Ok, initially, I posted about the calorie-count toolbar, and how much I used and liked it. And theeeen I posted about how it had a ton of spyware.
This morning, I received a comment from Erik, the creator of the toolbar. Here's the back and forth:
At 8:48 PM, Erik said...
Hi Erin - it's Erik here, creator of Calorie-Count.com and the toolbar!
Many apologies for the problems you encountered with our toolbar, however I would like to assure you the toolbar is indeed spyware and adware free...the Internet Explorer version often gets falsely identified by anti-spyware applications as spyware, as we have to interact with our servers to keep your "eat meter" updated (which looks supsicious).
I'd appreciate getting more information on your difficulties and I encourage you to contact me at email@example.com We take our user's privacy and security very seriously!
Hey there Erik,
As someone who is extremely cautious about what I install on my computer (my husband builds them for a living, and he's not one of those bunk computer builders, he's the smart, educated kind, lol), I went ahead and installed the calorie-count toolbar, which I loved, until a few days in, when my computer started freezing up and being generally non-responsive. My husband did everything imaginable to figure out what the problem was, and he said that it was the toolbar and spyware that was installed with it. He was unable to fully un-install the toolbar, or what the spyware programs were reading as spyware, from my computer. When we ran a virus scan, it got to the calorie-count toolbar thing and completely froze up. We had to reformat the computer just so it would stop freezing up. We reinstalled everything that was on the computer before, and it's running just as it was before I installed the toolbar.
I would really love to reinstall the toolbar, because I was using it regularly, but I've been warned it's a bad idea, so I haven't. I really do use your site every single day, and it's helped me to easily keep track of my calories, as well as learning about new things that are great for my calorie-conscience lifestyle.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them my way.
Once again my apologies for the problems you encountered...if you
to know which antivirus and anti-spyware programs you were using this
would be of help.
We also have a version of the toolbar for the popular free Firefox web
browser (http://www.firefox.com) - this version has been tested by the
Mozilla community and in fact is available for download from their
It's the one I use myself.
We are actually thinking of dropping the IE toolbar altogether as we
purchased the base code from a 3rd party and have been experiencing a
lot of trouble with it.
As a sign of thanks I've sent you a little Amazon gift certificate.
Once again my apologies for the trouble you encountered and many thanks
for your help making our site and services better for the future.
By the way, I love your blog - your food creations look fantastic! We
are currently working on a recipe database and analysis tool for
Calorie-Count.com which will provide full nutritional details for any
recipe entered which you might be interested in!
Thanks for taking the time out to help me with the toolbar issue, it means a lot. My husband has offered to have me put the toolbar installation file on his desktop for when he gets home, so he can have a real good look, though I think I'll actually just install Mozilla and use the toolbar there. THAT'S how much I like this toolbar, lol, I'll use a new browser just so I can have it. Also, thank you for the gift certificate, I buy 4-6 books a month through Amazon, so that was a very nice surprise.
For reference, the spyware and adware programs are Spybot, and Lavasoft Ad-Aware, and the virus scanner was this one: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ , which my husband swears by.
Thank you for the kind words about my journal, it's been a great experience and has made me quite a few foodie friends, as well. Also, thank you for the gift certificate, I buy 4-6 books a month, sometimes, through Amazon, so that was a very nice surprise.
So, I guess if you have Mozilla and want the toolbar, then you're good to go, but if you are a stone-ager (like me) and use good old IE, then you're SOL. I was serious, though, I've already installed the Mozilla browser, but I've not been a fan of tabbed browsing, so we'll have to see how that goes..