Thursday, January 03, 2008

Antivirus Program Switch (APS)



I'm in the middle of an anitvirus program switch (APS) again. I was with Norton for a long time (which is inexplicably popular), but bravely got over that addiction. Trend Micro's PC-cillin (aka Virus Buster in Japan) was a breath of fresh air in that it didn't conflict with most of the other things on my hard-drive (unlike Norton). The sudden dearth of blue screens of death was not something that I lamented. I stuck with Trend Micro for two years.

But Trend Micro was a bit of a resource hog. Not nearly as bad as Norton, but it still slowed my computer down to the point that it was difficult to have more than one other window open while I was doing a scan. Plus there was no perceivable way for me to switch to an English-based version of the software because I had originally downloaded the software over the Internet and I'm located in Tokyo (so I was only allowed to have a Japanese version of the software). I could have just lied and said that I was in America, but I believe that the fewer hassles the better when dealing with credit cards, so I opted to be truthful. Oops.

One other thing that annoyed me about Trend Micro is that it's not easy to delete it from your computer. They make it unnecessarily difficult to get rid of it. They require you to type in a password when you go through the control panel's add/delete program function (Windows). I've kept all of my correspondence with Trend Micro, and after a long-winded search I didn't find any mention of a password...in other words, I wasn't able to uninstall the very program that I paid money to purchase. That didn't make me happy. I expect this type of underhanded tactic from SONY; I don't appreciate it coming from companies that seem to be otherwise rooted in reality. Long story short--I may not go back to Trend Micro in the future even though I was relatively happy with the product.


Now I'm testing out NOD32 Antivirus which is doing pretty well so far. They provide a free trial download, so I'm currently working through that. The one problem that I've noticed so far is that iTunes is now acting all funky. I purchased an album from iTunes after the APS, and after allowing me to listen to the first two tracks, my computer lost the rest of the tracks. OK. Reboot, try again. My computer finds them and allows me to listen to one of the tracks that had previously disappeared, but then loses the rest of them again. When I say lose, I mean that a search of both hard-drives turns up empty. We'll see how that goes.


Other than that, NOD32 seems to be a bit lighter than the other programs I've tried in the past. Of course, my hard-drive is pretty well maxed out, so any antivirus program is going to have its work cut out trying to plow through such a huge number of files. But NOD32 seems to do its job without sucking up an unreasonable amount of computer resources.

Hopefully everything will work out with the iTunes conflict (I'm not discounting the possibility that remnants of Trend Micro are responsible for the bug), and I will become a paying NOD32 customer at the end of the month.


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