the earliest days of DOS, the name "Norton" has been synonymous with
high-quality utilities. In Version 2.0 of Norton SystemWorks, Symantec (www.symantec.com) now provides its best-ever tools to
protect users against dangers posed by Windows 95/98 and the Internet.
The bedrock of
SystemWorks is Norton Utilities, 18 programs that find and fix problems, improve
performance and prevent disasters. My favorite utilities include Speed Disk, WinDoctor and
Speed Disk improves performance by reorganizing the contents of hard drives so files
are stored in adjacent disk clusters. It also lays out files so the ones you use the most
are available most quickly.
WinDoctor diagnoses and fixes many Windows 95/98 problems, such as those related to
software errors, hardware configurations and registry inconsistencies.
UnErase Wizard is today's version of one of the earliest Norton functions, undeleting
deleted files. In addition to recovering files from the Windows Recycle Bin, UnErase
Wizard can work with Norton Protection to recover files that Windows, itself, cannot
Norton AntiVirus, the second SystemWorks component, has been on my PCs ever since I
started my consulting practice seven years ago. Besides protecting against harmful
executable programs and Word and Excel macro viruses, the newest version of AntiVirus
protects against malicious ActiveX code and Java applets. Every month, I run LiveUpdate, a
free service, to download Symantec's latest virus definitions.
I have been using the third component, Norton CrashGuard, for about two years.
CrashGuard intercepts system and application crashes and freezes. While it cannot promise
a graceful recovery from every problem, CrashGuard helps often enough that I am pleased to
have it available.
Norton CleanSweep, the fourth SystemWorks component, is hard drive cleanup software.
Right away, its Fast & Safe Cleanup freed 30 megabytes of unnecessarily wasted disk
CleanSweep's Program Cleanup monitors software as you install it, keeping track of
every file that is added or changed. CleanSweep often can remove a monitored program more
thoroughly than the program's own uninstall routine can.
Norton Web Services, priced at $29.95 per year (the first six months are free), rounds
out SystemWorks. Web Services takes an inventory of your PC hardware and software, then
connects to the Norton Update Library to download new program updates and hardware
drivers. I have not been using Web Services, because upgrading software is one of my least
favorite activities, one I put off until it is absolutely necessary.
When Symantec introduced SystemWorks 2.0, the list price was $99.95 ($59.95 for current
users of Norton products). However, Symantec announced a price reduction, effective May 15
through Sept. 30, offering a version priced as low as $39.95 after a $20 rebate.
At this price, SystemWorks is a steal. Anyone needing Windows 95/98 utilities and
anti-virus software should look no further.
Correction: In my May column about American LegalNet, I stated
that "[c]ompeting on-line services [Jurisearch and Netlaw Libraries] provide forms in
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. These forms must be printed out, then completed in a separate
step (e.g., using a typewriter)." The second sentence is incorrect regarding
Jurisearch, which allows users to complete forms on-line. However, unlike American
LegalNet, Jurisearch does not allow completed forms to be saved to disk or digitally
signed and sent via e-mail.
Dana Shultz is an Oakland-based certified
management consultant, speaker and coach specializing in office technology. He may be
reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the
web at www.ds-a.com.