McAfee sent me an email. Subject: "You're expired,..."
No, I'm pretty sure I am not expired. (Never mind that ambulance.)
Now, my subscription to McAfee's "security suite of dubious utility" has expired. It came with the computer, was good for--what, three months?--and expired long ago, and I found acceptable freeware on-line to take its place.
I had to download a special utility to uninstall McAfee, but how do I uninstall my e-mail address from their stupid spam server?
Oh wait! There's a link in the e-mail! And look what I get when I click on it:
What a freaking surprise that is.
So I've done the next best thing: I added them to my "blocked senders" list.
I've discussed the shortcomings of McAfee before. In fact, I would have liked things better if it hadn't been installed on this machine in the first place. When I ordered it, I tried to de-select all the spamware/crapware/craplets/junklets that Gateway included, because I knew I would just uninstall it anyway--but of course, I couldn't order the machine without all the shitware. Gateway gets a few bucks per machine for including that stuff.
I don't want this or that MP3 player, because WinAmp is free and works perfectly. I don't want McAfee; if I was going to buy antivirus software, Norton would be my first choice--but I don't buy that software because there are plenty of free antivirus packages out there which are perfectly acceptable and don't spam your mailbox with crap. The same goes for firewall software (ZoneAlarm is the best, and free for home users) and multimedia (video) player (Media Player Classic works fine).
In fact, the only commercial software I really use--other than the OS--is MS Word and my games. To do just about everything else, I find freeware.
To make CDs I use Power2Go, which was included with the computer and apparently is (or was, anyway) the only CD/DVD authoring software which works under Vista that doesn't cost $100 per copy. I might (only "might") buy the latest version of Nero, eventually, but I recall how well version 7 worked on my last machine--it crashed if you looked at it funny--and am not inclined to risk it. In any case I dislike having to buy a new copy of the latest version of a program solely because the version I own won't work with the latest version of Windows. And "can't be patched"? Bullshit.
As for McAfee, I know what their business model is: they pay Gateway a few bucks per machine to install the BS. They don't include an uninstall program with it, and demand the user's e-mail address at first boot. That way, when the trial period expires, most people will heed the "ZOMGWTFBBQ UR COMPUTER IS GETTIN A VIRUS IF YOU DON'T RENEW" (not quite an actual McAfee e-mail subject line) spam e-mails and pay McAfee Too Much Money (tm).
They'll do it, not knowing that they don't have to; that they can uninstall the BS and use other programs. Some folks won't even understand how to find the uninstall program on-line, download it, and run it.
If I had bought that Gateway laptop Best Buy advertised at $300, I would have scrubbed the hard drive down to bare metal and reinstalled just the OS, then added this and that a la carte. And that would have taken me at least four hours to do, if not more.
But it would be better to do that than dick around with all the crapware, 'cause I can just about guarantee that I've spent at least that much time dicking around with it anyway, on this system. And I don't like to waste time on dickage.
McAfee, stick your spam where the sun doesn't shine. And stop bothering me; I'm not interested in your junk.