Weird and funny stories for April Fools’ Day

As you probably know, today is April 1st (April Fools' Day), which is a day for hoaxes and practical jokes in many countries around the world.

As a popular Web site which receive dozens of email messages every day, I sometimes get very weird and somewhat funny messages that look like a  good hoax, although the people that sent these message didn't have any intention to spoof me, and they really believed in what they wrote.

Today is a great day to publish the most weird and funny message that I received into my mailbox in the last few years.  Due to my commitment to the privacy of anyone that send me a private message, I cannot publish the original messages, so I'll only publish the general content of these messages.

So here's the summary for the weird messages:

  1. People that request a refund for my freeware utilities:  Yes, it's hard to believe, but even when I provide my utilities for free, I still get messages from people that ask me to issue a refund for the money that they never paid me. A typical message look like this: "I paid for your software and it doesn't work for me, I want to know how to get a refund."
    If you wonder how it's possible that people who never paid me request to get a refund, here's the answer. In fact, there are 2 kind of cases:

    • People who bought a product which is very similar to one of my utilities, and mistakenly think that my utility is the one that they paid for.
    • People who "bought" my software from a scam Web site that illegally sell my utilities.  These kind of scam Web sites, like MsnPass.Info that I also published in my Blog,   promise the users things that are not really accurate, like "100% password recovery for your hotmail account", and request the user to pay for it. After the user pays, he redirected to download my software and find out that my software doesn't work as promised.  After that, the user find my contact email in the help file of my software, and send me a message that ask for a refund because the software doesn't work, without understanding that he simply paid for a scam Web site, and I'm not the right address for a refund....
  2. People who blame me for distributing Trojans and Viruses:  As you may already know,  most Antivirus programs show false Virus/Trojan alerts for my utilities, especially for the utilities that extract passwords or other sensitive data from the operating system.
    Because I already warn about false virus alerts in my Web site and also posted about the problem in my Blog, most people understand that the Virus alerts are false and my software is clean from any Virus or Trojan.
    However, in rare cases there are people who believe  that the Virus alert is real, and blame me for creating evil Web site that installed Trojans on their machine.

    I had a very extreme case of someone that blamed me  putting a backdoor inside my 'ProduKey' utility that allowed an hacker to take over his computer. He wrote me around 4 emails of science fiction stories where NirSoft is the most evil thing in the world.  From privacy reasons, I cannot publish these email messages, but this guy also chose to publish some of his Anti-NirSoft propaganda in a public forum, which you can find in the following links:

    http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/win2000/1229027114
    http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/win2000/1225682351

  3. People who complain that my utilities are not freeware and require them to pay:  Yes, I got a few messages in the past that looked like this: "Your Web site is a scam, it says that the software is free, but when I download the software, I get a message that the trial period expired and ask me to pay for the software."
    Do you wonder how is it possible ? Here's the answer:
    There are people that install and use shareware zip products, like WinRar or Winzip as their default software to open zip files. When they download my utilities in zip file,  WinRar or Winzip, which is the default software to open zip file in their computer, show a message that their trial period expired. Some people that see this message, think that my software is the one that show the expired message...
  4. People who complain that my Web site is down for many days: Sometimes I get a message that looks like "Your Web site is down for many days.  Are you going to bring your Web site back online,  or you closed your Web site completely ?".  The people that sent this kind of message simply couldn't access my Web site because they had a firewall or other security related software that blocked my Web site.
  5. People who complain that I don't have any download link on my Web site: All my utilities pages provide a download link in the bottom of the page, but sometimes there are visitors that cannot figure out that they have to scroll down the page in order to reach the download link. So I  get email messages that looks like "I browse into your Web site and I found many interesting utilities, but you don't provide any link to download them. Is there  any way to download your software or your Web site is just a scam ?"
  6. Call me 12341235 urgently, I need help in using your program: Some people think that if I provide my utilities for free, I also have to call them (and pay for the phone expenses too ?)  and personally explain them how to use my software, and most of them also write that it's very urgent.
  7. Please send me the password for myemail@email.com, it's very urgent ! : Some people think that I'm a magician or a super-hacker that  can find the password of any email account, so they ask me to send them the password of the specified email urgently. Some of them ask me to send the lost password of their own email account.
    Some others, send me requests that looks like this one: "I think that my fiance is cheating on me and I need to check her email in order to get proofs.  Please send me the password for her email account as soon as possible. The email address is myemail@email.com".
  8. People who complain that the zip file disappear after download: Sometimes I get message like "You have a bug in your software - when I try download it, the file disappear immediately after I download it."
    I also get messages like "I downloaded your software, but the zip file doesn't contain any .exe file that I can run. Please fix the zip file in your Web site because I want to use your software".
    Both of these problems occur because there is Antivirus software that runs in the background and delete the .zip file or the .exe file stored in the zip file.

That's all for now. I just want to clarify that all the stories that I mentioned in this Blog post are based on real email messages that were sent by real people. It's not a joke for April Fools' Day.

17 Responses to “Weird and funny stories for April Fools’ Day”

  1. Dan Says:

    Actually #5 may be legitimate, some people honestly visit web pages and apparently don't scroll down past the first page.

    At least it may be nice to have downloads links in a known place at the top. Some pages have download links in the middle of the page and more at the bottom, making them a bit annoying to find at times.

    The rest of these are lulz though.

  2. ~Vera Says:

    Dear Nir,

    thanks for sharing an inside glimpse of what email-requests you've got to cope with.
    Besides ~ everybody should realize not to steal your time, 'cos when you're not busy developing your fine tools you're out for reinventing the wheel ;)
    http://radio-weblogs.com/0105910/images/square_wheels.jpg

    cheers ~ Vera

  3. Hans Wurst Says:

    Have a look at the posts from this fellow, poor guy…
    http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=752647

  4. Mikael Says:

    Yea well, in 2001 someone wanted me to download Internet and burn it on CDs so he could have a offline version.
    I'm still downloading and burning CDs.

  5. Praful Says:

    I echo point 5 (no download link). The users giving you this feedback are telling you something about the usability of your web site. Maybe you should listen to them :-)

    I too wondered where the download link was. Being a developer myself, I scrolled down, happily reading the command line switches on the way. Call me perverse but the download link is probably more sought after than the command line switches for most people :-) The download link, in fact, appears in the "Feedback" section!

    I'd suggest putting the download links right next to the title on the top line: something like "Download (32-bit)" and "Download (64-bit)".

    The pages are a bit topsy-turvy: you normally expect the download link at the top and the related links at the bottom. You may also want to have indexed hyperlinks under the title so that people can jump straight to the section they're interested in:

    Description System Requiremets Known Problems Feedback Languages etc

    Anyway, thanks for providing some excellent utilities.

    Praful

  6. Praful Says:

    Sorry forgot to mention this. When you click on, say, System Tools on the left, you see links and descriptions to the system apps. If you like what you read in the description, you're pretty much ready to download the app. That's another reason to put the download link on the top of the app's page. However, you could make life even easier by adding a link after the app's description on the System Tools (or other) page. That way you can just scroll the list and download as you read something you like without having to navigate to the app's page and back again to continue reading the list.

    Praful

  7. David Says:

    People ARE funny, aren't they? They seem to develop a blind spot. I threw a website together for a charity classic car show I'm involved with and folk are forever complaining that they can't find either the entry form or the location maps, which are all available from the usual navigation links, as plain as the nose on your face, on the home page. The theory about not looking further than what they want to see seems to hold good!

  8. Dan Says:

    I am sorry that you have to deal with that. Just please know that there many of us who are most appreciative of your work!

    My respects.

  9. 89118 Says:

    Wonderful post that turns "April Fools" day on it's head. :) Once I was a noob. When I rose it took two newbies to fill my shoes. Not a good sign :(

    Cheers, Peace and Gratitude.

  10. Mihai Says:

    First of all, congrats on all your applications. I found them a long time ago and I have rediscovered them a few times since then. Regarding those emails, I must agree with Praful, the download link should be a little more visible. I have encountered my share of computer lulz myself, I worked in a Call Center once and I still help people with their computers. Keep up the good work.

    Mihai from Romania

  11. Crispydog Says:

    I have used Nirsoft utilities for several years on an as-needed basis. I have never encountered a problem because I read the readme.txt first. Your dedication to information and quality is admirable, not to mention the price. By the way, I like the download link at the page bottom since it pushes me to read the page information beforehand. Many thanks for your efforts.

  12. Ganesh Says:

    These are master pieces!!! The biggest problem is the n00bs. Not the kind of n00b who accept they are n00bish but the kind of n00b who talks as though he is a techie! All these n00bs read a few sites regarding hacks, back doors and trojans and suddenly they talk as though they know everything about trojans, root kits etc... And ask them about a false positive, they are stuck up and start arguing that AVG/AVAST is the best ever AV in the world. A classic example of a super-fool! Congrats Nir :) for posting this and letting us know that we are infinitely better than many ppl :P :P

    All your tools rock...

  13. RegisPBR Says:

    First of all, thanks for all your excellent softwares...

    Just a little note:
    I think you should leave the layout of the pages just the way it is.

    Don't put download links on top.
    People that come here MUST read the page (and warnings) before downloading stuff.

    Making downloads easier (and without the need for scrolling and reading)
    is only going to inflate your mailbox with more stupid questions.

    I recommend you leave the page the way it is, to force people to (at the very least) read
    and find where the download link is...

    Thanks again for all your hard work, I'm sure we all appreciate very much your software.

  14. Paulo Says:

    Whatever they say, I only have one simple thing to say: thank you, you make my life easier with such great utilities. Keep up the great work.

  15. ij Says:

    Regarding finding the dl link. i don't recall that problem on nirsoft. Some other sites manage to hide link very well, though sometimes i can't find a link because it is only in an img, and i happen to have browser imgs turned off.
    Anyway, i agree with regispbr http://blog.nirsoft.net/2010/03/31/weird-and-funny-stories-for-april-fools-day/#comment-12108 argument *against* making the dl link immediately visible. some more hasty visitors will dl without studying even the features or usage. And judging from nir's list of "confused" visitors, it's wiser to avoid increasing the number of confused visitors. :-)
    Perhaps a compromise would be a name= link at top of page, that sends visitor to the bottom, but that's still likely to cause some visitors to skip reading the info.

    Btw, I spent some of my valuable time reading this post and replying. though i found it somewhat amusing, I'm afraid i will have to charge for my time. (ahhh, i really love my work!)
    ;-)

    PS. i'd also like to say thanks for offering apps I could never write (the best i do are short script-like things :-) )
    Though i used one of the password apps a couple times, i most use Folder Properties in NirExt, the app that creates a desktop.ini

    This blog might not be the best place to mention, but... v1.01 doesn't create desktop.ini for vista (x86, home premium). You can see this if you use properties in explorer.exe to assign the same icon. The resulting desktop.ini file (viewed in text editor) shows additional lines for vista.
    Also the this Folder Properties app would be handier if it offered some the default paths, and these were in environment variable format (%windir%\system32\ for example).
    And ( :-) ) nicer if user could store a few MRU paths, perhaps only appearing in the filename box, as an invisible pulldown (similar to filename box in firefox "saveas" dialog).

    Thanks again...

  16. Jacques-Marie Says:

    Incredible to see such literatures you received. It is very interesting to discover the other side of the curtain and I admire your patience.

    Thank you for sharing your work and allowing foreign fans to contribute in translating.
    I do like the way you code, using C++ and exe alone, instead of heavy langages and many dll everywhere.

  17. Alberto G Says:

    This post gives me the possibility to thank you.
    About the posts on annoyances.org, I am sorry you had to endure such a display of idiocy and illiteracy. I also admire your patience.

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