Several years later, recently, my computer died and I had to buy a new one. I reinstalled ACDSee from the old install file I had (I think it was v.4, I hadn't bothered upgrading it in years), but I'd long since lost the magic registration number thingy for unlocking the trial version. So I used it until the trial period ran out and it started to nag me.
So I decided this was a good time to upgrade. I went to the ACDSee website, and by now they were up to v.9. I installed it and got a 30-day trial period. Lots of new features added, lots of improvements made. It was the same old program I'd always loved, but better! So I went back to the website to register it. It still cost $40, but instead of a registration code, I got a second install file. I tried running it. It didn't seem to be any different from the trial version install file. In fact, when I restarted it, the program was still on its trial period. I tried uninstalling the program and reinstalling from the new file. It was STILL on its trial period, and that "Buy Now" button hadn't gone away.
I went to the website. They had a tech support service, but you had to sign up for it. I poked around, looking at as much information as I could. Didn't find anything that helped. I got frustrated and gave up for now.
ACDSee's trial period continued to diminish day by day, reminding me with an InTouch window that popped up every day the first time I launched the program.
Oh, and the damn thing crashed a few times. It seemed annoyingly unstable.
Eventually the trial period ran out. The program offered me a 15-day extension on the trial period, which I accepted. In the meantime, I looked at the automated email I received when I paid for the program. There were some instructions in it that I didn't remember noticing before, for getting a file from the website. Apparently this was the actual full install program. I tried following the instructions, but they led to a dead link. I guess the time period to get the file had expired.
I went to the website again and tried signing up for the tech support account, hoping maybe they could send me another copy of the paid version that I already paid for. I filled out all the information and clicked the button. The website gave me a message saying they'd send me an email with a password. No such email arrived within the next hour or so, but as it was a Friday night, I figured maybe I'd have to wait till Saturday morning, or possibly Monday morning.
Saturday came and went. No email. Sunday came and went. No email. Monday came and went. Still no email.
At this point, I wrote off the $40 I spent as a loss. I decided to keep using the program until it expired again, then look for some other program. But tonight, while using it, it crashed so hard my computer was forced to restart!
So FUCK ACDSEE. Once my computer started up again, I uninstalled it. Fucking thing I used to love so much has turned into a piece of SHIT. Hey ACDSee, it's OVER between us! I want your belongings out of my bathroom, I want my $40 and my guitar back, I'm cutting you out of all the photos I have of the two of us, and don't even THINK about sending flowers or cards. I now know what a JERK you are and I'm telling all my friends.
So anyway... now I need another image viewer. Not IrfanView; I already have IrfanView and it's got too many weird quirks that disrupt my workflow (unless maybe someone can teach me to customize them away?) I did a search and I see something called FastStone Image Viewer; anyone have any experience with that? Is it good? Does it suck? Any other recommendations?