Adios AVG Antivirus

It’s been a nice little run on my home computers, but here are the things you’ve been short on

Scanning at Inopportune Times

It seemed like every time I’d wake my computer up from sleep mode, you’d want to get your scan on.  While I appreciate you’re only trying to keep me safe, you need to realize that the little lappy didn’t somehow come down with a cold while sleeping.  Let me check my email!

Using Fewer System Resources

Seriously, when Symantec Endpoint Protection is more lightweight…there must be somewhere you can trim down.

I expected more polish out of one of the to rated free antivirus packages.

I’m replacing with Microsoft Security Essentials, which I view as a bit of a shot in the dark considering I like to tweak and tune.


To the Boneyard: Samsung Blackjack II

My iPhone is definitely here to stay, and that means it’s time to say goodbye to my second Blackjack.

What I’ll Miss:

  • Tic-tac style keyboard
  • Replaceable Battery – I’ve had several batteries between my two Blackjacks…normal and extended life.  One of my biggest points of concern with the iPhone is that it needs to keep me going through the day.
  • Expandable memory – iPhone’s 32GB will be reasonable, but I do wonder how long it will take to feel cramped.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Off to the Boneyard: Daily Burn

Daily Burn ( is a web app that helps users track fitness and nutrition goals in an online community.  It allows you to set goals and offers an interface to track progress.

Honestly, this isn’t a bad app, but there are a handful of gaps that meant a trip to the Boneyard.

It’s a hassle to log in and navigate around to enter the appropriate information:

I’ve dilligently tried to remember to log in every day to track the food I’ve eaten, the workouts I’ve done, and my current weight, but it’s just not an enticing proposition.  First off, the interface requires a large number of clicks per operation.  Oh what’s that, 3 days behind eh?  It’s really going to be a hassle clicking here, there, and everywhere to get caught up again.

Additionally, I’d like to see some deeper flexibility in the type of information I really care about tracking.  Give me some distinct options for how detailed I need to get when logging my progress.

A spreadsheet on Dropbox is as effective of a solution:

Yeah, good ol’ Dropbox ( giving me easy access to a document created in my old standby Excel.  I’m able to track my nutritional and fitness goals and customize to my heart’s content.  Also, though the data sits in the cloud, the format (and ultimate portability) is in my control.

From a security perspective, I encrypt the Excel file that I keep in my Dropbox.  Maybe this is overkill given the low-sensitivity of the contents, but I’m already doing this as my best practice for tracking my finances (more on this another time).

My experience with the community left me unsatisfied:

Even if I’m a bit frustrated with the UI and a little nervous about security, the community isn’t something that gets recreated if I go it alone.  Then again, I never really felt a sense of community when I made my goals public or attempted to participate in group goals.

I connected with “motivators” (other users I found online or recruited to help keep me motivated and on track), however, the motivation I received was stronger from mild acquaintances who commented on my apparent progress.

All said, the DailyBurn community as a whole seems to be meeting their goals, and it is a great place to help get some direction on improving health.  I can say that it was easy to set up, and did not require a bunch of up-front work on my part as a user; I appreciated that, but I ultimately found that I was best off  going this one alone.

Verdict: Visual Subst is off to the boneyard

I had my doubts even as I installed it…and Visual Subst didn’t last very long.  Very simply put, why should I install an always-on application that could be replaced with a single line of (extraordinary simple) code?