The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Technical spying is more like it

Rob calls Tech Support in an attempt to solve our problem. He gets nowhere fast and stays nowhere for quite some time. It seems that the tech support rep he talked to had no idea what he was asking for. No resolution.

My friend Gerald, who has four years experience with cable modems from our provider, informed us that the best way to get in contact with Tech Support for our problem is with some software you download and run to chat online with them.

Of course it's Windows only.

And about a 20MB download.

For a proprietary IRC program most likely.

So I download the chat client and attempt to install it. It grinds away installing then attempts to run and errors out.

Nice, I thought. I then noticed that it started a background process that looks to be a webserver. Under Windows 98. This is not looking good.

I then relaunch the application. This time it seems to be working and I click on the “Connect with Tech Support” button. The system then grinds away for a bit. Then I'm presented with a window with all this information about my system—memory, disk size, what's running, etc. and the program is asking me if I want to send this information in to our provider.

Ah, no thank you!

Only the two choices I had were “Okay” (which would send the information) and “Cancel” (no! I want to connect! I don't want you sending this information!”). With no other option, I press “Cancel.” I'm also suspecting this software wouldn't run through our firewall, taking a look at the network ports its listening on.

I uninstall the crap. Still no resolution.

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