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Mark Johnson The product 'Vole Magic Note' was featured on BDJ a couple of days ago.
There is absolutely no way in the world that anybody at BDJ actually installed that product and did a test drive of it before offering it for sale. In addition, many features from the "Review written by Derek Lee" absolutely do not work at all. There is no way BDJ is gaining respect by having offerings this bad.

I've been in the software business for a number of years, and I have never ever seen a piece of software that is that bad before. Advertised features do not work, what does work is done much better in free software, and there is nothing about the application that is user friendly or useful. If you compare this application to other less costly commercial or free applications, you would not even think about using this app. There is no way in the world any BDJ customers who purchased this software during this sale will use it more than a few days before uninstalling; I challenge you to contact them in a couple of months and ask them how pleased they are with this purchase. This software consists of a media player, which is the only halfway decent piece in the entire application, but sadly the media player has been wrapped in the most amateurishly thrown together excuse for something to make a quick sale I've ever seen.

Also can you PLEASE take a look at how companies are selling their product before featuring them? This is a piece of software that resides on a pc and stores all its data on a pc, and should not need the internet at all. But look how they are selling the product:
http://www.sanwhole.com/v...chase.html
NOTE: The 17 different advertised prices for this product are on the line "Test Operation Stage (USD)".

Here are just a few of the problems found in a trial of this software that I gave to the company rep; I got tired of trying things in it because no matter what I did the software had problems:

Below is a summary of what I saw when using the download version of VMN from their website. If you would like I will be glad to do a video review of VMN and post it online.

There is a button at the top of the application that when clicked gives options "UK 1", "USA 1", and "USA 2". This appears to be a choice of some kind of online server, but of course since there is no help provided there is no way to know what it is doing. The option "USA 2" cannot be selected.

I monitored the network activity of the application while I had a newly created empty database open. I can understand the software doing a check for updates when it first opens, but with VMN I saw much more than that. VMN is constantly sending and receiving data across the internet the entire time the application is running. I monitored it for a half hour, and through that entire period VMN was communicating through the internet every few seconds. There is no excuse whatsoever for this software to be sending and receiving information through the internet constantly while it is open.
That is totally unacceptable!

Every 30 seconds the application downloads a flash video into a TEMP folder under AppData/Local/Sanwhole/Vole Magic Note.
The downloaded video is actually named by the date/time it was created.
Example:
At 7:06 and 44 seconds, it downloads a video named 20141203070644.swf
At 7:07 and 14 seconds, it downloads a video named 20141203070744.swf
The video is nothing more than the vole media ads that show up in the 'Featured' pane, but they are actually downloaded through the internet every 30 seconds.
That is way way way beyond totally unacceptable.

Every time you click on any note that has media, a copy of that media is placed in the same TEMP folder mentioned above.

Every time you open a database, a help file (.chm) is created in the same TEMP folder mentioned above. The help file consists of nothing but an empty database structure, whether a database has notes and media or not.

The TEMP folders and content discussed above are NOT removed when the application is closed.

Each and every single time you add text to a note, modify existing text, or make any change at all to text in a note you have to click the 'Save' button. If you forget to click the save button and click on any other note, your changes are lost and you are given no warning.
That is totally unacceptable!

It appears that the only way to add a timer or a task to a note is to right-click on the note, and choose 'magic touch', which creates a vertical area on left. THEN you have to push enter a few times to create horizontal areas in that vertical area. THEN you have to right-click on one of those sections in the vertical area on left and choose to add something to it.
That is absurdly complex! Not acceptable!
NOTE: There is also a 'Magic Touch' icon on the toolbar, but clicking it does not create this 'Magic Touch' area in a note. Only what is described above creates it. The 'Magic Touch' icon in the toolbar is labelled 'Getting started tutorial video', but no video opens when you click it.

If you are in a note that has a webpage link, and then again click the link to add a webpage link, the new webpage is not created in a new media player tab but instead replaces the existing webpage link. There is no notification to the user that the existing data is going to be replaced.
It appears that this happens with all media types. Instead of adding a new media player to the note, the existing media player data is overwritten with no notice.
That is totally unacceptable!

There appears to be no way to prevent a video from automatically starting when you click on a note.

Simple activities like adding a youtube video, clicking on the key manager, all sorts of simple things like that cause this error:
'VoleMagicNote' encountered a problem and needed to close, continue to run may be unstable. A generic error occurred in GDI+. That error window has a checkbox in it that says next to it "Ignor".

There are no options for database location or for anything else except a color scheme. You cannot even choose which icons should be displayed in toolbars, or which toolbars to show.

The search is a very basic text search with no advanced options except match case and whole word. Since you cannot add tags to notes and the notes are simply named by the date, this is totally insufficient for any kind of note keeping software. Again, this is only acceptable for an extremely basic diary software and not at all for keeping notes.

The only options for creating a new database are to create a 2014 calendar database (a note for each day in 2014) or a 2015 calendar database. In other words, this is a very basic diary software and not acceptable at all for note keeping software.

Each note in the database has a number in the range 1 - 7 after the date. That appears to be the day of the week, starting on Monday. A 1 appears after a date that is a Monday, a 3 after a Wednesday, etc. There appears to be no way to turn that off or make it something more useful, like an actual day of the week.

The application provides a link to the exact same completely unhelpful video that anybody can view just by visiting your website, but no other video file.

The application provides a help file that doesn't say anything in it but "Sanwhole Vole Help is under preparation".

The application has a window that cannot be closed called "VMC Discovery" that is nothing but a button that says 'click here' and does nothing when you click.

The application has a window that cannot be closed called "VMC Helper" that is nothing but a button that says 'click here' and does nothing when you click.

The application has a window called 'Featured' that cannot be closed and cannot be minimized and has extremely annoying constantly flashing ads for your other software. Ads I can understand but these change and flash (YES, THEY FLASH) every few seconds.

The application comes with a sample database that is the exact same database used in all your ads.

The sample database includes 13 notes with information in them (January 1 through January 13). All 352 of the rest of the notes for the year are empty.

The application includes in the 2014-01-05 note a word document (.doc) that renders terribly and looks absolutely awful in your media player. However, if the .doc is exported and actually opened up in the Word application, it renders perfectly.

The application includes in the 2014-01-06 note a PDF file, but the note will not even open and just gives an error if Adobe PDF reader is not installed. A LOT OF PEOPLE do not use Adobe PDF reader and certainly won't install it just so your software works. For example I use this: http://www.tracker-software.com/ NOTE: When exported I was able to open/view the PDF file fine.

The application includes a "keys manager", which is advertised on your website. Even in a brand new database it is not possible to add keys. The button to add or edit is grayed out, and if you right-click the 'edit-mode' option in the menu is grayed out. In the sample database there is one key, and the only thing that can be modified in it is when you click the button to 'Update access date'.

According to your website, the keys manager should work in the free version. Since it does not, that leads me to think it does not work in the paid version either.

In the "keys manager" if you right-click an invisible window opens that prevents you from clicking on either the keys manager or the main window of the application. The invisible window appears in the taskbar. Closing the invisible window causes 'VoleMagicNote' encountered a problem and needed to close, continue to run may be unstable. A generic error occurred in GDI+. That error window has a checkbox in it that says next to it "Ignor".

Each time the application is opened, after a few minutes there is always a window that pops up which talks about a self test.

I can go on and on. You are selling this as software for making text and multimedia notes. You really need to look at the software you are competing with and then rethink what you need to do with this product.
Try rightnote --> http://bauerapps.com/
Try ultra recall --> http://www.kinook.com/UltraRecall/
There are a whole lot of them, the above are only two examples. There are a lot of free ones too.
In each of those applications write some notes. Add some media. Add several pieces of media to a single note. Do a search.
THEN take a look at this software again.
        Dec 3 2014 at 7:15am
Norman Wong @Mark - I'm Vole Magic Note software vendor. I've been waiting for your test video for several days. Have you finished it? It you do, please let me know. I will explain it according your video here. Before you finished it, you can see my reply to your post on the software promotion page http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95571
        Dec 7 2014 at 7:41pm
Mark Johnson Norman,
Quoting what I stated above, "If you would like I will be glad to do a video review of VMN and post it online."

Since you only posted a request for a video review a few minutes ago it makes no sense to me that you have been waiting for a test video.

Since I have now been requested to create a review video I will do that and post the video on YouTube.

Please understand that my regular occupation as a software architect takes up 40+ hours per week of my time, and I also maintain a part-time job of developing games for xbox, android, and iOS platforms, and add to that a number of hobbies and my spare time is limited.

When I did the initial review of your software which is posted on this website it was out of an interest in possibly purchasing the software, and due to the time limitations of sales on BDJ I had no choice but to do that review while the software was on sale. I have learned through doing that review that I have no interest in purchasing products created by Sanwhole.

Since there is no benefit to me in doing a video review except the satisfaction of helping others see what the true abilities and problems are with the software, it is not exactly the most high priority item on my schedule.

I will try to do a video review of VMN within the next week. Of course it will be a review of the free version since there is no time-limited Professional or Ultimate version available. I might possibly also review some other Sanwhole products at the same time, as it appears that each of these products are built on the same base and are very similar in operation. If I am unable to create this review(s) within the next week I will post back here an updated timeframe. When complete and posted to YouTube, I will link the review(s) here and also on a number of public review websites.

To be as fair as possible, I will download from the Sanwhole website and install to a fast, modern, up to date computer running Windows 8.1 Ultimate Edition each of the reviewed products. The installations will be to a fast SSD.

Please keep in mind that reviewing software is not my occupation and I am in no way remunerated for doing reviews, however I have many years of experience writing software, dealing with the expectations and problems found by users of that software, and also ensuring that issues found in Quality Assurance testing are addressed. That experience in many ways drives how I perform a review of software.

The review, depending on time constraints, will consist of as much as possible of the following.

The features of the product will be exercised and a large database representing several months of active product use will be created prior to starting the review.
The same thing will be done with at least one competing product that is either free, less costly, or in the same price range as the product under review.
The bulk of the review will be the use of that large database in a fashion that a typical customer might use the product after several months of operation. That use will be compared to similar use in a competing product.

Note: competing products are determined by the advertisements of the Sanwhole product being reviewed. Since I only have the free version of Sanwhole products to work with, any differences between features of the free version and the Professional or Ultimate versions that impact the review will be mentioned. Those differences will be mentioned exactly as documented in the product comparison table ( http://www.sanwhole.com/v...chase.html )
Example:
Vole Magic Note is advertised as the best solution available for creating and organizing rich text and multimedia notes. Its use in a daily environment will be compared to a competing product such as Ultra Recall ( http://www.kinook.com/UltraRecall/ ).
Example:
Vole Remember is advertised as software which helps you remember specific information. If I choose to review this software it will be compared to software such as Anki ( http://ankisrs.net/ ).
Vole Windows Expedition is advertised as file and folder management software. If I review this software it will be compared to software such as Directory Opus ( http://www.gpsoft.com.au/ ) or Xplorer2 ( http://zabkat.com/ ).
Vole Internet Expedition is advertised as a web browser that competes with and outdoes the top 5 web browsers. If I review this software it will be compared to one of the free web browsers and freely available extensions or plugins. Example: Firefox browser plus 'Tile Tabs' ( https://addons.mozilla.or...tile-tabs/ ), 'Tab mix plus' ( https://addons.mozilla.or...src=search ), YouTube High Definition ( https://addons.mozilla.or...src=search ).

I typically also review system impact and security. This involves things like use of the registry, frequency of registry access, disk use including location on disk, frequency of disk access, size of databases or other files that change, and safety of data including backup strategy. If encryption, passwords, or any or data which should be secured is involved, how safe that information is will likely be tested. Network (including internet) use is monitored, including protocols, ports used, and packets sent and received and the content of those packets.

I notice that at least two products sold by Sanwhole advertise ISO 9000 compliance and management. In at least one place ( http://www.sanwhole.com/v...tures.html ) is the claim of ISO 9000 certification.

The current certification for ISO 9000 is ISO 9001:2008. The certification for ISO 9001:2015 will be the next certification available. Please let me know which certification body has accredited your software. I will contact them and ask for the current status of your certification before reviewing any of this software.

Sincerely,
Mark.
        Dec 7 2014 at 10:51pm
Mark Johnson Norman,
The installer for Vole Magic Note that was available on your website during the BDJ sale was SetupVoleMagicNote41026.exe.

When I submitted that file to VirusTotal.com for scanning, it reported the file was clean.

Today the file on your website for download is SetupVoleMagicNote41208.exe, which is 1Mb larger than the previous installer.

When I submitted that file to VirusTotal for scanning, two different antivirus programs reported that the installer contains a trojan.

Please correct this problem and ensure a clean VirusTotal report or I will not be able to review your software as you have requested.
        Dec 8 2014 at 3:06am
Norman Wong @ Mark Johnson - I've replied you here http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95713
        Dec 8 2014 at 5:51am
Mark Johnson Norman, I also responded on the product discussion page that you have linked above. I have asked for information from you that is needed for performing an in-depth video review of the product to replace the written review I did last Wednesday. As stated in that discussion I plan to do that review this coming Saturday or Sunday and will link it here when it is complete.

I will be taking part in no more discussions about Sanwhole products before or after posting the review as these discussions really seem to serve no point.

Regards,
Mark.
        Dec 8 2014 at 12:06pm
Norman Wong @ Mark - I've replied you here http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95746 Norman
        Dec 8 2014 at 3:36pm
Mark Johnson Copy of final posting to Norman Wong before performing the video review that he has requested I do:

@Norman Wong:

I didn't plan to respond again before doing the review on the 13th or 14th, but I want to give you one last chance to improve on your statements and actions before I do the review.

I have now stated multiple times that I would be glad to review the Ultimate version of your software. Since even purchased and registered versions of your software are time-limited, it should be a simple matter for you to issue to me an Ultimate version license that expires before Christmas. That would give me plenty of time to do the review and also ensure that I do not continue to use it after the review.

It is my understanding that you refuse to do that and instead state that I have to purchase the Ultimate version. As I have made it extremely clear that reviewing software is not my profession and I receive no remuneration for reviews, it would of course make no sense for me to purchase an Ultimate version of your software to review.

I have asked multiple times now that if you do not intend to provide me with an Ultimate version for review, that you give details on exactly what the differences are between the free and Ultimate version which are not already detailed in the product comparison chart on your website. My understanding is that you are saying there are differences between the free and Ultimate version which are not explained in the product comparison chart, but you are refusing to detail what those differences are.

If you continue to refuse to detail what those differences are and continue to refuse to provide to me a time-limited Ultimate version that expires soon after I complete the review, then my only choice is to use the free version for the review and assume that the product comparison chart details 100% of the differences between the free version and the Ultimate version. If I end up reviewing the free version you cannot later say my review is not valid, because it is you refusing to provide a time-limited Ultimate version which has created the boundaries of the review.

I have now asked multiple times for information to verify your claim of ISO 9001:2008 certification. I have even provided a link ( http://www.qualitydigest....valid.html# ) that describes what a company that claims ISO 9001:2008 certification is expected to provide to those who ask for evidence of that certification. I quote the first two sentences from the above link: "The first thing you need to do when you are evaluating a potential supplier based on their ISO 9001 certificate is request that they provide you with a copy of the certificate itself. If the company is indeed certified, they shouldn't have a problem providing you with a copy of their certificate."

Since I have now asked multiple times over multiple days for you to provide evidence of the certification that is claimed on your website and you have refused to do so, if you do not provide that information by the 13th or 14th I will have to assume for the sake of the video review that you do not in fact have any certification and the claim on your website is false.

Also just a little information: Kaspersky is not a brand new antivirus that just joined VirusTotal a few days ago; I really do not know why you would make a claim like that.
If you contact VirusTotal you will find that Kaspersky has been one of the products used by them since 2006.
Kaspersky antivirus suite of products has won many product of the year awards in the past several years, and is currently one of the most highly respected and used antivirus suites available.
If you have a product which is reported to contain a trojan by Kaspersky, you need to contact Kaspersky immediately and not ignore it as if it does not matter. Kaspersky will respond immediately and if it is indeed a false positive, Kaspersky will remove it in an update pushed to all users later the same day. It does not take several days to get Kaspersky to act.
        Dec 9 2014 at 10:33pm
Norman Wong @Mark Johnson -

Do you still remember when you first threaten us to "do a video review of VMN and post it online"? That was 2014-12-03, http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95567

Do you still remember when you posted on BDJ "Please actually review software you are listing"? That was 2014-12-03, http://www.bitsdujour.com...re-listing

I remembered when we let you know "I'm Vole Magic Note software vendor. I've been waiting for your test video for several days. Have you finished it?" That was 2014-12-07, http://www.bitsdujour.com...re-listing

Do you still remember when you wanted to "helping others see what the true abilities and problems are with the software" and insisted make your review and posted it online? That was 2014-12-08, http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95703

Do you still remember when you announced that "I didn't plan to respond again before doing the review on the 13th or 14th, but I want to give you one last chance to improve on your statements and actions before I do the review."? That was 2014-12-09, http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95770

Yes, we did not post again so as not to disturb your review process. 13th or 14th has past, Christmas has past, New Year's Day was coming, New Year's Day has past.

Don't forget that you let us know "my regular occupation as a software architect takes up 40+ hours per week of my time, and I also maintain a part-time job of developing games for xbox, android, and iOS platforms", http://www.bitsdujour.com...ntId=95703

So, When you finish your review and post it online? How long do you want us to wait for it again and again?
        Jan 2 2015 at 6:34pm
Mark Johnson @Norman.
When your 'product' first became available on BDJ, I downloaded it and tested it out. I normally do that with software that is questionable. I posted an extensive written review, which is at the top of this thread.

In that posting I also said, "If you would like I will be glad to do a video review of VMN and post it online." For some reason you have completely ignored everything I've written about your 'product' and latched on to that statement. Nobody but you has requested me to do that video review, only you, the product vendor, have requested that I do a video review of the 'product'.

So here we have a situation where a product vendor asks somebody to do a review. I asked you for an ultimate license for the product that expired soon after it was issued to me, so that you could be assured I only used the license for the review and did not continue to use the product. You have ignored that request and kept harping on me needing to do a review. My guess is that since you asked me to do a review yet ignore my request for a product license to do the review from, you expect me to review the free product and then immediately slam my review because it is of the free product.

As I stated originally, I will be glad to do a review if somebody asks me to do one. You are the only one who has ever asked me to do one. Since you are apparently refusing to grant me a license that will soon expire to do that review with yet keep badgering me to do a review anyway, please be assured that I will do a video review in my own good time.

A great way for you to see me do a review in the timeframe you are wanting is to grant me a license that expires within two weeks or a month. By doing that you are setting a timeframe for me to do the review. If you plan to continue to badger me to do a review yet expect me to use the free and limited version to do that review, you can expect me to do the review at some random time in the future when I feel like it.
        Jan 12 2015 at 2:29pm
Norman Wong @Mark, Vole Magic Note promotion has expired more than 50 days, make review is no more sense. BDJ is promoting Vole Windows Expedition now; you are welcome to post your comments there. I believe you learn more accuracy about our products than ever.
        Jan 15 2015 at 3:39am
Mark Johnson Norman, I guarantee that after reviewing Vole Magic Note THE FIRST TIME and taking a look at how you are using binary modifications to archaic chm files as a database, I certainly have no interest at all in ever looking at a Sanwhole product again.
        Jan 15 2015 at 6:47pm
Norman Wong Mark, Unfortunately, you've missed your last chance. I will wait your "review". But I doubt you will eat your words again.
        Jan 15 2015 at 7:13pm
Mark Johnson Norman, exactly what last chance did I miss, and what words are there to be eaten? Are you saying you are getting rid of the product, and never selling it again? Well, I think that is a good idea.

I reviewed your product; that review appears at the top of this posting.
It is extremely clear to me that your product(s) are not worth purchasing. I also took an in-depth look at your "database" that does not appear in the above review. The database consists of an antiquated, outdated CHM file that has encrypted binary writes to it each time updates are made. I've never seen anything that absurd for a database when there are things like mysql, sqllite, access, and plenty of other much more robust alternatives.

You asked for a video review instead of the written review.
I asked you for a license for the product to use for the review, you refused.
Norman, I said at the very start of this thread that your product is not worth purchasing, and you missed an opportunity to prove it is. I missed nothing.
        Jan 15 2015 at 8:05pm
Norman Wong @Mark, what will happen if our Vole Magic Note customers know you asked us to get rid of the product? May be they will kill you. Just kidding.

Are you a hacker? No, you are not just a hacker, because you dared to openly dismantle our products.

We never asked you for a video review, even if now. It was you that threaten us to make one and put it online. We have been waiting it for more than 50 days. You've eaten you words again and again.

I missed an opportunity to prove our product is not worth purchasing? Are you kidding me?

Yes, you definitely missed the chance that I let you go. Do you expect that you can easily go away after say so many fake bad words to our product? You must prove your words. As you promised, a review video.
        Jan 15 2015 at 8:54pm
Mark Johnson Norman, your responses do not even make sense.

I reviewed your magic notes product, that review appears at the top of this forum topic. That review is detailed and specific, nothing is 'fake bad words'.

Nobody except you has ever asked me to review a Sanwhole Vole product. Nobody except you.

At first I accepted your request to do a video review, but then saw you continually badmouth me again and again, so that made me realize that even if I did a video review it would mean nothing. I have also asked multiple times for a time-limited version of your software to review, and you have never responded to that request but instead just keep badgering about a review.

Norman, I see no reason to continue back and forth with you.
If you provide a time-limited version of the software for me to review, I might consider reviewing it. Otherwise, there is no way your software is worth my time. I already did one review, and that review appears at the top of this thread. You need to make it worth my time for me to do another review, and your constant badgering do not make it worth my time.
        Jan 18 2015 at 7:55pm
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