Author Topic: The Good, Bad, and Ugly Comments  (Read 3461 times)


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The Good, Bad, and Ugly Comments
« on: September 04, 2001, 08:14:55 pm »
I recently discovered this forum and have read through just about every comment about Ultra Hal and wanted to add my own to the mix. However, before doing that, I wanted to let you know a little bit about me in order to make a point later on.

I am a college graduate, I worked as a programmer for a very short period of time many years ago, I have used a persional computer for at least 15 years, beginning with the Commodore 64 (and its language), then DOS, and Windows. I have been done the coding on my large, personal, website for 6 years. I have written articles that have been published on and other webites, in print, and  used as training material. Before retirement, my employment required me to do training, PR, evaluation activities, etc....all centering around communications.

I am a realist but I believe in being positive primarily.

I have purchased Ultra Hal 2 & 3 on CD, I have downloaded all available pluggins and upgrades, I have fed Hal many text documents, so he could learn more; I have explored every learning option in the program. I have tried the voice recognition and read all of the test material into the program, so he may better understand me.

My expectations for the program were based on what I read on the Zabaware webpage. Specifically, when I downloaded Hal 2, it said that the only skill needed to use the software was the ability to be able to write simple sentences in English. I endorsed Hal in my weekly email newsletter based on early experiments with the software. It wasn't perfect but my hardware wasn't great either.

I now have a Pentium 3-900 meghtz. computer, with 256 meg of RAM. I download software frequently and have seen and dealt with a wide variety of packages, interfaces, bugs, etc. I have installed, uninstalled, and re-installed Hal on several occasions.

So, pulling together all of my skills, experiences, and processing it through my giant brain, here is my evaluation:


I have seen and experienced every problem given in this forum with the exception of two or three items. I don't know anything about those reporting these negative events, however, I get the impression from some of the positive people that made me think that the negative people weren't trying very hard, didn't have any skills, should be more supportive, etc. The purpose of my long-winded introduction was to show that I should certainly be able to "write simple sentences in English"  and therefore be able to use the software successfully. The negative people were absolutely correct in the identification of their problems and for bringing them to the forum. All of the forums I have visited have been for problem solving, so when I came here, I expected to see people needing help and venting frustration not a cheering section for the company.

For all of you who have had positive results...for many years, as one said, I am happy for you. But I have to believe you got some sort of special software I didn't get or some inside track to administration that I and others didn't have. My requests for help were ignored as others have said.

I am still intrigued with Hal and I will probably re-install it again. However, I will not pay one more cent for this product until it is improved. As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice...shame on me."