Getting Productive with Software Utilities

January 2001
by Reid Goldsborough

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Every time Microsoft releases a new operating system, the question arises anew: What utilities do I need for my computer?
Computer utilities are small programs that help you work better with your hardware or existing software. Unlike application programs, they don’t let you do anything externally, such as prepare a letter or budget.
To its credit, with each new version of Windows and, before that, of DOS, Microsoft has bundled in utilities you previously had to pay extra for. Windows Me, the latest version, includes tools for restoring corrupted system files, sharing an Internet connection among multiple PCs, reattaching files that become fragmented, viewing graphics, deleting unnecessary files, and backing up data and programs.
Unfortunately, the utilities Microsoft typically provides are limited compared with “third-party” programs, and this continues with Windows Me. That’s why utilities remain popular. Five of the top 10 best-selling business software programs are utilities, according to the latest numbers from market research firm PC Data.
Whether you use a PC in a business or home setting, utilities can boost your productivity. They can also be fun, in a geeky sense, to experiment with.

 

Some Cautions

 

Be aware that there’s a slight risk to utility experimentation. Infrequently, a poorly designed utility can corrupt other software. The remedy typically involves simply reinstalling the corrupted software, though very infrequently it can nec…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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