Saturday, November 17, 2012

PC Matic by PC Pitstop

Have you seen the PC Matic ads on TV? Bottom line is they suggest they will tune and clean your machine, even removing viruses. They pitch a FREE DOWNLOAD of PC Matic. They never mention a charge of any kind, leading, I would guess, many people to think that they could get a free tuning and cleanup with this free tool.

Well, the download of their program is free, but then who would ever charge one for a download? The charge comes after the free download for any program, but the catch is the program won't work until/unless you pay up front.

And so it is with PC Matic. To me it's a scam. Fortunately, at least in my experience, it is a clean scam in the sense that yes, you have to pay to get it to fix any of the many problems it finds, but once you realize that you have to pay you can quit the program and uninstall it through the control panel and by deleting one folder under Program Files.

I was curious enough to download and run it on both of my computers. After the download and execution of the program you will get a screen that looks like this (click to enlarge):

I ran this on my very clean and new desktop which has Windows 7. You can see that PC Matic found 20 problems that needed fixing and it came up with 2 advice items.

Notice in the lower right hand corner the tab that says "FIX ALL". On both systems on which I ran this I got variations of the above screen, and on both systems I clicked on "FIX ALL".

When I clicked on Fix All, the screen below popped up (click to enlarge):

Uh-oh! The free download of PC Matic has turned into a $49.99 ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION! That's right. If you pay the money you will be asked to pay it again after a year, and I don't have a clue about the quality of the product once you pay. This is very similar in appearance to the many rogue programs that plague us PC users these days. With the rogue programs they take your money, leave your system all messed up, and don't fix a darn thing.

I am guessing PC Matic may actually be a good product, but I don't know that since it did nothing for me.

So much for all the excitement about PC Matic as is displayed by the pretty young girl in the TV ads.

I was able to uninstall it on both machines (one XP and the other a W7) easily through the Control Panel. After doing that I found they left a folder under Program Files named Pitstop (that is the company name). I got rid of the folder with a simple delete.

So, net is no harm done, and no money spent, and no "problems" fixed.

If you want to keep your system clean and trouble-free, check out my recommended Security Baseline. It consists of programs that are really free!

If your system has problems and needs personal attention, call or write me for a fee-based, remote, online complete tuning and cleaning. As many of you know, I also make housecalls. PC Doctor contact information can be found here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TuneUp Utilities 2013

I believe in this product. I use it on my 3 home computers. I recommend it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Is a 4G Network?

From David Pogue of the New York Times.

" November 7, 2012, 6:01 pm

From today’s mailbag:
Dear Mr. Pogue,
What is the difference between 4G and 4G LTE?
And my reply:
Well, 4G is supposed to mean 4G LTE.
But AT&T has come up with a network type that’s halfway in between 3G and LTE — something it calls 4G. It’s faster than 3G, but nowhere near as good as LTE. So all the other companies, like Verizon, use the term “4G LTE” to emphasize that they have real 4G — the super fast type. This explains why AT&T can advertise “the biggest 4G network” — because none of its competitors even count 4G area! For them, and for you, LTE is the really desirable network type."