Over the last year or so I’ve found myself answering the same questions time and again by email, or pointing people to the same resources. This is my top tip on dealing with this sort of thing.
The two top questions that folks have asked me have been:
Can you send me directions to your house?
Blah blah blah … good resources for Psion PDAs?
I used to have to write these from scratch, or go hunting through my Sent Items folder to see what I wrote the last time.
But now … now I just create a new Signature (or edit an existing one) in my email client and add the details there.
The signature feature of email clients is the perfect place for storing information that you use and include in your emails time and time again. But it doesn’t have to be restricted to contact details. I now have “signatures stored called
That’s saved me a huge amount of time over the last few months. I just wish I’d thought of it sooner!
Last month I got an email from someone who works with Symantec, the company that produces Norton AntiVirus, inviting me to be involved in their beta programme for Norton AntiVirus 2009.
No way! I thought initially. The reason that I moved away from Norton AntiVirus to AVG Free was due to the relatively massive hit on system resources that Norton imposed on my PC system. It definitely slowed things down.
So I did a bit of reading and was delighted to read that Symantec have
The 2009 releases of Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus were engineered to be fast, and light on system resources.
Norton AntiVirus 2009 provides fast and up-to-the-minute defence against all types of malicious software. It keeps your system protected without slowing it down.
New in 2009!
Innovative new architecture dramatically reduces the boot time impact, the scan time, the memory usage as well as the system footprint and the install time
Smart Idle Time Scheduler runs quietly in the background to let you work and play without disruption
Silent-Mode ensures your games and movies are never interrupted by alerts and security updates
It looks like Symantec have been listening to their users. I’m going to give the beta a go and see what it’s like. I am very hopeful to be honest; other than the performance hit of previous versions I did like Norton AV.
What will be interesting is to compare the update file sizes compared with AVG Free, which is normally < 200-300 KB, so fabulously lightweight.
Unfortunately … as soon as I tried to download the beta I got this message:
It took me about an hour but I was able to download the installation file.
Well, technically it wasn’t me. It was Symantec Technical Support who connected to my PC via Remote Desktop and downloaded it from a different location, which was pretty poor show to be honest.
Tech support were okay — not very chatty, it must be said, and didn’t really keep me informed very well about what they were doing, but we got there in the end. Even if the whole process from looking up their tech support details to finishing the call took about an hour.
What he did was open the download page in my browser, asked me to enter my details, then he clicked the “Continue” button and watched the same error message that I’d got.
The conversation then went like this:
Mr Gareth Saunders: In good technical support tradition it would appear that the fault is at your end. 😉 Tech Support: Please wait
Viewers of BBC Scotland’s Chewin’ the Fat will likely be making some kind of “oooh!” sound while wiggling their fingers underneath their chin at this point!
So now I have the beta downloaded … it’s time for bed.
Seemingly it lasts for 7 days after which you have to install the latest build, I was told.
But from where?! Wasn’t the whole issue to do with the fact that I couldn’t download the latest build?
Mr Gareth Saunders: What else will I require to install it? Do I require a licence key for this? Tech Support: you can use it for 7 days and then you can install the latest build Mr Gareth Saunders: Ok — and will it tell me where I can download the latest build? Tech Support: You can contact us from the support option from the program and we will do that for you
I hope that part doesn’t involve Remote Desktop because I’m not happy giving control of my PC to software company tech support teams more than once a year!
My earlier feeling of hopefulness about Norton AntiVirus 2009 Beta is slowly draining away, I’m sorry to report. Perhaps that’s my exhaustion speaking.