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Last post Author Topic: Ad Muncher: keeps the brain intact while surfing the Net - beats AdBlock!  (Read 40071 times)

CodeTRUCKER

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CodeTRUCKER: Did you intend to post something?

Yes Sir!  Just a simple Thank you!  

I fat-fingered my spell-checker as I was posting.  It is fixed now.

superboyac

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Ad muncher is cool.

Innuendo

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Quote from: superboyac
Ad muncher is cool.

Yes...cool enough to have the development pace of a glacier.  ;D

But still the best ad-blocker available anywhere.

CodeTRUCKER

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Quote from: superboyac
Ad muncher is cool.

Yes...cool enough to have the development pace of a glacier.  ;D


vegas

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I love it, I always will, but I am very disappointed I can't use it on a flash drive (still), so any PC i use is protected and blocked while I am there using it.

Josh

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vegas, from what I have read this will come later but will likely incur another charge to be able to use. And yes, I too am very disappointed at the extremely slow pace of development. Here are just a few of the "promised" features from AM:

  • 64-bit extensions
  • HTTP 1.1 Support
  • Per-Site Filtering
  • Regex filters
  • Per-Site/Filter Statistics
  • gzip support
  • USB Drive capabilities

I am also disappointed that during this development, read slow development, they choose to alienate users who choose to stick with the latest stable release by not providing them updates. Yes, I have never had a problem with an AM beta, but I know several people who fear the word beta regardless of how stable the author claims it to be. Ad Muncher is one of those tools which, even in final release, can cause a page not to load just by having it enabled due to a bug which might exist. This has happened to me on numerous occasions and turns on to be a programming error such a hung mutex or something similar. I personally feel that updates should be provided for the latest stable release until the next one is put out. If the beta is as stable as they say, release it as a new point, or dot, release and remove the beta tag!

They at least learned their lesson about future OS development as they added Windows 7 support PRIOR to it's release as opposed to how they added vista support 1 year after vista's release. 64 bit computing has been out for a while and AM still has no support for it. USB support is a feature which should be HIGH on the priority list given that you can use firefox and opera with ad blocking capabilities on ANY MACHINE you choose. I was given permission back in the day to use AM on a USB drive by Murray but this proved to be more of a pain in the butt as you have to reactivate ad muncher every time you plugin the USB device.

I am actually starting to like/learn ad block and how to use it's filters and am getting pretty satisfied with it's performance as well. This is all being spurred by the extremely slow development pace this team has. Sorry AM, I am moving on.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 05:02:39 AM by Josh »

app103

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Josh, if you remember back to the AOL ad problem I reported, and even graciously allowed access to one of my screen names for investigation (that's more trust than most people would have), gzip support was promised in the "next version" to take care of the issue, which never happened. (we are using that next version now, and I am not referring to the beta)

Hopefully they aren't making more promises they don't plan to keep.

Josh

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I think they are over-promising features which they simply cannot deliver. Murray keeps throwing the excuse, as does Jeff, that they are a two man operation. If that is the case, then perhaps they need to stop saying "This will be ready in version x.xx" or "This will be ready in the next beta" when the next beta isn't actually released for 5 months. Please note that 4.73 has been in beta for 6 months now, Jan 28 2009, meaning that registered users of 4.72 have not been receiving updates since then and are being given no notifications that they need to update to a BETA version in order to receive what they paid for. I don't care how stable an author claims code to be, if it's beta code don't stop support for the latest STABLE release.

And yes, I too have noticed that your AOL issue has gone unresolved despite at least 2 other reports coming in about it. Jeff claims "I do not have an AOL account so I cannot verify". At least that was the answer I got when I tried troubleshooting with him. Pretty poor excuse. They have released debug builds for people to test and find bugs on in the past, I do not understand why they didn't for this one.

Also, please note this quote from Jeff on their forums:

Quote from: Jeff
Yes, v4.74 will support filtering of 64 bit applications. A lot of work was done on this before work on Windows 7 support was added to 4.73

We will continue this work on 4.74 as soon as 4.73 is completed.

64 bit support is supposed to be what 4.73 was about.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 05:20:48 PM by Josh »

Dormouse

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Quote from: superboyac
Ad muncher is cool.

Yes...cool enough to have the development pace of a glacier.  ;D

Of course, with global warming, glaciers are gradually disappearing  :(

brotherS

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Since my old system died I didn't use Ad Muncher (or any ad blocker) on my new system, maybe because I didn't frequent sites with very annoying ads so much. Now I want to install Ad Muncher again - I can still access the files on the old HD, is that enough to 'import' the registration?

And I had some really interesting conversations about Ad Muncher with someone from this site, if I recall correctly he knows or knew the guys behind it. Would that someone please PM me? I'm not sure who it was...

Quote from: superboyac
Ad muncher is cool.

Yes...cool enough to have the development pace of a glacier.  ;D

Of course, with global warming, glaciers are gradually disappearing  :(
And they are picking up speed (while melting away)! Good news for Ad Muncher's development pace? :D

Carol Haynes

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You just need the serial number that you got in the email when you bought AdMuncher.

brotherS

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I'm afraid that email is gone forever... along with my Outlook Express installation from 'back then'. I don't even know which of my gazillion email addresses I used when I registered... that's why I asked for an 'alternative solution'.

Innuendo

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Boy, I didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest with my little joke, but here's a reply on a few of the points above (in no particular order):

BrotherS, at one time you could just move install AdMuncher over your old directories and your registration info would be preserved. However, the latest versions have moved to a stricter online validation so I don't know if it will still work, but try it and see.

Glacial pace of development: It's been a slow road because it's been a two man operation. Fortunately, their income levels have increased to the point where they could afford to hire on another programmer. Hopefully, once he gets up to speed on the code things will move faster.

Forcing people to move to the beta version: They have come up with a new, more efficient way to filter that requires quite a bit fewer signatures to accomplish what they were able to do before with the bigger signature list. Unfortunately, this new way of doing things makes the new signature list incompatible with the old. Having to maintain two signature lists would slow development down farther than it already is.

Post-poned features: Gzip/HTTP 1.1 (yeah, they are practically the same feature code-wise) and 64-bit support have been a long time coming and people have a right to be upset. These were all supposed to be in the v4.72 update. However, after being near-lynched on the support forums for Vista support, the author decided to drop everything and get Vista support implemented ASAP or risk losing his entire customer base. What was to come in v4.72 was pushed back to v4.73.

Unfortunately, on the way to v4.73 Windows 7 was announced and builds were starting to pop up everywhere. It was then discovered the hack to get AdMuncher to work with Vista failed miserably on Windows 7. It was then decided by the author to move back those promised features again and re-writing AdMuncher and the installer properly to support Vista and Windows 7...and hopefully, every future Windows OS with UAC. He's concentrating on OS support first and the other features later. Whether or not that was the right thing to do, I cannot say.

One other thing is slowing development and that has been re-writing the old Assembly code into some flavor of C for easier maintaining of the codebase.

My guess is Murray is a perfectionist and he's got a case of OCD with his code not working just the way he wants it to before he releases it. That's just a guess, though, and may not be accurate.

AdMuncher is not perfect and I read above someone is leaving it behind for something else, but what? I've yet to find anything that does what AdMuncher will do for every program you have installed. Most adblockers restrict themselves to working with web browsers. If there are any true alternatives to AdMuncher I'd love to hear them.

superboyac

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Just email the developer, he'll send you your registration info.

As for Ad Muncher's development pace, yeah, it's slow.  But it works.

Josh

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Innuendo, I respect that they have hired another developer, but the problem with that is now, as you said, he has to play catch up and learn the code. Also, after talking with Murray, I am sure that he will have to triple check all code as the last developer they hired didn't know his stuff and caused many issues with actual releases.

The other issue I have with the slow development is the constant promise of all of these features which keep getting pushed to the right. Please notice, it took nearly 1.5 years AFTER Vista's release to get support for it. Windows 7 came out and they decided to not make the same mistake and jump on board early. Fine, good plan. But what about the other features which were promised for 4.73, in beta since Jan09? What about all of the users who don't have a version of ad muncher installed that is set to check for BETA updates? Unless you specifically know about the forums, irc channel, or the beta's, a normal user would not know to update. I did a test and did not update my father only to see if he noticed ad's starting to appear. Within 2 weeks of no updating, he reported to me that he started getting intermittent ad's which only increased as the month went on. It was at that time I told him to upgrade. Had I not been around, he would have assumed the product stopped working. Yes, releasing two lists can be counterproductive, but if you push out a new list format, RELEASE A STABLE VERSION so that users can take advantage of it. Don't force something onto any machine with the beta tag. My dad took 15 minutes of explaining as to why I was putting something that was labelled as a "test version", his understanding of the word beta, onto his machine. I understand that the code is stable and likely will not cause issues, but that is not something most users understand.

As I said, I support what the developers are doing but I feel they have promised too much and are taking too long to deliver what they promised. If this were someone serving as a project manager, they would have been fired in my line of work. I will hate to see when they try and venture into linux territory come 5.0's 5 year from now release. Development on the Windows version will probably come to a halt.

app103

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And yes, I too have noticed that your AOL issue has gone unresolved despite at least 2 other reports coming in about it. Jeff claims "I do not have an AOL account so I cannot verify". At least that was the answer I got when I tried troubleshooting with him. Pretty poor excuse. They have released debug builds for people to test and find bugs on in the past, I do not understand why they didn't for this one.

AOL accounts are now free, and you don't even need one to run the software now (only need it to access certain features, like email). And if you have an AIM screen name it can be used in AOL's software, too, accessing aim.com email through it, so now there are 2 options for the same thing. So there should be no trouble getting access to the ads on the email window, which was my original complaint.

I seriously doubt that he can't verify. It might have been a problem way back when I first reported it, but that isn't the case today. Plus, I gave you access to that screen name on my AOL account to help him and I would have let him use it too, if it would have helped, so his excuses are pretty lame and carry no weight. (I'd still be willing to let him borrow one of my screen names if he's too lazy to get one of his own, if I thought it would help.)

But if they add the gzip support that should take care of the problem, any way.

And I sure hope they do, because the freeware TPA Ad Buster plugin is not an option for most AOL users today. It doesn't work with latest version of AOL, it's not Vista compatible, plus it's unsupported, buggy, and frequently crashes. Not to mention that it's pretty hard to find on the TPA site, ever since AOL threatened to stop working with them and allowing them access to information to develop other shareware plugins that are the TPA company's bread & butter. They were supposed to remove it from their site completely, but instead just removed all links to it from other pages. (Sneaky, but it made AOL shut up.) But TPA did keep the part of the deal with AOL that they wouldn't develop it any further, which is why the plugin is in the horrible state that it's in.

AdMuncher is not perfect and I read above someone is leaving it behind for something else, but what? I've yet to find anything that does what AdMuncher will do for every program you have installed. Most adblockers restrict themselves to working with web browsers. If there are any true alternatives to AdMuncher I'd love to hear them.

That's why I am still using it. I don't want to have to install & run a gazillion ad blockers that are application specific (and for some applications they don't even exist)

Innuendo

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I agree the developers are writing checks with their mouths that their butts can't cash. Personally, I'd prefer more frequent releases with fewer features added between non-beta releases, i.e. the developer said the only reason the current beta hasn't been released as final is because they don't have all the features coded that they want to be in the v4.73 release.

I say fine...release what you've got as v4.72.1 then. Add/fix some more stuff and release that as v.4.72.2, etc. When things are how you like it release that as v4.73. Then you can start the whole cycle over with v4.73.1.

At the current pace I don't think we have to worry about Linux and the v5.0 release. That's something our grandkids will have to deal with.  :P

Josh

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As I said innuendo, I am in agreement with you. Make point releases, release new versions when you push out changes to the list structure. Don't force users to use beta code, regardless of how many times you claim it as reliable. Ad Muncher has caused me headaches in the past that are only resolved after exiting ad muncher. This is when a NO or MINIMAL filtering on URL filter does not work. It is at that time that murray gets involved because Jeff claims the problem is with something else but then Murray confirms its a bug in the way AM handles the data it receives.

CodeTRUCKER

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Not to condone laziness or lack of good planning, but is it possible that the reason incremental releases are not provided is because it might jeopardize the future, i.e., coding feature "A" now would prevent the implementation of features "B," "C," etc. requiring a total rewrite of the master architecture?

I have to face this when I develop an app or even a macro.  I have had to start over more than once because I painted myself into a corner.  
I hope I am saying this right? :huh:

Innuendo

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CodeTRUCKER, that's a very good point. I suppose that's possible, but no one would be able to say for sure if this is the case without being able to look over Murray's shoulder at his code.

I've never had a major problem with AdMuncher, but I have never had a qualm about running beta software, either.

I'm running a beta version of AnyDVD, a beta version of The Bat!, a beta version of Total Commander, a beta version of ACDSee Pro v3, and more on a beta version of Windows 7. I love running beta software because I always seize an opportunity to use new features.

superboyac

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I used to be tentative about beta software, but over the years I've barely had any stability issues with them.  I think the word beta has changed drastically over the years to the point now where beta is just normal to me now.  heck, is gmail still beta? 

CodeTRUCKER

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... heck, is gmail still beta? 

<off topic>
Do not know about gmail, but I ALWAYS considered M$ Windows "beta" until XP came along (and some would probably question this)!
</off topic>

urlwolf

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Josh, I'm surprised that you are switching to adblock.
Can you ellaborate on your experiences? Does it really work? For me, it missed a lot of ads, but it seems you can right-click and set rules. Not sure if it's worth it.
How much footwork is involved to get adblock working to the levels of admuncher (which is no work at all!)?

Thanks

Josh

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Well, here is the issue with point releases causing problems with other features. When you rewrite the filtering engine to process rules differently, thus making older versions not work with list updates, this to me indicates time for a new POINT release. Would it not?