Norton System Works 1.0
Review

On February 8, 2001, in Macintosh, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Norton System Works 1.0
Company: Symantec
Estimated Price: $129.00
(upgrade pricing of $69.95 for previous owners of NAV or NUM)

http://www.symantec.com

Symantec has released its latest versions of Norton Utilities (NUM – version 6.0) and Norton Antivirus (NAV – version 7.0) for the Macintosh, but has added something different this time to the mix… it has integrated them together in one complete package Ð Norton System Works 1.0

The premier section of the utility program is still Norton Disk Doctor, Symantec’s diagnostic/repair program, which has been improved in this version to permit greater ability to recover data lost and by adding the capability of rebuilding the catalog tree of the System. This new feature of Volume Recover can be used in situations where Disk Doctor has found directory structure or partition info that is beyond repair. You can even use Norton Utilities to rebuild the desktop of your Mac.

The Speed Disk portion is designed to defragment and optimize your hard drive, plus it has been improved to provide more custom optimization capabilities for the user. You can now optimize your hard drive for General Use, Multimedia use, Software Development, CD-ROM Mastering, defragment only the most recently used files, permits Disk Resizing in preparation for resizing a partition or use Speed Disk 3.2 which uses fewer file types then the other types of profiles. Users can even create their own Speed Disk profiles if the ones provided don’t do the job that they want done. LiveUpdate capability works through your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to take you to Symantec’s ftp site. From there, you can automatically check your application against the current release and update your application if necessary.

Norton System Works offers Disk Doctor, Speed Disk, FileSaver, UnErase, Volume Recover, WipeInfo, and Fast Find as part of the package. FileSaver monitors and scans your hard drive for disk problems, updates the disk directory and tracks files and folders that have been deleted. UnErase permits the user to recover files/folders that were accidentally deleted, while Volume Recover can recover a disk that can no longer be booted from or even seen on the desktop. And although most people now use Sherlock to find things on their Macs, Fast Find is still perfectly useable.

System Works has seen some minor improvements in the user interface that includes integration with NAV and access to LiveUpdate. This permits the user to control both utilities from one central point and to schedule the update(s) of the utilities.

By the way, I almost forgot… System Works can repair disk damage and optimize hard drives using Mac OS X when restarted from the Norton System Works CD.


Symantec has also updated its AntiVirus program to version 7 and has made a point of advertising the ability of the program to scan email attachments and to permit the user to have greater control in the amount of protection that is provided in its newest version. An added plus to the program is that once you’ve updated your virus definitions, you don’t need to restart your computer to begin scanning. Once you have an initial scan with new virus definitions, subsequent scans go very quickly. Like Norton Utilities, Norton AntiVirus (NAV) is included in LiveUpdate, using your Internet connection.

 

As with other antivirus programs, NAV covers your System where virus-infected files/programs can gain access to your computer: your email; downloads from the Internet; floppies; removable media; and even network connections. With LiveUpdate and regularly scheduled monthly updates posted on the Symantec website about the first of each month, Mac users have improved their update response to suddenly occurring viruses. Besides updating your virus definitions when you use LiveUpdate, you can also update your application itself if Symantec has released an updated version, which is great when Apple changes the Mac OS or releases a new update to the system.

NAV is also part of the user interface with System Utilities, so when you update one, you can update the other. You can also access NAV in the panel when you use NDD. NAV features AutoProtect, (which at times I find MOST irritating – as in the installation of new software and I’ve forgotten to turn off AutoProtect so that I’m not swamped with the warnings) the ability to repair boot blocks, enhanced and persistent reports (which means that it keeps track of all your Virus reports), and Apple Guide support.

With new viruses surfacing constantly (although not to the extent that Window users have to suffer through), and new Macro viruses, the capability of protecting your system from these potential afflictions is well worth the cost. Again, for those of you who may be hesitant to utilize LiveUpdate, Symantec will be posting downloadable versions of their updates at their website.

The user is entitled to one year of free updates for the utility, after which they will have to pay $3.95 a year for the privilege… a very minor price for any updates to the important antiviral definitions or the application software itself.

Oh, and in case you all are sitting there and going “Is that all I get with System Works for $129? Just NAV and NUM?!” Nope, Symantec has sweetened up the deal for Mac users. The CD for System Works also includes a complete copy of Aladdin’s Spring Cleaningª and Retrospect Express 4.3 Backup from Dantz. So, you can also free up hard drive space by uninstalling old programs and related files with Spring Cleaning AND backup your hard drive and all of your important items with Retrospect Express. Not a bad deal at all, huh?!

Prior to the arrival of Norton System Works 1.0 and its announcement to the Mac public, I had the chance to speak with David Loomstein, Product Manager for Macintosh utilities and anti-virus products at Symantec, regarding System Works. One of my first questions was “What took Symantec so long to come out with System Works for the Mac as Windows users have it already?” Mr. Loomstein wanted Mac users to know that Symantec is committed to providing Mac users parity with Windows users in the software that is available for either platform. System Works is part of that commitment to the Mac public and to the users of Symantec’s products.


I’ve been using System Works for the past few months and my experiences with it are very good, and I haven’t had any problems with either Norton Utilities or Norton Antivirus. Of course, with a regularly scheduled weekly routine of maintenance, rebuilding the Desktop, checking the catalog, then using Norton Utilities to check and repair any problems that may have arisen. With a schedule like this, I’ve found my problems with my Mac to be few and easily correctible.

 

I’ve also utilized LiveUpdate with no problems other then the website telling me once that my virus definitions were up to date and they’re not… but I wasn’t the only one who encountered that glitch. The ability to schedule the updates when you wish is also a great idea.

All in all, I have been pleased, happy and satisfied with Norton System Works. I most appreciate it for its ability to keep my Mac purring so that I don’t experience problems when I least need them. Combining Symantec’s top two Mac products into one is a great idea whose time has finally come.

System Requirements
PowerPC processor, Mac OS 8.1 or greater, 32MB of RAM, 25MB of hard disk space, must boot from OS 9 to repair OS X disks, 10% of disk space availability for Speed Disk is recommended, CD-ROM drive, and a modem/Internet connection for LiveUpdate capability.

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5


Russ Walkowich

 

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