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Old 02-06-2006, 09:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Self-defeating vendors!

I caught a link to Viva on Macintouch today and decided to follow it up because I remembered VivaPress from about a dozen years ago, and wondered what the company was up to now.

Turns out they still sell VivaPress (Mac OS 9 only), but are working on a new program called VivaDesigner (called v. 5.0) for all Macs, Linux, Unix, and Windows. They also offer software for imposition (VivaImpose) and for tiling billboards and posters (VivaPosterize).

By registering, one can download a free beta of VivaDesigner, so I decided to give it a whirl. What madness! I registered, downloaded the software, tried to launch it, got a message to enter a license key, checked my e-mail and found a message to click a link to get the key, got it — and the darned program didn’t recognize it. Got it again; same result.

Replied to the e-mail with the link to the key, explaining what happened. (I also pointed out the broken links to the software downloads that I had to puzzle out to get the thing in the first place.)

The e-mail bounced, refused by Viva’s electronic bodyguards as probably spam; it says the message is more than half HTML! Huh, I said? Then I looked — I believe it decided all the >s used to signify quoted material in fact indicated use of HTML in my all-text message!

Meanwhile, I decided to look for an e-mail link on the web site; nada. They do post instructions on how to drive to their offices, but since I am not in Germany, not useful. I cannot even find their full business name.

I am astonished at their incompetence. (The broken links, the broken license key business, the nutsyola reading of an innoccuous e-mail, etc.) Hiding their name and addresses so completely makes them look shady as well.

Perhaps I will reconstruct my e-mail, with no quotation marks, to see if I can reach them, but honestly, would you trust your professional business to software from such doofuses? That is what they suggest is their target market, but it sure seems fool-hardy to me!

Grump, but in amazement.

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