PC-Cillin 2008

February 12th, 2008 by Potato

For the new year, I don’t think they’re keeping the PC-Cillin name: now it’s just Trend Internet Security 2008. There are a number of changes from the 2007 version. First up, the UWO site license/student version isn’t good for unlimited installs. One copy, one install. Granted, it’s still cheaper than buying a retail copy with 3 installs, but combined with the price increase per disc, it has driven the cost of antivirus software up by a factor of 11 for my family (from a bargain basement $12/year to $135/year). They (and here I’m not sure if “they” are the university, trend micro, or a combination thereof) used to be of the opinion that giving cheap-as-free antivirus to students protected the network as a whole from virus outbreaks and security threats, and was a good loss-leader to boot. I don’t know why what was good in 2003*, 2005, 2006, and 2007 is suddenly not profitable enough, especially since you could only renew those student licenses through the campus computer store, so any and all graduates (and lazy distant family members) would be prompted to pay full retail price if trying to renew over the internet. (* – 2003 was good for 2 years)

Internet Security 2008 is a lot quieter than 2007 was: no more nag messages for everything — 2007 used to nag about windows update trying to access the internet, and for each update that tried to install. It would nag about firefox and thunderbird, twice, every time one of them had an update. Now I’ve had windows updates and a firefox update, and still no peep from 2008. It also doesn’t pull up the updating progress window on top of whatever you’re actually working on whenever it wants to update, it just animates the taskbar icon. However, it does still manage to steal focus when updating or starting a scan — if I’m in the middle of typing something and it decides to do something, even though I don’t get the giant pop-up covering my work as in 2007 (which was, admittedly, turn-off-able for some cases) my cursor still magically disappears and my keystrokes stop registering in that window. In some ways, that may be worse, because it takes longer to register what happens, and I still get just as angry.

One real annoyance for me is that the icon in the taskbar will change to a yellow hazard symbol (yellow triangle with a !) indicating that there’s a problem. This last week, the “problem” was that Internet Security 2008 was “out of date”. Well, it wasn’t: I had automatic updates on, and tried to manually update a few times. I was using the latest version. The problem was, the stupid thing is set up to flash that warning if it hasn’t been updated in 3 days (and Trend usually pushes updates something like every 12 hours), but for some reason the script kiddies were taking the week off and there hadn’t been an update available in weeks. I haven’t found yet if that’s user-configurable. If the default is 3 days to a warning though, then Trend should consider releasing “empty” updates every 2 days just to keep the program happy and to keep people from freaking out.

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