A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hooptedoodle #54 - Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead

I have, in the past, made the occasional utterance about time lost to the antivirus software from McAfee which I pay for as part of my agreement with my Internet Service Provider.

Things have got so bad recently that I started having a look at a few of the support discussion threads for McAfee, and it seems that - though the originators swear it is now fixed - things went pear-shaped after an upgrade last September. All over the known world, McAfee's customers are becoming more and more stressed. At the start of this week, it took eight minutes for me to open a Word document which I had typed up and saved the previous day - McAfee was checking it. At various times in the day, even when I am not online, the desktop computer's fan has been switching on and - there it is - McAfee is suddenly using 90% of available CPU. No-one knows why, not even McAfee. On Tuesday we had a minor family problem and I had to find some things out and get stuff arranged quickly - no go. McAfee wouldn't let me do anything. It was busy.

The final straw was when I found a suggestion from a member of a support team on one of the discussion threads, which suggested that the person writing in with the problem should think about buying a more powerful computer, so they could live with the demands of their AV software.

As Descartes used to say at breakfast, "Un oeuf is enough". I am, as it happens, planning to upgrade my desktop machine in a month or two, but it certainly isn't going to be because McAfee forces me to do so. So I have uninstalled McAfee - it didn't go willingly, but it is gone. I am now paying for a licence which I am not using, but to hell with it. I have installed Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free, and which appears to work nicely and quietly in the background without drama. It did a full system scan yesterday in a little over 2 hours, which compares favourably with McAfee's recent record of 8 hours. When the new machine comes, I intend to put McA back in place, but I will remember that there is an alternative if I need it. In the meantime, I can get on with things and smile a little smug smile to myself.

There is a description of computer malware on one of the support sites I was reading, and part of it says:

"A virus's primary function is to take control of the computer's operating system and deny user access to communications and application software"

Seems strangely familiar - normally you don't have to pay for a licence for it, though. All together, now, please join in...


  1. Why not stay with Security Essentials, as my big brains stepson (who works in the software industry) doesn't use anything else?

  2. Go for the free version of AVG, the best FREE security available.