Sunday, March 09, 2008

Smilebox Review

I was asked about Smilebox some time ago and replied that I would use it for a while and post a review about it here. I'm sorry to say that I haven't been able to use Smilebox. I installed it on two different computers. It crashes upon start on both Vista running laptops and the desktop with XP it'll start up and show the menus and tools but that's as far as I was able to go. It's my understanding it uses some sort of flash player and I updated those. I went to Smilebox to trouble shoot and came up with nothing. Even their support comes up short.

I consider myself computer literate, at least to the point I should be able to get this program running. Since I cannot, this scores very low as far as being user friendly. Most people are click and go users that only understand the basics of surfing the web, installing programs and using them. My experience with the program and with their support staff says that this isn't a choice for a novice. If you try to install it and it won't come up, just uninstall it like I did. If you can get it up and running, you got a lot farther than I did.

Has anyone out there ever used it, and how was it??

UPDATE: I had asked my son to try getting it to work. He tried on both laptops running Vista and the desktop running XP. My laptop worked because (oh no surprise) I have turned off my Microsoft Updates. The other two were recently "brain washed" and reset to factory configurations, so Windows Updates snuck through. One of the service packs affects the Smilebox. I uninstalled one. Restarted the computer, reinstalled Smilebox - no go. Uninstalled another update, restarted, and yeeaaayy! Got it running. I didn't get a chance to play with it yet, though my son who is in a multi-media class says he likes it. He compared parts of it to and said "it's cute". A girl in his class says she loves it.

So there ya go! I still have to check it out too. I just don't see myself using it to create scrapbooks, but maybe sending e-cards.

Thank you to the two gals who sent me Smileboxes, especially the flowers. It's snowing the biggest darndest flakes right now and earlier it was warm. I live near Flint, Michigan (far enough from the "action" to dodge the bullets). 8 days til spring... not soon enough!


andrew wright said...

i am sorry you had trouble. it has been installed 2.5 millions times thus far and there are very few issues. could you please send a not to indicating what the issue was. please indicate that andrew wright sent you their way. i am the founder.

gabbyfowl said...

Wish I could help, I installed Smilebox on my pc with Vista and a laptop with xp and didn't have any problems, just started adding pictures. I did get mine at Hallmark not sure if that made a difference. Really love it because it has been so easy to use. Maybe check your antivirus sometimes I have to turn spysweeper odd until i download a new program. good luck with it. ps I don't work for them.

Susie2shoes said...

I have used Smilebox for some time and I absolutely love it. I have Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, with Service Pack 3, v.3264

I have it installed on my cheap and cheerful 3 year old IBM Thinkpad, with Inter(R) Celeron (R) M Processor 1.40 GHz with a humble 504MB or RAM.

I hope this helps in some way as it's such a shame that you can't get it to work, it's a fabulous bit of software.

Hugs Susie UK

Tammy aka bunchie said...

I installed it a few days ago to show my scrapbook room and had no problems so far....I have desktop with Vista. It makes me weary of using it again though. If I do and have any problems I will let you know. Only used it once so it's hard to review something used so little.

Kim said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Smilebox - each time I take pictures I used their scrapbook pages to create my layouts and then send them to a printing service - unfortunately, I installed some type of "update" in December and now I can't get smilebox to work anymore. I was a PAID yearly user and their Customer Support was GREAT but NO ONE could help me and they refunded me my second year fee that I had just paid in October. I am SO sad...I ran into the program at Sam's Club and purchased it thinking it might work but to no avail...I'm SO bummed that I can't get it to work but I guess I can "uninstall" some of my "Microsoft" updates though I'm not sure which ones. I'll take a look and see which ones installed in December as never had trouble until then. :-( Thanks for your post!

Kathleen said...

See I was unlucky enough to actually succeed in installing it. Since then, I've been wanting to uninstall it, because it turns itself on, tries to connect my computer to my web provider on its own, and is generally a nuisance.

You'd think there would be an uninstall feature but no.

~HJ said...

I have had the same issue as Kathleen with this program. Running all the time when the computer is on and trying to connect is a pain in the butt and really not needed. It's not a good program for creating scrapbooks but it's fine for doing slideshows. We ended up uninstalling it. For those that don't want to uninstall but to get rid of the "always on" part: Go to Start and in the box type msconfig. Under the start tab, find Smilebox and uncheck it and ok to close out. It will ask you if you want to restart - that part is up to you at this point. You'll have to open Smilebox to set the properties to not connect unless prompted. Also, in IE under tools>internet options> connections, select to never detect a connection, this will keep your updaters and other programs from trying to dial up or connect. It won't stop them from connecting when you are online. You'll have to do that from the program properties, to always prompt you to update it.

lynne said...

I found your blog in a google search on how to uninstall Smilebox. Finally opened the program and through a search in the help section, I found this:

"How do I uninstall Smilebox?
If you simply wish to turn off notifications from Smilebox, you can do that by clicking the Smilebox tray icon (menu icon on the MAC). Simply click the "Notify Me About Recipient Views and New Designs" line and it will now show un-checked. When you exit Smilebox with notification turned off, the tray icon will also disappear. If you choose to start Smilebox at a later date, the tray icon will appear again, but will disappear when you close Smilebox again (as long as the "Notify" is un-checked). It will not remain on your tray when Smilebox isn't actively running if the "Notify" is un-checked.

If you wish to uninstall the Smilebox program from your computer, please do the following:

If you have Windows XP, click the Start button, then Control Panel. Select "Add or Remove Programs". When the list of programs comes up, click on Smilebox and then on the "Remove" button. If you are using a partner version of Smilebox it may have a slightly different name, such as, Hallmark Smilebox.*

If you have Windows Vista, click on the Start button, then Control Panel. Select "Programs and Features". When the list of programs comes up, click on Smilebox and then on the "Uninstall" button. If you are using a partner version of Smilebox it may have a slightly different name, such as, Hallmark Smilebox.*

If you have Mac, the uninstall is a 3 step process: 1) close the icon on the menu bar (click the Smilebox icon and then select Quit from the menu options), 2) from the Applications folder, drag the Smilebox application to the trash, and 3) from your home directory, choose Library > Application Support folder, drag Smilebox to the trash. You can then empty your trash to clear Smilebox.

* If you are unable to find Smilebox in your list of programs on a Windows computer, we do have an alternative way to uninstall the Smilebox application. To uninstall, you will need to find the directory where the application is saved. There is an uninstall.exe file included in the Smilebox application directory. For a Windows Vista computer, the Smilebox directory is defaulted to the following path: \Appdata\Roaming\Smilebox. For the Windows XP computer, the Smilebox directory defaults to the following location: C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Smilebox. (On XP machines, you might, first, have to choose the option to Show Hidden files from within your Control Panel options).

This should remove the software."

Sheesh, so happy this is so user-friendly. [end of my sarcasm]

Cool blog, btw - I'm the mom of four also - two boys, two girls - but mine are all grown now, and I even have a 1 and a 1/2 yr old grandson! Eeks, how'd I get to be this age????

Anonymous said...

As an IT professional for over 15 years I can tell you that I'm not entirely sure of Smilebox's intentions. I just received notification that a user had installed this on one of our machines in our office and that it tried to modify our proxy settings (the means by which the computer communicates to the Internet). This is a red flag in any IT persons book.

Also, you should ALWAYS install Windows Updates - yes some of them can cause problems with certain applications but if the app is worth ANYTHING the developers will fix the issue. Running without security and critical updates is FAR more risky than not being able to use a single piece of software.

lynne said...

Thank you, "Anonymous" - this is very important information. I have a Mac, so I think I'm safe - but I may buy a netbook this summer, so your advice has been noted.

I actually deleted the Smilebox software, since it didn't do what I needed/wanted. I did find some free software to edit some music and will combine it with some flash tweaks on a photo when I have the time (sort of like Jib Jab).

Needless to say, this project went way past the birthday in question... planning for next year now, ha!

Anonymous said...

I for one am not a fan! I used it a couple of time and even signed up!!! Foolish me :( I am now stuck paying for a program that is no-good and lovely smilebox has left me with a frown. They charged my credit card and I am free to cancel at any time but, "sorry, we don't refund the money" I was not notified of a renewal date!!!! Poor service, and if your looking for customer support, don't expect a friendly voice on the end of the line because smilebox only operates through customer online support! Not worth the money and the hassle to the customer leaves a bad taste in this consumers mouth!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Andrew, your business sucks and your blood sucking site Smilebox that I cannot get rid of is the most intrusive and annoying thing that I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED ON THE INTERNET.