Friday, July 20, 2012

Norton Sucks

Today, I will be continuing on in my series of popular products that have totally failed to work for me.  Last time we covered Fandango.  This time, we're going to talk about Norton Antivirus.

The worst job a teacher has is grading.  Most papers students turn in are awful, and teachers have to agonize over what grades to give (D or F?).  What makes grading worse, is when you download a student's paper, and your computer stops working properly.  One of the papers has a virus.

Of course, I don't have definitive proof that the virus came from my students (although the problem started the day I downloaded the papers), but I decided to flunk them all, anyway.  It's safer that way.

Then I downloaded Norton Antivirus.

I can hear the Linux geeks and Apple zombies moaning already.  I know Norton sucks, but one of the problems with having a virus on your computer is that it doesn't let you download an antivirus!  After I ran Norton, it told me it couldn't remove the virus, so I went to their support center.

The support rep told me through a chat client that antivirus programs protect from harm, but you're screwed if the virus is already there.  I let her take over my computer from her sweat shop in Taiwan, and she manages to remove one of the two viruses.  It's late, so she tells me support will call me at seven in the morning.

They don't.

I set up another chat session and let the Norton people take over my computer.  After an hour of watching helplessly, I ask if I can leave.  The guy assures me he'll call if anything happens.  When I return a few hours later, my computer is off.  I figure the Norton guy shut it down when hefinished.  I press the power button.

Nothing happens.

Over the next two hours, I chat with another Norton rep through my wife's computer.  Every five minutes, he says "Tap F8 until you get the option to restore Windows to it's last working state."  I realize I'm going to teach in a few hours, and all of my class information is on the computer.

I panic.

I hang up on the guy (Can you hang up in chat?  Maybe "shut up" is more appropriate.) and go to the closest computer repair shop.  The man working behind the desk puts a flash drive into my computer and, after a minute, shows me my files.  I start copying what I need.

"What is on that drive?" I say.  "I need one of those!"

"It's Linux," he says.

Well played, Linux geeks.


Ngan Tengyuen said...

the best antivirus is common sense

Matthew Kagle said...

Yes, but I have students who have to send me files.