by Rick Smith (November 11, 2001)
Sponsors of ShowStoppers:
Aladdin Knowledge Systems
While PC Utilities may not be the most eye-popping software on the market, having a functional and well-running computer system increases the enjoyment of your exciting gaming, graphics or business applications. I have always used diagnostics to check out PC system functionality, ever since I used IBM's Advanced Diagnostics on the original IBM PC. Ontrack, a well known hard-drive utility vendor, has updated their SystemSuite product to version 4.0.
SystemSuite 4.0 adds a personal firewall, support for XP and better virus protection into their integrated suite of PC utilities. This combination of utilities include:
Fix-It Utilities 4.0
NetDefense personal firewall
DataEraser Personal Edition
PowerDesk 4 Pro
These utilites have been designed to work and act together as a single, cohesive unit.
These SystemSuite utilities provide:
Extensive hardware diagnostics
Crash prevention and protection
Hard disk imminent failure warning and repair
Registry repair and optimization
Internet clutter removal and cleanup
Hard disk data erasing
E-mail scanner for POP3 and Exchange
Fast Disk Defragmenter
Windows Error Message Tracker
To assist when the worst happens, SmartSuite also includes an Emergency Response Manual. This provides step-by-step instructions on how to restore a non-bootable system and help recover critical data that may have been lost. This can definitely be helpful and will be considerably more up-to-date than the "How to make a useful bootable disk" section in my 1993 Essentials of Laptop Travel article.
Ontrack SystemSuite 4.0 is compatible with all 32-bit Windows operating systems -- Window95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. It has an MSRP of $59.95.
Viewsonic ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC
Tablet computing (or pen computing as it was once known as) is gaining a resurgence in popularity. While many industry pundits don't fully understand the power of this technology, I have been using pen-based technology since 1995 and know that it works well. Viewsonic has recently developed two new models that are currently shipping -- the ViewPad 100 SuperPDA and the ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC. This article describes the ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC. (The ViewPad 100 SuperPDA will be described in an upcoming article.)
Combining ViewSonic's knowledge of color monitors and LCD panels into a mobile product, they have created the Viewsonic ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC. The ViewPad 1000 can be used in the office, on the road or at home just like any "keyboard-only" laptop. It features a 10.4-inch, high luminance SVGA TFT touch screen LCD with 800 x 600 resolution. It functions in both conventional landscape or portrait (like a sheet of paper).
Key features of the Viewsonic ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC are:
PC Card (PCMCIA) ports
800 MHz Intel Mobile Celeron processor
128 MB of memory
built-in WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi wireless LAN connectivity
weighs just 4 pounds
integrated digital camera
wireless keyboard with an integrated pointing device
An optional ViewPad dock adds one-touch access to common computer peripherals, network connectivity, integrated CD-ROM and AC power adapter. The Viewsonic ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC runs on Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Operating system. It retails for $1,995 and is currently shipping. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts, labor and backlight. (I think they need to have an optional three year warranty to match other laptop manufacturers and provide consumer peace of mind.)
Want to see all this page in a more compact form? View the linked version of this article. It's a smaller download than this page, and each product's information is only a link away.
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.