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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shame on Telstra Text Buddy for failing LUA Test

You think the largest telecommunication company in Australia will develop and release software that works in LUA. Sadly not.

Telstra has a bonus credit feature that allows their mobile pre-paid broadband user credit that they can use to send SMS messages. One of the two ways you can send SMS from the comfort of your computer is to use a Telstra developed program called Text Buddy (version 1.0), which looks like this:
Despite the fact that this program is only compatible with Windows XP, it demands administrator privilege to run. Bad!!!

I bet you any dollar that their developers do not use LUA development and they developed this program in Administrator account.


Anonymous said...

Actually Mr Mar, you are not enirely accurate. I have been happily using Telstra Text Buddy to great effect in Windows 7 so maybe you have not loaded it properly. signed Mr Happy

L. Mar said...

Hi Me Happy,

With reference to your 'successful' deployment of the poorly written Text Buddy, your success in Windows 7 is not surprising. Yes it 'works' in Windows 7 provided that you have enabled UAC (File and Registry) virtualization which is enabled by default. You can find that Telstra Text Buddy in the Task Manager | Process tab (you need to add the UAC Virtualization column) has UAC Virtualization enabled.

That still does not make it right! Read on.

It all depends on your definition of 'working'. Generally program that fails to run in XP LUA will run in Vista/Win7 with UAC virtualization enabled, a trick Microsoft added to accommodate poorly written program to sell more Windows rather than chastising developers. Often developers are not even aware of their failling because of this 'feature'. XP LUA is like Windows 7 with UAC Virtualization disabled. Disable UAC Virtualization on your Text Buddy in Windows 7 to see how it goes.

I do not just installed and run it up to see why it does not work. I have analysed it just like any LUA failure to understand why. For your information, you should consult this publication before defending this program that clearly fails to comply with the security model which was first published and supported in Windows 2000. Sadly users ran their Windows, prior to Vista, with the security turned off (they all runs in Administrator's account) and then wondering why they were victims of all sorts of attacks. Remembers those frequent pop-ups seeking consent in Vista. That is caused by developers ignorant of LUA practices.

As a final word taken from that definitive document: Important Virtualization is implemented to improve application compatibility problems for applications running as a standard user on Windows Vista. Developers must not rely on virtualization being present in subsequent versions of Windows. The message applies equally to Windows 7.

If you are associated with the development or sales of this program, I respectfully suggest to you to urge the developer to brush up on a security model and do a proper job. I expect something much better than that from a Telstra.

tesba said...

Windows 7. I can only install it for one user. Installing it for multiple user is impossible. No help from Telstra. Appears to be badly designed software from Telstra. Expect better from Telstra !

arthur said...

Is anyone able to help with perhaps a pointer to an application that does it better than textbuddy, or some help with malfunctioning textbuddy troubleshooting/fixing?

My (win7) text buddy wouldn't accept new addresses for a couple of weeks.

Now it accepts addresses but won't send messages!

I have a vague memory of installing it via some third party's install prog which was tailored to make it work with win7.

I'm thinking maybe I've done a reinstall in the interim and that's the prob.

Currently though I can't find that 'third party' thing....

It is 2015 now. This thread perhaps well and truly dead.

Telstra doesn't support the prog any more though many folks still have it and it still works (when it works) and it is still to my knowledge the only such thing available.

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