All Steam and No Substance
Despite the less-than-glowing reviews from everyone who's ever used Steam, including the better half (at least where gaming's concerned), I decided to ignore general advice and had it installed on my machine late 2009.
...Problems which have yet to be resolved even after repeat attempts (as can be seen from screenshots below) to contact technical support.
Steam's standard response seems to focus on shifting all responsibility to third party app developers. Had the errors only involved one game, I would be prepared to accept that. However, none of my games launched (including the ones by Valve). Furthermore, those which did not require Steam to run worked absolutely fine independent of said engine.
It has been almost two weeks since I've had any reply, and I can't say I've much hope of anything constructive attaching itself to this vapour trail of FAIL (nevermind a solution). If this ongoing saga progresses in the right direction, I'll update this post. But I'm more inclined to ask for a refund since Steam's flaky performance is hardly worth the hassle.
Updated: 08 May 2010 @ 19:28
A result at long last, though (as you can see from the screenshot below) it had nowt to do with Steam's efforts.
I was on the verge of telling them that Steam wasn't on my blocklist anyway, but did not fancy waiting another month for their response. Why waste precious synovial fluid?
Asking paying customers to disable the most reliable anti-virus/spyware they have on their system does not seem right to me. Surely the onus is on Steam to sort out their engine so it will not clash with commonly-used essential software. It also sounds like terribly bad advice since we all know a system without any protection won't last long before it is well and truly fucked.
Oh, well...one of these days I'll be able to afford an xBox, Playstation and Wii. Then perhaps I will no longer have to put up with this sort of shit.
Or will I?
I can see a whole new set of problems coming my way.