I had a copy of Norton/Symantec Aintvirus and their security software running on my HP media center PC m7680n- about three years old, running XP, but it is a “VISTA” ready computer.  The subscription was about to expire.  Norton warned me multiple times a day for over a month to renew, and I didn’t, just because they were bugging me so much.

(For the record, I also object strenuously to the fact that Norton and other virus protection software hold you hostage and make you pay a yearly user fee to keep your PC from blowing up- it’s like a computer tax to a private company, but I’ll save that part of this rant for another day.)

So I renewed on the last day.  Downloaded Internet Security Package 2009- an upgrade from a regular renewal.  It downloaded, but would not install.  I then had to uninstall everything, and it still won’t install.  I have to wait now to chat with someone online, number 11 in their queue for support, down from 15.  This has chewed up way too much of my time, required way too many restarts and reinstalls and uninstalls to try to make this hunk of junk work properly.  Oh, and you can’t use Firefox or Chrome, you can only use Explorer to use the chat feature.  Joy.

I have been considering a new Mac anyway- I love my mac book pro laptop, and the fact that everything just works.  All the time.  But I have most of my podcasting stuff set up on the PC, and didn’t want to go through the hassle of switching stuff over if the system was still working ok.

I now have a call into my accountant to find out whether there are any tax advantages to buying a new machine this year or next.  And trust me, as soon as I find out, I may be marching myself down to the Apple Store and making a purchase- because the time and frustration this thing is causing me, the loss in productivity, is killing me.

Now I am still waiting, number 6 in queue, and still no solutions for this problem.

While the cult of Mac is strong, the real power is that everything works seemlessly together, unlike the haphazard quilt of Windows, the crashes, slow downs, and frustration that eats my time and steals joy and soul in the process.

What do you think of Norton, Symantec and what I like to call the annual PC User’s tax?  Worth it or not?  What would you advise?