Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Unpardonable action (?) in a Zonealarm upgrade:

I'm not the Internet Police, so I don't get to set the rules. However, I think that Zonealarm did something that is totally unacceptable in the current version of its anti-virus software. It added a toolbar to both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It's okay for it to OFFER to add a toolbar, but it's another thing to drop it in there and wait for me to notice it. YOU HAVE TO ASK THE USER IF HE WANTS ANOTHER TOOLBAR. It's not okay to put this notice in the fine print, either.

Installing my current version of Zonealarm Antivirus (90_114) appears to have forced some bizarre behavior changes in the behavior of my home computer. I'm waiting for them to make yet another suggestion on how to recover from their upgrade, so I won't discuss my misery in detail.

One of the remarkable changes to my computer, after this upgrade, was that I can no longer run multiple “windows” of Firefox 3. I can have one window with multiple tabs. Trying to run a second window creates a situation where, when I completely exit from Firefox, I will find that it is still running, taking much of my computer's cpu to try to bring up that second window.

I “solved” that problem by noticing the Zonealarm toolbar add-on and disabling it.

In its present version, Zonealarm sought to “improve” my computer experience by interposing its own GUI into the process of downloading a file. It pops up another window, offers me choices that I have already made, shows me the progress of downloading (which firefox already shows me), and then, afterwards, asks me what I want to DO with my downloaded file. These are all waste steps that it adds to my normal procedures. As long as two years ago, there were grumbles that the Zonealarm product was morphing from a nimble, light anti-virus protection into something baroque. Perhaps the nay-sayers were right.

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