They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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A Smattering of Errors

I keep a file where I sometimes compose LJ entries before posting them -- and sometimes it gets backed up. Strange week this last ten days and I have to get caught up with some things... someday. However, it seems realistic to start with these.

Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2007

There was a brief period in the latter part of the DOS era where one could avoid installing an anti-virus product as long as one practiced "safe computing". In those days you got infections from floppy disks or infected networks. By Windows 95 and web browsing, though, you really had to do something, because the idiots were clearly getting more aggressive about thinking they had a right to do anything they wanted to what you naively thought was your computer.

As a result, I've bought more copies and versions of Norton Anti-Virus than I can count. I even had a copy of SAM -- Symantec Antivirus for Macintosh -- which I ran on a used Mac SE.

So when one of my Windows XP machines at the office got down to 1 Day Left in its NAV 2006 subscription, I really couldn't justify putting off renewing any longer. Click here and go to the renewal site. Should be so easy, and yet, how the hell do they expect "ordinary" computer users to do this sh*t if they make it a bloody pain in the grass for people who know what the hell they're doing with computers?

To wit... the first minor error was completely my fault. Having no choice, of course I have Internet Explorer IE6 installed, and mainly use Netscape and Firefox. But for my default browser, I have an old install of Netscape 4.79 which does not have automatic Internet privileges through my Zone Alarm firewall. I got no upgrade choices from the Symantec NAV webpage because they apparently are using fancy pants page codings which Netscape 4.79 can't handle. So copy-and-paste the URL into Netscape 7.2 and continue.

Renew or Upgrade?

Symantec offered an upgrade to NAV 2007 for the same price as a renewal, so I decided "okay". They wanted to add on a charge for some sort of download service, so you can download the software again after the initial 60 days through the first year. This is dirty pool on their part, because given product activation, you can't really use the download to install on a second machine, which means if you really have to download after 60 days it's because something dire has happened. And I wasn't going to wait to let them ship me a CD, because at that point I'd just go over to Office Max Depot and buy a yellow box. Anyway, I deleted the extended download service and since this is the office, downloading a 39MB file over the hardwire was quick.

The Install proceeded well for the first fifteen seconds before a dialogue box came up saying that the following incompatible program(s) were installed and I had to uninstall and delete them before installing NAV 2007, to whit, Zone Alarm. Aw jeez, what the hell's wrong with Zone Alarm? So I Googled "nav 2007 incompatible zone alarm" and immediately found a Zone Alarm forum where a number of people were reporting the same thing.

Just Bull Ahead

I downloaded and upgraded from Zone Alarm 6.5.722 to 6.5.737 -- if this was going to fail I figured I'd fail with the latest version of the firewall -- and then ran the NAV 2007 install and ignored the incompatible programs found box. And it installed fine, other than I had to rerun one step in order to input the product activation key -- otherwise it told me I only had 1 day left to my subscription. Um, isn't that where I got onto this merry-go-round?

I suspect that one of the reasons why I ultimately have no problems between NAV 2007 and Zone Alarm is that I routinely install Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel and long ago set up things so NAV installs before Zone Alarm.

But I gotta say that on the Zone Alarm forums there was some suspicion that Symantec was just throwing up the error to try to get people to dump Zone Alarm and buy the Norton firewall product. If that's the case, or if even Symantec was just trying to be a little difficult, then they're being stupid, especially as Symantec and McAffee are both complaining about how Microsoft is making it difficult for anti-virus vendors to hook into the Next Awful Thing called Vista. Don't go complaining if you're pulling the same crap! (double-faced-grin)


The other week I bought two pairs of NAPA windshield wipers at Allendale Auto Supply because all the Blazers needed new wiper blades. Every damn windshield wiper has some different way of attaching, and every after market blade has multiple modes and... The first time I got the blades on Mrs. Dr. Phil's 1994 S-10 Blazer, I realized that though they looked to be on, they in fact were not locked in place. Redo the job, they work fine.

Went to do the blades on "my" 1996 S-10 Blazer and after more than 25 years of changing wiper blades on my Chevy vehicles, this "new" vehicle doesn't use 16" wiper blades. So Saturday I was back at Allendale Auto Supply to find longer ones which fit. Since AAS moved to the new Edgewater business district and got lots more space, every time I walk into the store the stuff on the floor is different. The wiper blades weren't even in the same place as a couple of weeks ago. And they had a different line of NAPA wipers, where they didn't fit multiple models.

Read and Follow All Labeled Directions Completely

The new wipers also didn't directly say what the hell they were -- you had to decipher the product code. The 1996 Blazer apparently uses 20" blades, so I needed a 60-020-1 or 60-020-4 or something like that. Nothing on the package or the rack labeling said 20" blades. Nice.

The wiper arm has a hook on the end. Yank off the old blade, feed the hook around the clip in the new blade, yank it tight. Except after the first one went on easily and I was figuring out the orientation to do the second one, I found this little tiny box on the directions which explained in No Uncertain Terms that the hook had to go OVER the lock, not under. So I tried this and problem shattered the lock tab. And when I wrenched off the first blade, it's whole attachment clip came off. Great. Back inside, since (a) I was still at the store and (b) it was raining.

One of the guys came out, after getting some extra part to fix the broken blade -- NOT offering to replace the blade -- and zipped them on. "It's on fine, see?" he said. "But it's not right, according to the directions." "No, it's the CORRECT way... uh, no, you're right." But of course the lock tab now has hooks on BOTH sides, and since some hooks aren't big enough to go around... Seems that the directions are out of date on this brand new style packaging.

I would've been fine if I hadn't read the damned directions. (grin)


Dr. Phil

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