|Computer Gripes||documenting the down side of computer stuff|
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NOTE: As the dates on the gripes here indicate, this site has not been updated in a long time.|
It served as a hobby for years but since mid 2007, that free time has been taking up by blogging,
first at CNET, now at Computerworld. I'm not sure what the future of this site will be.
Michael Horowitz. March 2009.
Introduction: This web site is devoted to what stinks about computer products (hardware, software, web sites); specifically to the problems I have experienced in using them. It exists because the errors, bugs, poor documentation, and occasional stupidity in the field drives me nuts.
These gripes are not product reviews, by which I mean they do not describe the features of a product or what's good about it. Instead they fill in the gap, focusing exclusively on the down side. The intention here is not to rate or judge products, in fact, I continually use many griped about products. More...
To find a gripe topic using the alphabet above, be aware that a single topic may be listed under multiple letters. For example, Norton Antivirus is under N for Norton and A for AntiVirus.
|Computer Griping In The News||Gripes in the media on topics I don't cover|
I blogged about gripes intalling the latest version of the Flash player in Firefox on my CNET blog. See Problems updating the Flash player in Firefox. December 22, 2007.
I expanded on an old gripe about Java in my CNET blog. See Why Java can't do addition correctly. October 26, 2007.
Windows is spyware by me on my CNET Defensive Computing blog. September 13, 2007. Microsoft can and will update your copy of Windows whenever they feel like it, regardless of your wishes. And, they feel no obligation to tell you what they've done. Your computer is just a zombie to them. I follow this up with Defending yourself against Microsoft.
Be careful when downloading software by me on my CNET blog. August 20, 2007. Jerry Seinfeld had a show about nothing, Andy Brice has software that does nothing. Despite this, it won a number of awards.
The big guys try to take advantage of unaware consumers. Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec charge cards repeatedly By Scott Dunn in the May 17, 2007 edition of the Windows Secrets newsletter. Not the first story about this - see below.
We Don't Need No Stinking Best Effort: Net neutrality may have been just a fantasy all along April 12, 2007 by Robert X. Cringely for PBS. Regarding guaranteed speeds for a Comcast broadband connection, he says: "I am a Comcast business customer and pay three times the residential rate in exchange for ... and what they call a Service Level Agreement .... I just tested my 8/1 connection and the actual speeds ... [are] substantially slower than I am promised downstream ... When I ask Comcast business about the Service Level Agreement, they snort. I can do the paperwork and demand some money back, they say, but my numbers to them look pretty good and there isn't much they can do to improve them. So Comcast's Service Level Agreement in this case is probably more of a marketing tool than anything else. In terms of actually guaranteeing service levels, it is meaningless."
Geek Squad Charges $415 Dollars To Replace A Hard Drive; Makes Customer Retrieve Data Files Himself February 27, 2007. At consumerist.com.
Walter Mossberg Wrong Again by me on my blog. February 16, 2007. With updates on Feb 20th (a response by Mr. Mossberg) and Feb 21st (a response by me to his response).
14 Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee at Consumerist.com. Many HP Printers have built in obsolescence. There is a built-in page-count after which they won't work.
Thinking of buying a Shuttle PC? Think again… by Ed Bott December 26th, 2006. Bad tech support.
Backup Software: Bah, Humbug By Roger A. Grimes December 15, 2006. Complex, insecure, and frustrating data backup solutions are sapping Roger's patience.
Vista Is Ready. Are You? by Larry Magid in the New York Times. December 7, 2006. This is puff piece that could have been written by the Microsoft PR team. It puts the best possible light on upgrading to Vista and ignores a huge amount of ugly, problematic details.
Gotcha: Automatic Security-Software Renewals Robert McMillan in PC World magazine. December 21, 2006. Be aware of auto-renewal agreements before you sign up. This is a follow-up to: Antivirus Vendors Shift to Automatic Fees by Robert McMillan, in PC World magazine. November 22, 2006. Annual charges are typical and sometimes hard to stop.
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