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On Software installs, the good stuff: Applian and SpywareBlaster



If you follow me on Twitter, you know I posted a few weeks ago about a 'massive' system crash. Cutting to the chase in that regard, I was left with one 2T SATA boat anchor, with no data recoverable, and one 2T SATA drive that I was able to pull some things from, but it was the formerly bootable drive, and did no longer.

Rebuilding a system

In the process of rebuilding my system, I obviously installed the things necessary to do work first, so it wasn't until this past week that I started getting around to reinstalling some 'fun' things. I played guitar professionally for about 7 years and am an amateur magician. Consequently, I read blogs and visit websites dedicated to both those subjects. Authors on both have changed how they present material, and now quite often there will be an embedded YouTube video or a 'click here' to play an audio file.

I had previously installed a solution for saving the YouTube videos, and after some searching had decided "FreeCorder" wasn't a great solution for audio, but it did the job. So, it finally came time to install both of those tools. The media one went on fine, and worked without any hitches. FreeCorder was a different animal completely!

Crap-a-rama

I'm pretty careful when I install software because even Adobe Reader updates want to try to foist something on you, and it's not unusual to have my wife ask me how to get rid of some toolbar that she inadvertently installed. I could swear I declined everything with FreeCorder, but this was the worst offender I've seen... I ended up with the following:
  1. A Browser Helper Object I didn't want
  2. A Toolbar I didn't want (duh), plus my home page on IE, Chrome, and FireFox was changed to whatever that was
  3. Some total browser replacement that wanted me to switch all my favorites to, and get my contacts hooked up to
  4. A multitude of IE settings modified by one or more of the above
The end-result of the above being some uninstalling of crap and resetting of home pages. But wait... there's more... when things just didn't seem right, I remembered that I had installed SpywareBlaster earlier in the week and had it make a copy of 'system settings'. So I cracked that open, and had it do a restore for me. Things were enough better at that point that I was able to work all day.

Can't Post from Twitter

That night, however, when I started blogging, I couldn't post from Twitter in IE. I mean, the button wouldn't show up! The blue button on the toolbar for "Compose new Tweet" did nothing.

Hmmm... I searched the web, and found a lot of people in a similar condition, but no silver bullet. I looked through my IE settings and just couldn't see anything that jumped out at me as 'wrong' or different than I would expect. So... finally I went to the Internet Options tab control, picked the "Advanced" tab, and near the bottom is a "Reset..." button. I pushed that and then things got back to working... whew.

All because I had installed a piece of software that I've used in the past.

Credit where credit is due

If you know me personally, you should know that I'll complain if something isn't right, and I did... I went to the website for FreeCorder and gave them what I thought was a good piece of my mind, telling them that I planned on blogging about this and hoped I'd hear back... I also suggested they provide a try/buy solution if they wanted because I have no problem purchasing software that works for what I want it to do... of course fully expecting them to blow me off.

They did NOT blow me off!

As a matter of fact, I heard back directly from the CEO of Applian Technologies, Inc. He was sympathetic and apologetic about my experience and echoed my comment about being careful. He wasn't clear on if I had missed 3 or 4 'declines' or if there was no choice but to get that stuff installed, but... he DID write, and he also suggested I might look at their "fully functional more powerful products", and suggested sticking to "paid products, which are usually superior and won't install anything unwanted".


So following my rule that if I'm going to complain about something bad, I should praise something that works good... I am here to say not only did Applian come through on their trial software for both media and audio, but it turns out they have a video splitter and DVD burner that I need for other tasks. After trying their trials and reading the comparisons, I ended up purchasing the "Replay Capture Suite", and consider it a bargain.

You can check them out on the site reference above but here are some testimonials from the cheap seats:
  • Media capture from dropping a YouTube link into IE happens so fast, I didn't think it captured it the first time
  • Media capture from dropping a YouTube link into IE takes place even if an ad comes up ahead of the video, and is done long before the ad is complete
  • Audio capture works flawlessly in the background... I've been capturing audio while typing and have noticed zero degradation of either system response or audio... and have so far this afternoon captured twelve 5-minute blues backing tracks
  • I tried using the 'media capture' for audio, but because of the way the naming happens, and the fact you can tag the audio with Replay Music, I prefer using 'Replay Music' for audio
  • If you try to drop a YouTube link into your browser that has the "&embedded" code added on, the media capture seems to stumble. I just modify the link and we're off and running.

Bottom Line

Bottom line is... if you have a need to capture media of any sort from a website, or split media files, or lots of other things I've left off... definitely check out Applian... not only do the tools work, they're priced well, and they actually read the posts to their site... thanks Bill!

Oh... and you should seriously check out SpywareBlaster as well... it saved my bacon that time, and yours could maybe use some saving at some point too!

and...

Stay in the Light!

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