No. of Recommendations: 52
And you produce no evidence. And everyone should believe it?

Let's assume we actually know how a magazine software reviewer performs his job. At the beginning of each month the Magazine Editor hands out assignments to all the writers and this particular writer was given the task of installing and using Norton Internet Security Suite 2009, along with several other suites so s/he could compare them against one another. The article is due in three weeks so the editing team can have one week to proofread and assemble the article for print.

This writer now has to install and use the programs one at a time because you can not run more than one anti-virus program at a time. And, to make this as simple as possible, let's say s/he is only reviewing three suites, one each week. That's five, or seven, days to use a program depending on the writer's workweek.

Now, any software reviewer worth their salt knows that Windows uses the Registry to add entries about programs when they're installed and they also know that uninstalling a program does not always remove all of the Registry entries, which will eventually cause problems with the Operating System. So, it will be safe to assume that these writers will not be installing and uninstalling all of the programs that they review on their daily use computer, they'll have a test computer for this reason.

So, I will read reviews of programs because they can tell me something about them, but I also know that a reviewer can not give me a fully accurate review of a program that they did not use for more than a week, and on a test computer, not their daily driver.

Now, let's fill in the blanks with my personal knowledge of computers. I began using computers in 1991 when I went to college for a degree in ornamental horticulture. I was required to take an Introduction to Computers class even though I had no interest in computers at all. I immediately fell in love with the technology and took an Intro to DOS class next. Because of my high-honor grades in these two classes and because I needed financial assistance, the Dean of Computer Sciences hired me as the Computer Lab Monitor. All I had to do was open the lab, hand out student's floppies so they could do their homework, retrieve these floppies, and then lock-up the lab when we were done...That's all my job required.

After one and a half years as the Lab Monitor, I was awarded an Outstanding Achievement award in Computer Sciences because of the "extra" work I did in the lab, helping students with their homework using programs I'd never heard of or used myself.

I was also given numerous gifts from many students who were grateful for my assistance even though I was not required to help them in any way.

I bought my first computer in late 1992 and within three months was "tweaking" the Operating System and DOS...Windows 3.1 and Dos 5. Within a year I had upgraded the computer by adding a CD Drive, more RAM, a larger Harddrive, and a faster CPU. Even though I was having fun "tinkering" with this computer, my family was getting tired of me messing things up and having to fix them, but I was learning and having fun doing so.

I took several more computer classes in college in 1996/1997, including an upgrade and repair class. And, I took them for the fun of it because I wanted to learn more.

I bought our second computer running Windows 98 in 1996 and had to buy our first anti-virus program, Norton Anti-Virus, because we also joined the Internet that year. I immediately found out that all of the floppies I had from college in 1991/1992 were infected with a virus, but in those days viruses didn't actually "do" anything so it was easy to clean up. I did not have a need for a firewall yet, and probably didn't even know what one was at that time.

I bought our third computer in 1998 and built our forth and fifth computers within a year. I also started working on family, friends and co-worker's computers by upgrading and repairing them.

I started a computer sales, upgrade, and repair business in 2000.

Over the next several years I attended a LOT of Microsoft seminars and was one of the first to jump on the Windows XP bandwagon, mostly because I got my Windows software for free or at a ridiculous discount.

I started my first of seven web sites in 2002 and joined the HWTSC board about that time to offer my assistance to fellow Fools.

I have since then upgraded all four of our personal computers in my home numerous times over. I'm also currently rebuilding Son #2's computer because he fried the MB when he tried to upgrade his RAM. I helped Son #1 upgrade his computer last week so I could confiscate his leftover parts to rebuild Son #2's computer.

My wife works in the IT dept at her job and is almost finished with her second AS degree in computer sciences...Honors last degree and high-honors this degree. She's teaching me about networking and how to work on Laptops. We're in the process of rebuilding a friend's laptop so I'm getting another educational experience that I need.

I've been reading numerous newsletters and various magazines during all of this time learning as much as I can about computers, and have been mostly focusing on security programs the past three or four years because most of the problems Fools and fools have today are related to malware.

I stopped using Symantec programs somewhere around 2002/2003 because of all the problems they were causing. I still have copies of various Symantec programs I've used over the years and I have plenty of hands-on experience with these programs that lasted more than a week. Symantec has developed several removal tools for its programs because they know these program's uninstall feature doesn't work as well as it should.

I have learned a lot about many other anti-malware programs during this time and decided it was more prudent to use free security programs than to pay for programs that were resource hogs and caused problems.

I have worked on numerous computers for family, friends and co-workers that had McAfee or Symantec programs on them which were the cause of most of the problems for these users, mostly resource issues.

I also know that a good portion of the board regulars here also have the same amount of experience/s as do I, and some have a LOT more experience than I could ever hope to acquire. We, as a collective, have more hands-on experience with these programs than any group of reviewers ever will. We work with these things on a daily basis and I trust these folks a helluva lot more than I ever would any magazine reviewer, maybe with Chris Pirillo as an exception. Chris will install and use a program of any type for more than a week before he tells his readers whether it's worth using or not and he's not afraid to say a program sucks if it sucks. Ask him what he thinks of Symantec products.

Now, I've provided you with plenty of proof that we know what we're talking about, but if you can't accept this and drop the subject, then you Sir are an idiot.

Bill
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