough so what you've learned to do in the past doesn't work in the present.

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teacher

jalbinoThat does it. I am ready to give up on ever upgrading anything I have that is Quicken. ... I can get by with my old version. I don't do much besides track my funds.I don't understand why everyone mentions Photoshop. I love the program. Yes it is big but I really use a lot of the details in it. Of course, I had to learn it because I ended up teaching it, but I find it easy to use and consistent with all the other Adobe products. If you want an easy to use progrram then go with the cheaper Elements program.

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nlinecomputers
Assuming that all companies will do this the M$ way.
of course they will. How many software companies jumped on the "lets name it 95 this or 98 that" bandwagon? about as many now rushing to have 'XP' in their name and having XP-like menus and buttons. basically if they copy MS with mundane details like naming method, they'll all follow MS down the Product Activation path.
They don't do PA to "copy" Microsoft. They do it to increase profit. If PA is going to cost them money then they will not do it. Look at the Intuit TurboTax issue. It hurt the bottom line so they are dropping this method. I expect a more XP like PA to return next year.
I wasn't aware the re-activation was so leniant.  See, i have a corp version because i felt MS doesnt need to know so much about me by sending whatever info it chooses over the internet to Microsoft servers.  Call me paradnoid, i just plain dont trust them.  B)
Most people arent't. I not a M$ shrill by any means. I think they are a monopoloy and need to be broke up. But that is going to happen. At the same time however alot of false and misleading information about PA is spread around by paranoid people that assume the worst. Or want to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt)about Microsoft.
But quite a few people were angry over at neowin.net, regularly posting messages that MS has banned their copy or refused to re-activate them.  maybe they lent their CD-KEY to classmates in school/college, maybe they didnt know any better.  or maybe some regularly update their computers faster than every 3 months.  But a lot of them say they are forced to re-buy their XP copies or switch to Linux or back to their old Win98 or ME.  and over time, say 2 or 3 years from now, i'm sure the folks needing new activations but not wanting to switch to Longhorn will have nothing but trouble re-registring.
Yeah I've read the same accounts you have. Personally I think it is all BS. This is the kind of crowd that is going to bootleg copies and try to run more then one copy. They lost there CD-KEY because they were stupid enough to hand out copies and post there keys on the net. DUH! Also alot of this crowd hates M$ and will spead FUD around just because it is** Though you DO have a point about when it will fail to be activated. M$ can pull the plug to force upgrades and that should worry you.
I got burned by "activation" DRM with Quicken, so i stayed away from 'legal' copies of XP.
Yep so did alot of folks. This DRM is too harsh. I personally can live with it. Not like it mind you but live with it if it works like XP.

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Prelude76
They don't do PA to "copy" Microsoft.  They do it to increase profit.  If PA is going to cost them money then they will not do it.  Look at the Intuit TurboTax issue.    It hurt the bottom line so they are dropping this method.  I expect a more XP like PA to return next year.
I think once a certain company gets near monopoly in their department, they;ll try going down PA road. Look at Norton. And about Quicken, they didnt abandon DRM, just gonna make it a bit less intrusive, like Microsofts' PA. So that total of 3 MAJOR players in the PA scheme by the end of the year, and if i were to bet, i'd say Adobe will be next to follow. its almost like anyone with near-monopoly is edging to go full PA. if you;re like me and want to fight it, the only way is to support non-DRM alternatives, such as Linux, Paint Shop Pro/Gimp, or some other money managers. Call it FUD if you want, but i think its rather scary how the Help & Support in XP connects to the net, and re-enables itself even after its disable in Services. i think theres lots of black helicopters flying in and out of redmond lately too. :D B)

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cybernut
Yeah I've read the same accounts you have. Personally I think it is all BS. This is the kind of crowd that is going to bootleg copies and try to run more then one copy. 
Well, this is another aspect of software policy that I strongly disagree with. If I buy a copy of program X, I think I should be entitled to put it on my computer at home, at work, and on my laptop, as long as only one computer is being used at any one time. I think it's ludicrous to buy three copies of a program when I'll never use more than one at a time.Cybernut

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nlinecomputers
I think once a certain company gets near monopoly in their department, they;ll try going down PA road.
This is so true. When your fighting for desktop space you can benefit from some piracy. Strange enough it gets your name out. PA schemes could have been done from the begining. With specialized applications this is often the case. Most custom applications use dongles or serial numbers or some kind of PA like system and have had for years. The big boys, the retail software, don't use it at least not a first.Because if everyone is using Word format docs then you will have to buy Word to use it too. Once they are the only player though the only way to increase profits is by forcing those who don't buy your product(but use it) to plunk down the cash. PA does that.I sit on the fence a bit here. I've found the people that b*tch about PA the most are often the ones most likely to pirate. I think that PA is intrusive and risky to my data. At the same time I think that software makers have a right to earn a buck and protect themselves from blatant theives. People compare software to music or books but IMO it is much more like hardware. It is IMPOSSIBLE for your car to drive down the road with out tires. So when you need tires you have to buy tires and install the tires for every car you own. It is IMPOSSIBLE for your computer to run without software. But because you can duplicate software you can install software on more then one computer. If we could duplicate tires, people would, then how would the company that invented the tires make money. Economic rules say that prices for tires would go up to make up for the lost tires by copying. So if they manage to stop "piracy" of tires with a copy protected tire then prices for tires would go down because they sell more tires.By that logic Microsoft owes me a refund or at least should lower the price of XP because they should be selling more copies. I'll take a check. B)

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mcubednyc
People compare software to music or books but IMO it is much more like hardware.  It is IMPOSSIBLE for your car to drive down the road with out tires.
But you can take the tires off one car and put them on another, at will, as many times as you like, without needing to call the tire manufacturer to ask permission. (Ideally, both cars belong to you.) Tires don't have "OEM" restrictions, nor do they require "product activation." Buy them once, and use them however you like. Resell them to someone else. Fill one with cement and use it to anchor a tetherball pole! :D The problem with product activation is that it seeks to limit, at the discretion of the manufacturer, the capabilities you would ordinarily enjoy. Why any consumer would happily consent to that is beyond me, though I've certainly consented to it unhappily in the case of Microsoft. At least I'm irritated enough finally to do something about it.--Michael

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Guest genaldar
I've thought about Linux, but I'm too ****** dependent on a bunch of software programs that I LOVE that run only on Windows.
scoot over to our "All Things Linux" and we'll convert you ;) With WineX, CrossOverOffice and Win4Lin programs, more and more Windows Apps and Games can be made to run under Linux, and in the meantime while you;'re dual-booting and testing Linux out, you;ll fall in love with it and get hooked on the many fine Linux-Only applications out there.
Why run windows programs in linux if you can run them in windows? I've never understand how "emulating" windows half way is a plus for linux.btw since someone mentioned open office.org (official name since open office is a registered trademark of a different company) I'll have to agree its good, but its not near ms office in functionality. It will work fine for most home users though. I've used it a little bit, but it felt clunky (in both linux and windows), it was also too close to star office (man I hate star office). Which makes sense since it was derived from star. It does stand shoulder to shoulder with ms works and apple works. But ms works is more compatable with ms office formats (oo.o is only about 85% compatable).I'd like to nominate Unreal Tournament 2k3 for the hall. It and every other game that takes up multiple gigs on your hard drive but still requires the cd to be in the drive when you start. Especially the games that check to make sure you have all of the cds upon installation, even cds that only contain "extras" (like disc 3 for ut2k3).

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cybernut
Why run windows programs in linux if you can run them in windows?  I've never understand how "emulating" windows half way is a plus for linux.
The point is to have the features offered by the Windows programs without all the liabilities (security vulnerabilities, program activiation, etc.) of running Windows. Unfortunately, I have two problems with this: one is that I have to be able to work on and/or share files with Windows users. If someone sends me a Word document and asks me to make revisions using "track changes," I can't use a Linux look-alike. If someone wants me to share my PowerPoint presentation, I don't think I can send them the Linux equivalent.Also, there are some programs that I suspect simply do not have their equal in Linux. Clipmate, Powermarks, and HyperSnap-DX come to mind. I use these programs many times a day and can't imagine being without them. Cybernut

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untergeek

Another vote against including Paint Shop Pro. I haven't installed PSP8 yet (it's sitting here in the box...), but PSP does what I need it to do.But I would include/agree with:1. RealOne, or whatever they name it next. I use an older version without all the "pay us money" pop-up verbiage added to it.2. MS Messenger or any instant messenging program. MSM in particular, though, because it comes preinstalled. It can be uninstalled, though.3. Easy CD Creator, which flat out sucks. I use Nero and have had far fewer problems.4. Any spyware.5. Symantec's GoBack. I actually prefer System Restore, sad to say. Neither one is any great shakes, but System Restore has saved me much grief a couple of times.And I'm another person who registered just to post on PSP.

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Cluttermagnet
Another vote against including Paint Shop Pro. I haven't installed PSP8 yet (it's sitting here in the box...), but PSP does what I need it to do.But I would include/agree with:(snip)5. Symantec's GoBack. I actually prefer System Restore, sad to say. Neither one is any great shakes, but System Restore has saved me much grief a couple of times.And I'm another person who registered just to post on PSP.
Looks like a lot of folks seem to like PSP just fine. I bet it all depends on whether or not you learned on Adobe Photoshop (I didn't), also which PSP version you run. Sounds like v7 was too much 'me too' and they ruined the GUI from v6 and before. I like both v5 and 6.I would like to hear what GoBack did to get on your list. I run Roxio's GoBack 3.0 here and have been perfectly happy with it. I have run it on two different P4 Win98SE machines and it has definitely saved my bacon on several occasions. I would not bother with GoBack on WinXP, however. That would be rather pointless and duplicative. During a Google search where I read about the software's transfer to Symantec, I spotted an advertising result at the top of the Google page. Some outfit was selling back copies of the Roxio v3 for just under 19 dollars with free shipping thrown in. Not bad! (searched on "symantec goback) Without going into great detail, I have found it reliable every time I needed it, and it is relatively unobtrusive, always running in the background only, and rarely very busy unless you do a lot of file-intensive work or have just freshly defragged. Letting it reserve (hog?) 10 percent of my HD was never a problem, as my drive is a 40G and has plenty of space I probably will never use. If you care to play with partitions, you can finely control where it resides on your drive, and even its storage area size by specifying a custom size.Drive imaging is no doubt better. Some folks use both, I hear, plus do a lot of frequent backups of important file groups. Also Test Run by BB is an interesting 'save your butt' utility that creates 'sacrificial' duplicate registries for you to experiment on, and if you destroy your registry with 'bad' software installs, you can revert back to a fresh, undamaged registry copy at any time. It's freeware. Not for newbies, but not too hard to learn. (Only for Win95/98, nothing later. Requires DOS access)

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Prelude76
Why run windows programs in linux if you can run them in windows?
simple answer: if you dont want to use Windows, yet you want one key program with no real Linux equivalent (i.e. Dreamweaver) to run in Linux.

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Prelude76

Welcome, Untergeek! its nice to see this overwhelming response to "save Paint Shop Pro" B) And good point, EasyCD Creator should be included in this list. It's probably responsible for billions of CD coasters littering our land fills. B)

1. RealOne, or whatever they name it next. I use an older version without all the "pay us money" pop-up verbiage added to it.
ThunderRiver suggested a great alternative: Real Alternative. It looks like older version of Media Player, plays Real clips and Quicktime, and has ZERO ads and privacy issues.http://www.softnews.ro/public/cat/11/2/1/1...11-2-1-49.shtml
2. MS Messenger or any instant messenging program. MSM in particular, though, because it comes preinstalled. It can be uninstalled, though.
I agree, ICQ, MSN and AOL belong here, but some IM like Trillian deserve a Hall of Fame for managing to talk to all clients in a much cleaner and non-intrusive format. But i think MSN is worst of all because of the "built-into-Windows" attitude.

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GolfProRM
I'd like to nominate Unreal Tournament 2k3 for the hall.  It and every other game that takes up multiple gigs on your hard drive but still requires the cd to be in the drive when you start.  Especially the games that check to make sure you have all of the cds upon installation, even cds that only contain "extras" (like disc 3 for ut2k3).
I'm with you here!! UT2k3 is a pain! Don't really care for the gameplay either... IMO, they took out everything that made UT great, and put in a bunch of crap! Even on my nice machine (Athlon Xp2000, 512Mb DDR PC2700, GeForce4 Ti4200, etc.) it still doesn't run very well... And the check install with all three CD's is stupid...Definitely worth a nomination! B)

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nucatlue

I would like to add - MS ActiveSync to the list. It may be only that I am first using it to connect to a Toshiba E335 but I have rarely had more problems with a piece of software. Palm's Hotsync software was much easier to use and never caused problems.

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RobertM
gengar56 wrote: windows messenger comes with windows xp on millions of computers, bugs you and is often exploited to show popup ads.
The "Messenger Service" popup ads (if you call some of them that...) you see are actually not related to Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger. They are a product of the Messenger service on XP that was meant for sending messages across networks--sort of like Winpopup in 9x but not with a whole dedicated program. But it didn't take long for spammers to figure out it could be abused. I like to keep mine on in case I get one that *is* from my (home) network, but I can stop them on a temporary basis by calling net.exe with paramaters "stop messenger," as in (Start | Run): net stop messenger. (Of course, you can also *permanently* disable the service if you want in Administrative Tools.)

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Wacky Packs

My 2 nominees:1. Apple Quicktime - People complain about Real and WMP. Personally, I've never had much difficulty with those apps. Now, Quicktime is another story. Conflicts with an older version, ugly/stupid interface, and I cringe everytime I try to install kids software that requires this garbage. About half the time, the program fails so I have actually lost money because of Apple.2. AVG - For some reason, some users like this program. Everybody claims it finds viruses that Norton cannot. Well, perhaps the reason is this program produces a significant amount of false positives. The last thing I need is some AV program deleting/moving files it shouldn't. Usually, I don't mind what other software applications others run. However, I am fed up with that D*** footer I see everywhere claiming that the email was scanned by AVG. I consider this no better than your typical spam and a waste of bandwidth.Anyway, no matter what anybody nominates here, there could only be one winner for the worst program. It has got to be Outlook Express. Remember that monopoly talk about IE and Netscape? At least IE is a good browser. Nobody talks about how everybody now uses that pitiful application, OE. Everybody is already familiar with the security issues, but nobody talks about its bad interface. Dumb design, poor navigation, and poor UI are among its problems. Yet, other clients copy this look, so we have even more worthless clients. If emails weren't bad enough, Windows users started using OE for newsgroups. This program is unusable as a news client so when people start having problems, I try to help them. Of course, they ignore me as because they think I am anti-MS or something when I suggest a switch. It appears that nobody wants to admit that OE is a POS.

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aphoria
2. AVG - ...  However, I am fed up with that D*** footer I see everywhere claiming that the email was scanned by AVG.  I consider this no better than your typical spam and a waste of bandwidth.
You can turn off the incoming/outgoing certification messages. It's in the options somewhere. I'm not at my main PC so I can't say exactly where.aphoria

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LilBambi

AVG - AVG may have an ugly interface but that's no crime. It does a very good job. I have used AVG for a long time. I have never had any false positives. The few times it actually caught something, when I looked it up at Symantec's virus database, it was an actual viral threat.NOTE: The AVG Outlook Plugin is where folks can turn on/off the settings for placing the scanned message in an email.Personally, whether it visible in the actual email or in the header like virus programs on servers do (it takes the same bandwidth) and at least you know it was safe from known virii when it was sent.You want to talk about bandwidth eaters! Let's talk spam and chainletters! LOL! Now there's some bandwidth eaters! LOL! :D :D

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nlinecomputers
AVG - AVG may have an ugly interface but that's no crime. It does a very good job. I have used AVG for a long time. I have never had any false positives. The few times it actually caught something, when I looked it up at Symantec's virus database, it was an actual viral threat.
Same here I've never had a false positive. The only anoying thing about AVG for me is its update service. It doesn't do background updates. You've got to be online at the time you set. If your a broadband connection that is no big deal but for "grandma" who refuses to update it manually with her dial up account it is a problem.

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Spyrias

I have to through in my vote to get PSP off the list as well. I started on version seven when it first came out, I've found it a lot easier to use than photoshop. I think Cluttermagnet hit the nail on the head, those who learned Photoshop will not like the interface of PSP because they arn't used to it. PSP8 has some great new features, but takes to long to load, it tries to be too close to photoshop. My nomination though is Macromedia Flash MX. It stays in your memory when you close it, which means having to restart your computer every time you exit. For something that costs that much you expect it to close properly.

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henderrob

Real One is my biggest nuisance. Other than having Linux ruin my MBR during a recomile.

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