by John Sweeney
People think reviewers have it made in the shade. "Freebies!" they think. Little do they know. In fact,
being a reviewer is a large pain in the ass. Novice reviewers abound—until they do a few and decide
they're tired of it. Professional reviewers learn to live with discomfort.
First of all, just getting "all that free hardware and software" is a problem. Usually you are set up by the
marketing department, which means you bypass the company's normal customer contact people who are
experienced—even good at—delivering the goods and answering questions. Instead, someone's secretary
gets the unenviable job of getting your equipment/software, mailing it to you and, in the case of data
services, turning on our account or, more likely, not turning it on.