Print Story Why is it so hard for Symantec to do decent software?
Software
By NoMoreNicksLeft (Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:41:42 AM EST) pcanywhere, symantec, rant (all tags)
In particular, I'm griping about pcAnywhere, the asspimple of remote access world. Now, I realize that it is really only meant for local networks, and not the WAN, but that excuse falls flat for performance so abysmal...


Right off the type of my head...

When connecting, it takes forever. Naturally, it is abhorrent to most non-retards to do something else, especially since most users will have more than one task cooking. But when the "black window" opens, it steals focus and pops to the foregound. And again, for the password prompt. Since using pcAnywhere exposes you to a mess of typing in passwords all over, naturally it always manages to interrupt you in the middle of another one. With no way to see exactly where in the middle. And if that's a password on the remote end of another connection, backspacing over it and starting over may take another 10 minutes. Applications shouldn't ever steal focus, if it has to do anything throw a goddamned beep to inform me, but I'm doing something more important you worthless piece of shit.

And the circumstances under which it can disconnect are nothing short of baffling. The TCP protocol itself allows for retransmission, and yet a single mouseclick on a buggy connection can kill it dead in a split second. Not long enough to time out, it's like it's choking on the flood of bandwidth that is a single XY:34,175-left-mouse-button signal or something. What is that, an entire staggering 3 bytes plus minor overhead?

Oh, and worst of all. The goddamn capslock key is ALWAYS toggled on at the other end. And it respects this. The only workaround is to toggle yours on, which causes problems as soon as you switch to another session. If it just absolutely has to honor this, or use raw keyboard scancodes (WTF?), why can they not have an easily accessible option to remotely toggle the other end off? Have the usability experts at Symantec never -once- stumbled upon this annoyance?

The absolute lack of image/background caching is so obvious that it's beyond pathetic. Why bother sending me the same window I had uncovered 10 seconds ago, when simple logic could detect that it hadnt changed, and not force you to waste the bandwidth that it plainly can't manage? Why, when it disconnects suddenly, does it assume that I'm finished with the site, and close the window (and clearing what part of the desktop image I do have) ? Keep that window open, give me an msgbox() or whatever it is in win32, and allow me to reconnect! And on reconnect, have the remote end check to see if I need to repaint the entire screen! Christ... nothing is worse than getting only the first top inch of the screen, losing it, and starting over.

I'll not even bother with whining about image compression. Maybe the 1 cent per unit royalties on all the common algorithms would bankrupt them. Or maybe they've never even heard of RLE.

But most of all, if any Symantec people somehow discover this and read it: If you're too fucking stupid to write code that can check if the screen needs repainted, put a goddamn button on it, so I can force it to do so. Between 15 minutes to reconnect and force it that way, and blindly clicking hoping I can guess the location of an "ok" button that I cannot see, I am so sorely tempted to choose a third... committing suicide.

I could go on, but somewhere around 3 paragraphs it started sounding pathologically slanted. Those of you that have used this piece of garbage (used? suffered?) know I'm not lying.

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Why is it so hard for Symantec to do decent software? | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
IAWTR by R Mutt (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:56:46 AM EST
You forgot the clipboard thing. Why can't it just transfer the clipboard automatically like VNC? Why do you have to press that crappy "transfer clipboard" button... and then choose which way you're transfering it

And also the way the "restart computer" button is right next to the the "End remote control session" button. A couple of pixels off in a very common click and you're in a world of shit.

Luckily we're trying to switch to the vastly superior VNC instead here.

IAWTP by TPD (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:30:24 AM EST
having used both PCAnywhere (admittedly a long time ago it might have improved) and TightVNC http://www.tightvnc.com/ I know which one I'd prefer to use again!

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
[ Parent ]
It's a joke. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:55:46 AM EST
On over half of the sites we're doing the upgrade on, you'll see VNC icons anyway, but word from on high says we're not to even consider it, though when no one was watching, I tried it once. Performance was moderately better (still a really shitty WAN<->WAN setup, with ungodly latency). All the machines are 2k server and above, so even microsoft's whatchamacallit is available.

We even have (and are allowed to use) webex. I hate it on principle, but since it bypasses the WAN, most of the problems are solved right there, and the rest are simply because it's mildy sane about timeouts. Trouble is, 75% of the sites were setup wrong in the first place, with invalid gateway addresses, and therefor have no internet connectivity... we're not allowed to fix it (we're the software vendor, not the hardware guys), because now get this: it protects them from viruses. WTF?

I'm glad it's a temp job, this could literally drive someone batshit insane if it continued indefinitely.
--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

[ Parent ]
File transfers by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:51:51 AM EST
Can VNC do them?

[ Parent ]
Yup by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:34:17 AM EST
UltraVNC certainly can.  It's also got a chat client, so you don't have to use notepad to make your tech supportee cyber for their bugfix.

-
Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Funky. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:24:23 PM EST
I'll give that a go.

Alternatively, I could give up on the whole supporting other people thing.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:11:44 AM EST
I think there is a new version of PC Anywhere coming out soon.....

Gedvondur
"If you do not sin, then you too may some day float like a big pink Goodyear blimp of The Lord." -theboz

oh the stories by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:43:27 AM EST
I could tell..

Why is it so hard for Symantec to do decent software? | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback