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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

  Norton Utilities 3
This is Norton's newest release of their famous utility suite. I say that this is a new release instead of an update because of the many changes and new additions. I would have to say that it appears that Norton is playing "catch-up" to Nuts and Bolts. This is due to the new additions and appearance. The main difference is that I have tried and trusted these utilities whereas Nuts and Bolts took three or more updates to get the program to where it should have been before being released on the poor unsuspecting public.

The utilities come on a CD-ROM but completely installs on your hard drive. It takes 30 + Mbytes of your hard drive space. It now has a "clean" useful interface, unlike prior editions. It also has a reasonable printed manual along with online help files.

Some of the NEW features are:
A INTERGRATOR: A well laid out main menu setup (see screen shot) that guides you through the various pathways to do what you want to do. In the last version (2.0) all utilities were just dropped into a folder.
WINDOCTOR: A customizable program that can run automatically in the background checking "everything" and it will repair automatically or it can be configured to ask first.

CRASHGUARD: Minimizes the chance of a crash, and (according to Norton) in most cases lets you save your work if a crash occurs.

LIVEUPDATE PRO: Is like Oil Change from CyberMedia but is simpler to use and yet offers more options. I found that the software updating section worked well but the hardware section didn't do anything, just sat there - possibly not "finished" yet? It has to connect via the internet and then seems to run on Norton's site. You get a free six months subscription. SPEED START: Helps analyze how programs startup and make it faster the next time. I think I see a difference. It will be included in Windows 98.

OPTIMIZATION WIZARD: Includes optimization for your Registry (seemed to work) and a Swap file optimizer that modifies the size and placement of the swap file. Improved: SYSTEM Dr. and SPEED DISK, runs with a new file movement algorithm to speed up the optimization times.

SYSTEM INFORMATION: Now runs through Windows 95 and doesn't require you to go out to DOS. It also seems to offer more tests and give more information.

There are all the older utilities but they are easier to get to and use. I liked that immediately after installing the program it asked to connect to Norton's Web page and immediately updated itself. Possibly fixing found bugs and that you could turn on or off all the program options that could run in the background.

In comparing Nuts and Bolts to the "Newer" Norton, I would have to go with Norton even though they are similar. I will compare again after the next version of Nuts and Bolts is released.

Review ID Number: 335
  Product Details
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: John Mitchell
Rating: 8 out of 10
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