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GiveAway Of The Day

Entry 356 posted in: 1. General Mish Mash, 3. Gamebits

People that keep a close watch on this blog may have seen that, since a week or so, there have appeared two links at the right side of the screen, right under the Google search for this site.

The first is called 'Giveaway of the Day', the second 'Game Giveaway of the Day'. The concept behind these websites is fairly simple (it must be, otherwise I wouldn't understand it). For one day, one day only, a commercial program can be downloaded and licensed for free. The software in question, so it goes, is a full working version, so no time limited trials, liteware, crippleware, demoware or nagware is allowed. As long as you don't re-install or copy the software to another computer it should keep on working.

I have been following the website for some time now and after some serious consideration, helped with a few Guinness beers, I finally decided to add the links last week. Then disaster struck. November the 12th presented a program called Safe’n'Sec Pro. This piece of software described itself as a Trojan, spyware, backdoor and rootkit scanning device.

A first thing that was found out by the downloaders was that the program would only remain active for 6 months, so instead of defining it as an unlimited free offer it should've been defined as a time-limited trial version. Then other reports from a far more serious nature started coming in. On several systems the installation made the computer crash, sometimes rebooting the machine over and over again. Sometimes this could be repaired by going to safe mode or by starting up with the last reliable configuration. Other people had been lucky to make a restoration point before installing the software (a thing that, in fact, everyone should do before installing n'importe quoi). Several virus scanners detected the Win32.Agent-BQC.Trojan inside the package and prevented an installation. Other people saw the dreadful BSOD for the first time in their entire XP history... and then there was the user who wrote:

This program killed my computer...total freeze up...I had to reinstall everything...! One terabyte worth... BAD BAD ...there was no way to undo any changes.... bad program...delete it.. quick!!!

Giveaway of the Day has been accused before of giving overpriced software away, but at least it did it for free. But Safe'n'Sec Pro crossed the line and it is a pity that the management of GAOTD didn't even find it appropriate to comment or to apologise for this piece of shit. Of course GAOTD didn't write the software, it only gave it away for free. But the absolute silence from its management makes one wonder. It is one of the reasons why Bear Bottoms (another one of those goofy freeware sites) removed the GAOTD link on their site.

Just when I was thinking to delete the GAOTD links on my blog they came up with MemOptimizer, basically a RAM management system with some cute bells and whistles. At 19.95$ or 13.62 Euro it is blatantly overpriced for this kind of software. There are enough freeware solutions to manage RAM on your system, but as it was free for a day I installed it and it is now running very smoothly on the background.

Another giveaway this week was EverNote, a database to collect and search through notes, sticky papers, snapshots and even handwritten messages. Some people who already used the freeware version of this software have called this the best Giveaway ever; others called it a cult application that you will find indispensable once you have used it.

On Game Giveaway of the Day I found Mahjongg Artifacts this week. You either love or hate mah-jongg but this proved to be a simple and very addictive game. Although, again, I would never pay 19.95$ for it. There are enough freeware mah-jongg applications on the web if you ask me.

So for the moment I still give GAOTD the benefit of the doubt. For those interested to download and install some software from that site I would strongly suggest to await the comments first. These are mostly pretty straightforward. Read them and decide if the Giveaway of the Day is a valid program or not. Remember: even for free crappy software is still crap.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Money for nothing and your bits for free...