Temporary halt in GOTD reviews

Hey Friends,

As I am sure you all know, I run dotTech less as a business or work, and more as a hobby. In other words, I enjoy writing articles and reviews for dotTech and enjoy the interaction with dotTechies from all around the world. However, lately, since my short one week break, writing a review for GOTD everyday has been feeling more like a chore rather than a fun past-time. Taking into consideration this is supposed to be my “winter break”, I have decided it is best for me and the future of dotTech-GOTD relationship to temporary halt GOTD reviews and just take a break. What I mean is for a temporary time I will not be publishing GOTD reviews. I have already not published GOTD reviews for the past week or so, so I may as well finish off the break as it is intended to be. The plan is to restart GOTD reviews very soon, at the latest when winter break ends.

However do note I will still be publishing non-GOTD related articles on dotTech; but the rate of the articles will most likely be less than in the past, maybe one article every day or two (depending on whenever I find something interesting to talk about).

I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused everyone. Please don’t egg my house. Or my car. Or my grandmother.

Take care,
Still the geek of dotTech

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  • jaiyen42

    (New member)
    You’ve been a real help to me Ashraf. Superb reviews and analysis. You have a good break from at least one of the hobby tasks – though I’ll miss it.

    And hope all is going well for the new year for you and family.

  • Ed

    Happy New Year, dude.

    Suggestion: give a review ONLY when the software is very good or outstanding. You’ll save a lot of writing and it will fell much less of a chore. Kind regards,

  • Douglas McClung

    I don’t nowhere you live, we are up to our knees in snow. But just go out and enjoy your break. I remember when computers would be time-savers instead of our masters.
    Have a great break and every day thereafter.

  • Torymon

    Enjoy your break and know that you
    have been missed!!!
    Looking forward to your return!
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • RAN


    As many have already stated here, you are sorely missed on GOTD. I have looked forward to your well informed reviews and can’t tell you how much they have been appreciated. You have become the best reviewer on the site. I trust no one else.

    I am very happy to know that you haven’t left us completely and that you are getting a much-deserved rest. Enjoy your downtime. We all need that from time to time. Be well and be happy. Know that your loyal fans are thinking of you.

    Thank you for all that you have done for us. You are appreciated.


  • Leslie unMoody

    Thank You Ashraf for your reviews. You are missed but realize the importance of taking a break! Hope yours involves having some FUN!!

  • Thamza

    Greetings to you Ashraf, and rest of the members. I have been experiencing some problems with my PC lately and I was surprised on my comeback to find that you didnt offer reviews anymore. However, I am now grateful that you are not gone forever. Enjoy your break Ashraf. We are looking forward to having you back again.

  • shaam

    Salaam little bro, been a while since I chatted… A belated Eid Mubarak! yeah been while lol ok just checking in to see how you doing. I like the new website. Enjoy ur extended vacation. Pray that everything is going well for you and your family. AllaHafiz,

  • MikeR

    @john, #83:

    The Bad Gateway error problem has been bugging GOTD for several months.

    Some users have reported work-arounds though I’m not convinced that the outcome has been anything other than pure coincidence — the problem isn’t at a user’s end, but GOTD’s.

    Last I heard, someone said GOTD was aware of the problem and looking into it.

    However, when I happened to check back last week to post a comment on software I’d DL’d, the dreaded error returned and rendered the exercise a total waste of time.

  • Ron


  • Dan

    It ain’t the same without you. I haven’t downloaded anything since you’ve been gone, and I won’t (except SoThink stuff)! However, most of the crap I did get over the last year I rarely ever use with a few exceptions. I just hope you are doing well! Come back again when it feels fun again, until then, take care! We all miss you!

  • joetech

    Is there anyway possible that you can make
    your break from GOTD permanent. Your reviews
    are awful. Your knowledge is so limited
    that each review is filled with
    innacuracies. You are doing a great
    disservice to many people there. Do
    everyone a favor. Retire from GOTD. You
    surely won’t be missed.
    BYE BYE !!!!

  • Sandeep

    We all are missing you Ashraf.

    Please come back soon.

  • Al Hall

    Come back!!!

  • FoyleFlyer

    Recharge your batteries and take as long as you need.
    Have a Very Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year.
    Don’t Forget – You Are The Man!

  • john

    do you know why so many are getting 502 bad gateway errors when we try to post a review on daily giveaway @ gaotd ??
    some get it when trying to DL the software too.
    I can DL the software , but can no longer post there.
    I tried IE too , I normally use firefox. but still got the 502 bad gateway .
    if you figure that out please post over there on comments for daily giveaway,…… if you can , you may get bad gateway too LOL
    thats why I read this I thought it might be about the posting problem over there.

  • michael

    I miss your excellent reviews, but can understand that you need a rest.

  • Doug Jones

    OK, but you should to know I’ve decided to go on a hunger strike until you restart your GOTD reviews. Man I could sure use a Whopper right about now.

  • Corylea

    Enjoy your break!

    Thanks so much for all the work and care you put into the GotD reviews that you’ve done in the past. Even if you never did another one, you’d still deserve tons of gratitude from all of us!

  • MikeR

    Wonderful to see GOTD getting the New Year up and running with one of the most highly-praised apps ever created. Gosh wowee!!!!

    I counted no less than 20 awards for the Power Sound Editor product range on the developer’s home page.

    Doubtless this will encourage GOTD fans worldwide to download and install the software on their computers.

    Pity it won’t encourage ’em to check out the “awards” first though.

    Happy New 2010, everyone.

  • smacky

    Your site is good, and we also look forward to your detailed reviews and alternatives. You are a great reviewer and help many of us improve our systems and lives. Enjoy your rest and continue your padwan training until you are ready to help us again. When you return, together we will rally behind you to defeat the darth stiker empire!

  • Steven

    Thanks Ashraf. I enjoyed your unbiased reviews, as I enjoy your website. Enjoy the break.

  • Orchid

    You deserve the break Ashraf! Plus when something that’s meant to be fun turns into more of a chore and work it’s time to step back for a time.

    We’ll all miss your reviews, but I think we’d all agree that we’d miss you even more if you got fed up and decided to not be around at all any longer.

    Besides…this is the time to spend with family and friends. Enjoy your winter break and have some fun!

  • future hacker

    NO REVIEWS! this is bad…I will egg your house and your grandmother! just joking =P. Your the best, you deserve a break.
    Take care.

  • Thomas Williams

    Ashraf – I am a comparative newcomer on GAOTD but agree that your experience with applications makes your opinion on the daily offering most valuable. Have you considered doing just a scoreing of the offering and posting it only on your dottech.org website? Doing a full analysis has got to be time consuming and I for one would trust your opinion without an explanation of the reasons for it. tswill2





  • Eggbert the Bold

    Yo Ashraf,enjoy your break dude – i’m at a loss now,is there anything you can recommend to egg ?? :)

  • Kat


    We miss you, but I am glad you are taking care of yourself.

    In the meantime, I’ll still be frequenting your blog.

    Be well, and Happy New Year!

  • Fred Smith

    I wonder what percentage of people who visit your site just have a quick glance at your conclusions?

    I don’t have time to fully read most of your articles so I glance at the results and look at the free alternatives.

    Rather than your extensive reviews have you considered ‘mini-reviews’ that also list free alternatives?

  • jumbi

    Note please that most readers are not native english speaking and are coming from countries all over the world (including me).
    Personally I use english just for communication so I dont care for any grammar mistakes.
    some people even use google translation to read and write to the site…
    So you should keep any grammar and spelling corrections for yourself. Those corrections are not important anyway to most people here.
    Just sayin…

    P.S. A poll should be created with subject “where do you come from” with a country list.
    P.S.2.: I prefer “GAOTD”

  • Bill Scott

    Perhaps you would like help with the site? Spread the wealth? Let use know, we can contribute to the site as well!

  • JustSayin

    @ToDo: Giveaway is one word, therefore, it’s GOTD, not GAOTD…
    Just sayin…

    Anyway, enjoy your rest Ashraf!
    (and ditto to #63)

  • bob

    Hey Ash,

    thanks for all the effort you put int he gotd articles. Lets face it though: the items on gotd are pretty much the same every week. Its either a hard drive back up software, an AV software or a system
    utilities software. So, you review one, you review them all! Get some rest and enjoy the holidays.

  • Ron

    Well deserved break, thank you for your time and service.

  • jumbi

    I hope, this break has nothing to do with the current mass terrible events in your country…

  • Fred Smith

    Perhaps if you just concentrate on the more unique software on offer on GOTD rather than every new program from the likes of Paragon/Ashampoo/Wondershare etc., or every DVD convert/rip program.

    That would maybe eliminate about 50% or more of the reviews.

  • Ozzie

    A well-earned break is in order, Ashraf. Take all the time you need. Balance in life is important. We all appreciate what you do and hope you keep on doing it (in whatever capacity) long into the future. Happy New Year, brother, and to all dotTechies!

  • Doug

    Perhaps an alternative for the future is to have a team of volunteers to help with the tests/reviews. I am sure there are visitors here who have special skills in varous areas such as photograph editing, file management, security, testing, netoworking, multimedia, etc. who could take some of the workload off of you. They could still use your template which I believe is very good.

  • D.S.

    Have fun on your break & relax. :)

  • Understandable but I have come to rely on your reviews.

  • Taz

    Please DONATE! Even small amounts will add up. Ashraf’s site provides a lot of value. I feel an obligation to do what I can occasionally to support him monetarily.

    Hello Ashraf!
    I’m glad you are taking a break. We don’t want you to burn out!

    To be honest, I can’t keep up with your pace of producing articles anyway! I’ve learned a lot on dotTech, but there is a backlog of articles I have yet to read.

    When GOTD offers a program you do recommend, I get a lot of value out of your detailed review and often save it for future reference if I download the program.

    If you don’t recommend it I trust your judgment and often just get on with my business. Sometimes I’ll check out the “Alternatives” if the program is something I want, but I rarely read the detail.

    Also I get a lot of value out of the non-GOTD articles and the forum.

    Bottom line: I hope you don’t lessen the detail on recommended or good software, but I don’t really care about a lot of detail on why you don’t like something. I’m willing to take your word on it.

  • Mr. Dave

    I’ve grown to depend on dotTech.org over the last few months and always read your reviews on GAOTD. Just want to thank you for the effort you put into helping the rest of us.

    Since it’s a hobby, do what you need to keep it fun for yourself! I’m quite happy with what you’ve done already but hope you continue on. Thanks again.

  • Dave

    You deserve a good break- see you in the next decade.

  • route67

    your reviews are real and believable,
    a rock-cliff in this ocean. ;)
    Already waiting for return.

  • Athlonite

    Hey Ashraf !!

    You know what ? IF you need time to rest and repair what needs mending then, go ahead and DO take the time needed. Of course I will miss your reviews BUT, not as much as I would you not writing anymore because of a Burnout. So, rest and when you feel up to it, we will all still be hear to read and comment on what you have to say.

    Have a great year ahead of you.


  • We rely on your GAOTD reviews and will miss you. I also think it keeps traffic coming to your site, so please don’t stay away too long and have a nice period of R&R.

  • do not worry, we keep appreciating your post! :-)

  • RoseD1st

    I too will miss your GOTD reviews but everyone needs a break at times :^)

  • Robert L.

    Like everyone has been saying, you definitely deserve a break. Last thing we want happening is you feeling grrrrr-ish about doing reviews, and as a result decreasing the level of quality that we have come to rely on from your work, or worse yet, just saying to heck with the whole thing and disappearing off to the wilderness somewhere and leaving us to fend for ourselves.

    Enjoy your time off, and get back to the GAOTD part when you feel you can. In the meantime, you know we’ll all still check out what you have to bring our attention to via the other work you do here at dot tech.


  • JK

    yah, what they said.
    enjoy your time off, enjoy your break, enjoy life.

  • smokexx

    Hey man,
    Don’t sweat it. Of course we’ll miss your reviews but I think we all know that in the long run, this break of yours may actually benefit dottech. How? Well, I’m sure you’ll miss doing all this stuff after your break and then you’ll come back with a vengeance. :) Besides, a hobby stops being a hobby when its no longer fun. No pressure man. Just enjoy your vacation.

  • Iouri

    Hi Ashraf,
    You deserve the best winter break for the awesome work you’ve done. Enjoy it.

  • Stockel1949

    Hello Ashraf,

    Thank you for all you make for us. Take your break.

  • Peter D

    Hi Ashraf, I would also say that is incredible how many articles you can write in a week, I know by my self that hobbies some time take much more time and life that you have decided in the start. Take care of your self and make your life as you desire it. Here where I live they usually say, you need to load your batteries sometimes.

    Happy New Year to you Ashraf and the dottech readers :O)

  • paf

    Hi Ashraf, do whatever you want, we will always support you. Even without gaotd reviews, I will come here everyday. Take care, my friend.

  • icantdrive55mph

    You deserve a break! Thank you for your tremendous daily efforts! You are very much appreciated and trusted by your loyal subscriber base.

  • jivadas

    In other words, Ashraf, we love you!!!

  • KillNoise

    Missing your fine reviews very much.
    (keep looking here every day before at GAOTD !),
    waiting happily for your vacancy to finish.

    Whish You have a nice time and a happy new Year !

  • Kraal FictionWriter

    Take your break, you deserve it. =)

  • I have enjoyed and respected your judgements for quite a while, and will still look foward to them in the future.
    Great job,
    Al Lipsky
    Lynbrook, NY

  • Obajoshi

    Thanks for the heads up Ash. Your last ‘disappearance’ caused some mayhem, concerns and confusion in dottech nation. Glad to hear that everything is O.K. with you. Enjoy your break.

    Although I can not vouch for your car or house, I can truly assure you that no self respecting dottechie will egg your grandmother’s house for not writing GOTD reviews.

    Thanks for all you do, and pass our regards and thanks to your grandmother, a truly special woman among all special grandmothers of the world.

    Life is short, live and enjoy everyday, responsibly, to the fullest.
    “Cuídate mucho” (Take care of yourselves) to all dottech nation.

  • MerryMarjie

    Thank you for all you do and have done and will do! We appreciate your dedication to this “hobby” and understand your reasons for cutting back.

    Live long and prosper!

  • old poet

    You deserve a break for as long as you want. I don’t know where you get the energy to do what you do, but I am grateful. Happy Gregorian calender New Year!

  • Ashraf, even “burn out” is now reviewed with your personal flare. None of us are above our limitations. It’s part of being a human being. In your case it’s being a human being able to project warmth, respect and caring advice; a good friend indeed. I can’t help myself from seeing you positively. With appropriate inspiration I care about you and appreciate what you do. Your house is safe; no yolk intended.

  • cuemark

    ALL of us need to “re-charge” from time to time. Even a labor of love can turn into ‘work’ very easily.

    Rest your mind, body and spirit…

  • Mike

    Many thanks for your reviews, postings and website–they all are greatly appreciated! And enjoy your break–it is a good thing to recharge periodically.

    As to the GOTD reviews, a suggestion: they are great to see, but I wonder if they can be shorter and, on many occasions, in the form of a “GOTD-at-a-Glance” review; in fact, that could be the default starting position. Perhaps a paragraph summarizing what the software does and its capabilities, a paragraph summarizing the successes and failures with it, and then a concluding listing of alternatives with a few words about each. OK, and maybe a last paragraph for personal opinions and observations–it’s you website, after all! You might find that these “At-a-Glances” are less burdensome and bring back some of the fun for you!

    Again, many thanks–

  • Rocky

    Don’t sweat it. As you said, it’s a hobby, not a job. Although we appreciate everything you do, you don’t anyone anything. Take a break and enjoy yourself.

  • Refpeuk

    Don’t worry about it, man. Most of the GAOTD stuff is crap anyway – some beginner software trying to get their name out there and instead showing everyone why NOT to buy their software. If there’s an exceptional software posted there it would be great if you would still review it, but other that that you don’t really have to even after the Christmas break is over.

  • Emrys

    GAOTD can go on but dottech has to have you. Rest up and write when you can…tell Grand Ma I’m sorry about the eggs. :D

  • Bruce

    Your reviews are great, but there’s been too much sameness in GOTD recently. When you get back in gear, just concentrate on their offerings that provide something we haven’t seen too much of already anyway.

  • Maddog

    You have done a great job here mate and deserve a rest.I agree with others about taking things easy for a while,you have done yourself and ourselves proud with this site and it shows.Take a break and let us your faithful share the load for a while.I think we can manage that :-) Take care my friend and have some well deserved rest.

  • Robin

    Never let your hobbies turn into “haf’tas”

  • Duane

    I trust your opinions!!!
    I appreciate all your hard work!!!

    I was wondering if there might a close group of your dotTech.org friends that might be willing to pitch in and give some “guest” reviews of GOTD and others while you take a break or on a ongoing basis to give you some “rest” from the “chore” of writing. I know you love your writing and advise giving – I am not saying replace your work with others – just allow some to help take the “pressure” off.

    Keep up the good work and ENJOY your time-off.

  • Sin

    We all appreciate what you do for us. Many thanks & enjoy your break!

  • macmov

    I read your reviews everyday, and sometimes wonder how you do it all. I have learned much from your experience and analysis. Thank you so much for your efforts, Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family. P.S. I’ll leave the eggs for breakfast rather then spring training.

  • karen

    Enjoy your break. It doesn’t seem like GOTD has had anything worthwhile recently anyway.

  • Sandeep

    Enjoy your break Ashraf.

    Happy new year to you and all dottechies.


  • Old Prop

    Ashraf, your GOTD reviews have been amazing in their completeness, accuracy, and enjoyability to read. We’ll miss them, but mainly because you made even crappy or useless products fun (and instructive) to read about.

    Don’t burn yourself out. Think about and write about other stuff, post here when you feel like it, and we all continue to benefit.

    dotTech has become a lot more than a site for GOTD reviews.

    Props to you, man.

  • MikeR

    A daily GOTD review simply isn’t justified, and hasn’t been for quite a while.

    GOTD is trying as best it can to provide a genuine, worthwhile software offer every day of the week.

    All too obviously, that can’t be done.

    Inferior products of suspect provenance or “me-too” commercial one-offs tarted up with daft names that don’t come anywhere the build / support standards of freeware alternatives are the inevitable downside.

    GOTD is stuck with that downside because that’s GOTD’s business model. But dot.tech, all too clearly, isn’t run as a business model, but more as a labour of love.

    When there’s something worth saying, I’m sure Ashraf will say it. When there’s something worth knowing, I’m sure it’ll be here on dot.tech.

    Far from regretting Ashraf’s decision, I actually applaud it: time and talent are precious commodities, and I’d rather Ashraf conserved both — for his benefit, and ours.

  • Samer

    u have done and given us more than any other website, for nothing in return ! and though ur articles will be missed u deserve a break so enjoy it and have fun :)

  • Enjoy the well deserved break. We all know how much thought and time you put into this.

  • Hey everyone – put your money where your mouth is :-) Ashraf has saved you all heaps of money. Make a donation today. A belated chrismas present and something to help Ashraf to enjoy his break and feel motivated when he gets back.

    I’ve made my donation. I’m sorry it can’t be larger Ashraf as I’m not earning much, but hey – if everyone chips in what they can afford then it all adds up.

    Thanks heap Ahsraf

  • Jeff Taylor

    I was just getting used to the idea that you were “back,” and now you’re gone again. I’ll hope you enjoy yourself, and return again soon. In your absence, could you tell us if you’ve noticed anyone with something worthwhile to say who comments reqularly on the GAOTD site itself?

  • Skye-hook

    What ^ they said. :) We’ll be here patiently waiting. Besides being a terrific reviewer, I also love your sense of humor. :) If anyone eggs your sweet grandma, send me their name. :) Have fun! :) Don’t come back til you can actually stand up straight again. :)

  • bob

    We all have been tremendously enriched by your very generous sharing of your talent. We should be ever grateful even if you never write another article, although it would be our great loss. I like someone’s suggestion that you only write about the programs that you feel strongly about recommending. At any rate, do what is best for you. And thank you very much for what you have done. Be well in body, mind, and spirit.

  • ton

    Your reviews help most of us and we will miss them. Have a good break Ashraf.
    Wishing you best of health.

  • Jeanjean

    Your reviews is going to miss us, it’s sure.
    But take your time and enjoy your break !

  • It’s important to take time off before you burn out. It’s good you realized you need a break. You deserve it, and we’ll all still be here to keep reading the site.

  • Dave

    I concur with the other writers in that you deserve a break. Take all the time you need, you have a passion for this and if it becomes a chore than you will lose your passion, IMHO. We appreciate your work bro. and you rock. Still, you need to take time to smell the roses.

  • Janet

    Ditto! You absolutely should take a good break to recharge your batteries! Do what you enjoy and come back to us only when you feel you want to do more writing….I will miss you, but we all want you to be well and happy….:-)….!

  • Don’t know what to say. This is really disappointed for me. But everything is your decision. Still I admire you, Ashraf.
    Best regard from Indonesia.

  • kasish

    Please have a break, take a rest, smell the roses, coffee or what ever .Enjoy your relaxation.

  • Than CAO

    Thank you very much for what you have done for us, have a good break.

  • Ashraf, seriously, take a well-deserved break. You’ve been putting out more articles a day than most places write up in a week. You’re supposed to be relaxing on vacation. ;)

  • BL Lim

    Hi Ashraf,

    No sweat and with some saddness. We will miss to hear from you. I having reading your reviews and found it most informative and useful. Thanks for your contirbutions to the community.

    Have a good break and wishing you good luck and good health for 2010.

  • Someguy

    Enjoy the rest of what’s left of Winter Break. You deserve a break!

  • Ron

    Brother, if anyone deserves to take a break, it’s you, overachiever! Enjoy the time; get outside and take a walk in the woods, around a lake, in a park, on the beach, whatever happens to be near you.

  • joao

    You deserve more than a break, and although I am all for free content and support, helping others, etc., it is true that sometimes what is supposed to be fun becomes a chore. Your reviews are GREAT and I am sure everyone agrees with it. Being a newbie here at dottech, I am amazed at your capacity to keep up. I would like to suggest three courses of action, 1) that you only publish reviews of what you find worth recommending and why, and/or 2) that you consider going freemium… this might be the fair way to go… 3) that you create your own File Of The Day area (as part or not of freemium) and pass around word about what you consider worth of your recommendation… If others can do it, with simple suggestions and poor reviews, and often bad suggestions, I am sure you can do it and guarantee true quality!
    I invite others to comment on these ideas… free all the time is hard to keep up for ever without some sort of revenue, and your reviews feel like a full time job, so, a little support from the followers could help keep up dottech going…
    Kind regards, and thank you for all your work and for sharing your knowledge and time!