In Software We Trust

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Mrkvonic, Dec 31, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,

    I was thinking about software. We love some programs. We hate some programs. We trust some. We distrust some. There were some we thought were OK but then got totally discredited after a bad marketing move / botched version.

    My questions are, software wise.

    How long does it take for you to gain trust?
    What upon do you base it?
    What are your critical issues?

    What does it take for you to get suspicious or to completely distrust a program?
    Is it a single mistake?
    If so, how big? Is it a series of mistakes?
    Is it perhaps something that has to do with the company BUT NOT the specific product?

    After you have lost trust, how long, if ever does it take to regain it?
    Would you forgive a vendor?
    If so, what's the red line beyond which the botch is unforgivable?

    What makes you trust one software / vendor and not some others? How do you choose?

    What do you love and hate about marketing tactics?
    What do you find legit procedures and borderline or outright scams?

    Mrk
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  2. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Posts:
    3,187
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    heh: suggestions:
    put the "questions in number form for easy answering: suggest no more than 2 lines per answer.
    Could be interesting.
    There was that poll on HIPS that touched on some of these issues
     
  3. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Edited...
     
  4. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Posts:
    6,590
    Actually, it comes pretty quickly. Assuming a new application from a new vendor, it could be a few weeks of use. Does this application really work as described? Does the functionality have any real value (even if it's just convenience)? If the answers come back yes, that could gain my trust. However, that trust is very fragile initially and can be dashed by many things. Making outrageous claims that simply don't stand up to the light of day or casually denigrating a competitor can easily torpedo that trust.
    Typically openness in communications with customers, acknowledging that questions have been asked even if the answer is not yet known, speed in addressing support questions and correcting problems, basic product functionality and whether that functionality is something new or a clear derivative of well known programs, and general smoothness and stability in use. In other words, does it do something different, much more easily, or much better than anyone else out there.
    Basically, do no harm while providing whatever functionality the software was designed to provide. Harm could be anything from a slew of false positives from an AV to system instability/BSOD's, conflict with existing software, to a constant stream of meaningless messages that have to be dealt with.
    Support, or lack there of. Being evasive when things seemingly go wrong or delay in addressing customer concerns. Making claims that are never realized.

    With respect to mistakes, it's the nature of the mistake that is critical. For example, when McAfee blew away a number of critical system files a while ago with a bad signature update - that would be a potential deathblow if it were a new company and a new product. McAfee worked quickly to address the issue, and since they already had a fair level of trust in their customer base, the event passed quickly.
    In part, that depends on options available. If there are competing options from alternate vendors that are of near equivalent functionality, loss of trust could very well be permanent. However, I also look if a vendor takes active steps to acknowledge prior shortfalls and actively make amends.

    If shortfalls are noted, and the vendor ignores the state of affairs hoping the chorus of comments will naturally subside or tries to squirm their way out of it in a fog of gibberish, in my book they are done as a viable business. It really doesn't matter if they see the light after this, they will not get my business in the future. Period.

    If shortfalls are noted, and the vendor takes the points to heart, even if they do this belatedly, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    What makes you trust some people and not others? It's the same thing. Are they candid and truthful with you? Do they leave you out in the cold with explanation when a problem occurs? Do they ignore you after you give them money? Does it take inordinate effort to get them to acknowledge that you even exist? Are they disorganized in handling and responding to problems? A yes yields a loss of trust.
    What I dislike is when ownership seems to involve implicit membership in a cult of some sort.

    Let me flip that around a bit with some examples - what do I like? Things that I like include:
    • The unconventional and rather forward thinking pricing/usage strategy employed by Prevx.
    • Explicit coverage of multiple home PC's by vendors such as PSC/BOClean and F-Prot.
    • Some explanation of why the product is designed a certain way, especially if it is somewhat at odds with current fashion. I might not agree with the result, but I'll know the designer has a reason for their choices.
    • Clear consideration of customers/potential customers in need. Many AV providers have decent online scanners, although I believe approaches such as Dr Web's CureIt! are by far the best to follow.
    • Rapid response to a customer in need. It may be a false positive, it may be configuration, it could be something else, but speed is of the essence, it is a differentiator in today's market, and it should mean problems are either handled or explicitly acknowledged as received within 24 hours.
    Blue
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,

    Thanks for the answers.

    To answer my own:

    How long?
    I take quite a lot of time to gain trust. I am vary of new kids on the block. Furthermore, I believe in love at first sight, which means that if i have a good relation with an application just as I start using it, I will most likely stick with it.

    Trust criteria?
    I base trust on the company's behavior - example, Sony - history of practices, honesty, acknowledgment of one's downfalls. I'm also a sort of anti-corporate rebel and a great fan of open source, which also defines the character of most of the software I'll use.

    Critical issues?
    Simplicity of use, zero incompatibilities - BSOD, errors etc are a no-no.

    Suspicion?
    I get very quickly suspicious, but it really depends on the issue at hand. Things like phone home, hidden drivers etc are major issues that will make me disqualify a product almost instantly.

    Regaining trust?
    Almost never. Once an application gets kicked out of the circle of trust, it rarely ever comes back, and even then it could take a long, long, long time.

    Choice?
    First choice is always open source, free software, cross-platform software. Then comes the history, if applicable, of behavior, customer support , general software quality, the speed of bug / exploit patching etc.

    Tactics?
    I hate best, ultimate, the only app you'll ever need adjectives. I also hate scare tactics. I prefer honest, humble, down-to-earth approach. It usually means the vendor does not speak out of his ass and there's a much greater chance you will enjoy a fruitful relationship.

    That's it, I think.

    Mrk
     
  6. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    A lot of inter-related questions with answers that can vary for different kinds of software.
    I don't give software much trust to start with. I monitor everything possible during the install process and first start up, with a full system backup made before the software gets installed.

    If the software's installer wants me to disable the AV or firewall, I may cancel the install right there unless it's something I really want and haven't found many other options for. If the installer wants to connect out to anywhere besides the vendors own site, it's stopped right there. Exceptions are AVs and apps that need updates by their nature.

    If the app installs a toolbar, I restore to my previous setup.

    If an app seems bloated compared to other similar apps, I probably won't even try it out.

    If it's trialware and pops up a nag screen every time it's used, it gets replaced ASAP. This also applies to freeware that asks you to buy the pay version every time you start it.

    If the app adds autostart entries that I feel are unnecessary, I'm looking for a replacement. Example: An AV scanner (not a resident AV) that want to add 4 running processes to autostart.

    If the app can't be shut down without a process killer, it's removed. Example, some AVs that don't let you shut them completely down, only disable the resident component.

    I can tolerate a bad version or update as long as I can use a previous version. Doesn't apply to beta software.

    If the app doesn't perform as claimed, it seldom gets a second chance. Doesn't necessarily apply to beta software.

    If a security vendors app doesn't perform exactly as specified or fails to target something their "standards" say is unacceptable, I'll use nothing from them again. Example: an adware remover that fails to target software that their own standards say should be targeted.

    Open Source always gets first try. After that, freeware/shareware from companies and individuals I've grown to trust. Example: Irfanview. The bigger the company, the less likely I am to use their software. Vendors that discontinue support of an older OS immediately after M$ announces the end of its life cycle only get used if there's no other choice. Example: Adobe software.

    I won't lease software or purchase service for limited time periods. No 6 month or 1 year contracts. Must work for as long as I want to use it.

    Any false advertizing or scare tactics will disqualify a vendor. So will a lack of support. Word of mouth from sources I respect is the advertizing that matters.

    When a vendor adds features to their app so that it's like everyone elses, there's no reason to choose it over the ones they're copying. I like a high degree of configurability. An attractive UI isn't important. Performance and stability are. Can't be a memory hog or be too heavy for older systems. No uneditable whitelists. Spam from the vendor will get their app removed. Apps that update without notifying or asking get removed. Apps with auto-updaters that can't be disabled or blocked get removed. If an app complains about another app on my system, it gets removed.

    It's amazing that I still have anything to choose from.

    Beyond all this, Mrkvonics criteria is quite close to my own regarding issues of tactics and trust.
    Rick
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2007
  7. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    Sounds like BitDefender 8 :D
     
  8. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Posts:
    696
    Location:
    Boulder Colorado
    can be almost instantaneous
    pedigree and research
    opensource or widespread adoption and vetting
    smaller utilities off the big radar map are trialed and carefully monitored
    some are rather transparent like shell integrations

    unexpected activities, resource usage and attempts to phone out
    depends willing to forgive considerable conflicts in opensource, willing to Damn a company that rushes a product to market without full compatibility testing if the flaw is severe (@#@$$@@! Creative, you corrupted my filesystem 5 years ago you @#@$#$@# :p )

    see above :p
    far more inclined to forgive an individual programmer or small business than a major concern raking in the cash, the quality of thier customer service would need to be pretty high, and ignoring or prevaricating on the matter means they are damned for eternity.
    (read confess your sins and beg forgiveness or I'll roast you at the stake till my dieing breath)
    their history, their circumstance, my research and trials

    being an ex-spin doctor my list of gripes would be massive.
    condescending
    pseudo mumbo jumbo
    pie in the sky one stop hyperbol
    Ad nauseam


    an honest and genuine discourse of a products merits and value
    a sincere expression of its capabilities how it might meet your needs and their aspirations
    a real dialog with their customers which generally manifests itself in 3rd party recommendations and a community of helpful users
    a real effort to build an indepth database \ faq \ educational materials
    dont care if the ap is complex and hard to use as long as I dont have to pay a second time to learn to use it.
    I find the utility value of cripplewear perfectly acceptable when trialing expensive software, limited feature demos ect.

    the "forced upgrade" with one useful important feature needed to maintain relevancy with dozens of new "features" that youd never use in a million years at damn near retail prices.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  9. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    Creative has a lifetime ban on my systems :D
    :blink: :blink: What does that mean?
     
  10. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Posts:
    696
    Location:
    Boulder Colorado
  11. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    WOW :D I never read that expression before. Something new to learn.
     
  12. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    I bet i know one good reference that matches perfectly to that statement........:D


    That's the spirit! :thumb:
    Makes perfect sense!
    With time comes experience, and we all have at one time or another accummalated a lot of both, first the one then the other; and i might add, applied a lot of programs over the seasons to MicroShock's O/S invention named Windows.
    I think we'll all agree that we all always did loathe those fiercely annoying nag screens, come to think of it, keeper softs are really in a choice minority all on their own, along with those end users who seriously admire & respect an honest effort from sincere & creative developers who's effort deserve the highest of compliments and all the attention that helps place them in that elite group we can depend on for helpful service & sharing.
     
  13. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Posts:
    696
    Location:
    Boulder Colorado
    it is itself made up or rather two separate terms strung together
    Pseudo
    In common parlance, it is used to mark something as false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not in fact, as in pseudoscience or pseudophilosophy.
    and mumbo jumbo
    an English phrase or expression that denotes a confusing or meaningless subject

    ;)
     
  14. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    Mumbo jumbo is the newly learned phrase :D
    On topic:
    I see that (minor differences apart) we agree on almost all key points about the trustworthy of a company and its software. I highlight the great respect that we put in Open Source (code we can audit) and the emphasis on self-made tests ;)
    Also, we more or less distrust corporations and their practices.
     
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,
    In other words, most of us are the real communists ... it failed in real life, but it works in e-life.
    Mrk
     
  16. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    France, May 1968
    McCarthy has not lived long enough to catch us :D
    I think we behave more like as anarchists :ninja:
    What do you think has been the greatest mistake that corporations have made in recent times?
    Sony rootkit, Vista DRM, HP spying scandal, etc?
     
  17. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Posts:
    3,187
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Some nice analyses guys.
    Nice descriptions of conscious V unconscious assessments.

    From my own narrow perspective:
    Trust
    Likeability
    Useability
    Simplicity
    Affordability
    Marketing Hype
    Honesty, openness
    Support (heh: respect and patience for even doofs like me)
    Effectiveness
    Recommendations from higher level users.

    I have become more ruthless recently. Used to sort of hold on to various apps "just in case". Life is too short. Have cleaned out lots of stuff that was just hanging around. My current "library" is in the attachment; LOL more cleaning to come.

    These do it for me so far: the ones I have come to seriously rely on, on a day to day basis.
    Terabyte tools
    BOClean
    FDISR & Raxco
    Eraser
    Firefox and the add on authors
    Sysinternals tools
    Sandboxie.
    DefenceWall.
    VMWare
    DNA7
    Adobe
    Scansoft
    E-Mail: OE: works for me.

    Some because they are there:
    MS Office !!


    Others still under ongoing feeling out period eg:
    Prevx
    Cyberhawk
    Thunderbird
    SAS
    Different AVs
    Different Firewalls


    Lots of other utilities used on an as needs basis, office stuff, audiovisuals etc
    All tested and found to be capable and reliable

    Recently "booted"
    Spysweeper: Webroot has exhibited all the described booboos with SS V5.
    Would take some a long time to get any confidence back.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  18. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Posts:
    3,502
    Danger Will Robinson!:shifty:

    I know it's not meant, but don't get me started on politics and commu... comm.. ahem, communism. A nice dream, Karl didn't know how it would turn out. He missed a few important and vital details too.

    On topic, i think Ice_Czar and Mrkvonic summed up very well, except some things that i myself can't verify, you could though.

    First and foremost, is the utility useful (real utility). Do i need it. What do others say about it, does it do the job? Are there better ones?

    If there is a free one that does just about what paid ones do, i won't pay.

    What's the company general behavior (A4 just to cover it all, so leave it at that:p ) - honesty, good support, openness, what is advertised is what it does, no more (phone call is a no no, unless of course they say why and prove it).

    I can get excited about something, but trust isn't achieved in a month. The critical issue is time, because it alone can say a lot.

    However, to distrust something, it must be serious. Privacy in general, false statements, ignoring customers, ...

    After complete distrust, i never look back. Exceptions always exist. Like for instance management change, and so on. It depends on the case.

    This is all very general, it would be nice to practice with real examples somehow. I don't have my set of rules carved in stone:D . I write this as i think about it for the first time. Never thought about it like this in general terms.
     
  19. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Posts:
    696
    Location:
    Boulder Colorado
    make that a Will Rogers Wobblie
    and your getting close :D
     
  20. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    i was ready to ditch spysweeper but my dad renewed it and said he was pleased with it.
    i was wtf why do you want that bloated crap?
    but he got 3 months for free so im stuck with it for 15months.
    i was gonna see the pc run better without it now i cant.
    lodore
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I trust and like these softwares :
    1. Acronis True Image Home, but it's a boring software, even the restorations don't excite me anymore.
    2. FirstDefense-ISR and I'm still fascinated by this software, even after more than 6 months using it.
    3. PerfectDisk, which is also a boring software, but necessary.
    4. MS Office 2000 Pro, which I use alot, mainly MS Word and MS Excel.
    5. Mozilla Firefox, which is IMO the best designed browser in many ways.
    6. Mozilla Thunderbird : simple, fast and safe email-software.
    7. SnagIt for all kinds of screenshots.

    That's it, because the rest is still a questionmark. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  22. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    I like firefox alot but it can be annoying when it randomly crashes sometimes.
    diskeeper I trust
    kaspersky I trust.
    stardock i trust.
    skype i trust
    SpySweeper i dont like anymore since its got to bloated and have the stupid antivirus features i dont want and dont need. 3.0-4.5 was good after that its crap.
    lodore
     
  23. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Posts:
    3,187
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    @E-A
    Heh: that may be the most important criteria yet :cool:

    As [per a previous conversation here with the great software philosopher Blue_Z: to paraphrase, he descried a utility as "unexciting", which in the context of the discussion I regarded as highly complimentary and very favourable recommendation: because it was just doing it's job.

    That's what we want isn't it?

    We prolly all have our special config/apps that evolve slowly over time.
    We want boring and reliable.
    Then (ahem,we, lol) you power users like to fine-tune and experiment and test for fun, to advise,looking for extra edge to support developers and find holes in said softs.

    Real excitement comes from finding and stretching original utilities with possibly unique uses and helping find their place in the mosaic:
    PrevX, DefenceWall,Fdisr, sandboxes etc
    (look at the literal explosion of uses with FDISR when Wilder's got hold of it)

    Please save me from any of the other kind of EXCITING software.

    EDIT: I dont doubt that for serious testers BSOD is it's own kind of excitement ;)
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.