Norton SystemWorks is Symantec`s comprehensive utility suite, covering anti-virus, uninstaller and system improvement tools. With the 2001 release, it is now a one-stop utility shop for all Windows desktop operating systems.
There are three individual packages in the SystemWorks suite, drawn together under a centralised management console, which has certain other centralised features like complete rescue recovery (including the ever-popular zip-rescue) and a single tray icon for all utilities.
The package sports the new-look Norton series boxes, but is full of all the goodies that we have come to expect from Symantec`s utilities company, and contains Norton Utilities, Norton Anti-Virus (NAV), and Norton CleanSweep.
It is also the first one-stop desktop suite for Windows from 2000 professional to 95, although there seem to be some problems with CleanSweep on 95 and Millennium Edition (Me) at the moment. Norton has been circumspect in coming to the NT-based utilities market.
SpeedDisk for NT never really took off, as it didn`t offer the type of system improvements that its 9x counterparts did, and other companies like Mijenix and O&O Software were faster to the NT utility market. However, this release of Norton Utilities, and especially SpeedDisk, work well on Windows 2000 professional, so the lack of speed to market seems to reflect nothing more than a – slow and steady – attitude.
Both versions of Norton Anti-Virus (NAV), NT and 9x, come with the package, with the NT version supporting Windows 2000 as well as NT4. The only complaint that I`ve ever heard about the new generation of NAV is that the macro scanner for Word slows some systems down – nothing that throwing a bit of RAM at won`t solve!
NAV is the most popular personal virus protection suite on the market at the moment. It is effective and easy to use and is also easy for IT personnel to administer. It rarely corrupts files when downloads are broken, like some packages have a habit of doing, and can have updates sent to mobile users in the form of self-installing patches.
The e-mail plug-in also offers real-time scanning of incoming e-mail, so that viruses can be stopped before they are accessible in e-mail programs. This feature can slow down some systems, but it is a small price to pay for clean e-mail.
The core package in the suite is Norton Utilities. It has evolved from its origins in the days of DOS onto the current premier Microsoft desktop utility suite. I must say that as one who has moved onto Windows 2000 (W2K) for security and stability reasons, it is nice to see those familiar apps that were so crucial to me in Windows 98.
The core utilities have been migrated to the W2K platform, while 95 to Me share all the oldies. I`m going to be focusing on the suite from a W2K perspective, because that`s what`s really new in the 2001 suite.
The applications are SpeedDisk, System Doctor, Unerase Wizard, Disk Doctor, Win Doctor and System Information, all of which have seen an overhaul from previous versions. The only disappointment is Disk Doctor, which links in with the W2K Check Disk utility (chkdsk.exe) and passes parameters to it for pre-GUI scanning.
System Doctor is the monitoring tool in the package, and appears as in previous versions, although its back-end has been completely re-written to take the new W2K file system into account. Likewise System Information also portrays an accurate picture of the overall state of a system.
Win Doctor has been translated to W2K, to provide the same effect as its 9x counterpart, and has been incorporated in the system check utility, that is now a one click button in the SystemWorks integrator, utilising various tools from each of the suit`s packages.
SpeedDisk looks completely new in its W2K incarnation, but works like a veteran to the OS. Something that other NT disk defragmenters are not good at is consolidating free and used disk space on a drive, but SpeedDisk appears to achieve this in the same way that it does in 9x.
If you`re expecting it to be as quick as its 9x counterpart, though, be warned as it is much more thorough and requires considerably more repetitive access through the file system security features – something that takes more coding to perform.
A feature that works well is the ability to set the priority of SpeedDisk`s processes in its options panel, so you can have the defragmentation of a large drive going on in the background while you are working, just as long as you don`t make too many calls to it.
CleanSweep took over from Norton Uninstall Deluxe for what Symantec called “technical”” reasons, and although the product`s title preceded Uninstall Deluxe, it is a nonetheless new technology. Simply put, CleanSweep cleans up after all those installations that are performed on so many of our PCs: it uninstalls, archives and generally cleans up loose files and registry settings.
Programs can also be backed up, archived and moved from one machine to another. There is a resident monitor that keeps track of what files are associated with which programs, as well as which programs have installed what files where. This information is used for its cleaning up activities.
Internet plug-ins and downloaded installations are often messier than normal ones and CleanSweep enables you to clean up after both Internet Explorer and Netscape, including flushing their caches and stored cookies.
The final collection of CleanSweep utilities are those that generally clean out the operating system, finding orphan files and settings as well as unused or backed-up file versions. This can be particularly useful if you have a system that has survived a reinstallation for more than 12 months, or you have limited hard disk space.
Symantec Web links is a tab on the SystemWorks integrator that offers one click access to various Web sites that offer help, additional information and services from Symantec and its partners.
The Live Update has been improved, both in interface and functionality. Whether you are connected to a LAN or a modem it can dial up on its own and download and install new virus definitions and patches in a way that is totally configurable.
My one complaint with SystemWorks, and it has been one from its first incarnation, is the lack of control over the installation. For instance, I don`t want to install the Unerase Wizard in Utilities because I don`t want the Norton-protected recycle bin (which you can`t fully disable once you have installed it), so I have to install the package separately to get this sort of detail, and then install the rest from the common installer.
While this may be great for less experienced users, it is generally power users who go for this type of application, and these are the type of people who want more granularity with all options.
Norton SystemWorks 2001 is Symantec`s latest Utility suite that adds support for the NT-based operating systems and offers virus protection, system improvement and bug fixing as well as cleaning up of unused installations and files.”
New Pokémon adventures coming to Nintendo Switch
The Pokémon Company announced two new Pokémon games on the franchise’s 23rd birthday.
Nintendo announced two new Pokémon games: Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. The games take place in the Galar region, which is an expansive region with diverse environments— an idyllic countryside, contemporary cities, thick forest, and craggy, snow-covered mountains.
The people and the Pokémon who live there work together closely to develop the industries in the region. Fans will have the opportunity to visit various Gyms in the Galar region in their quest to become Champion. They will not be alone, since the newly discovered Pokémon they choose to be their first partner will be by their side.
The announcement was made at Nintendo’s Pokémon Direct online presentation today by Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company.
Ishihara said: “Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the latest adventures in the Pokémon video game journey that began twenty-three years ago on this day. Since then, Trainers around the world have discovered new Pokémon, engaged in epic battles, and made countless memories along the way. We look forward to continuing this journey by exploring a stunning new region in the Pokémon universe when the games launch later this year on Nintendo Switch.”
The adventure begins in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield when players choose one of three new Pokémon—Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble. Grookey, a Grass-type Chimp Pokémon, is mischievous and full of boundless curiosity. Bursting with energy, Scorbunny, a Fire-type Rabbit Pokémon, is always running about. The stealthy Sobble, a Water-type Water Lizard Pokémon, shoots out attacks as it hides itself in water.
Click here to watch the trailer for the latest Pokémon game.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, developed by Game Freak Inc., will be launching late 2019 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch system.
Spider-Verse gets mobile AR
8th Wall, Trigger and Amazon Web Services Bring Spider-Man to Life with Mobile Web AR Experience.
In anticipation of the recently release of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, last week, 8th Wall and Trigger announced the launch of the film’s Mobile Web AR Experience. The immersive AR camera is built using 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is designed to let users interact with Spider-Man in augmented reality (AR) where they can take pictures and share them with friends.
The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience, powered by 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology and produced by Trigger, is designed to allow users to easily jump directly into Spider-Man’s AR world on any smartphone, without having to download an app.
“Spider-Man is a perfect match for AR not only because his acrobatic moves and iconic poses lend themselves well to the format, but because he’s one of the most relatable superheroes,” said Rose Phillips, SVP, Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We’re excited to collaborate with 8th Wall, Amazon Sumerian and Trigger on Spider-Verse Web AR Experience and bring it to all – and new – Spider-Man fans.”
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique sensibilities to a fresh version of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman from a screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman and story by Phil Lord, the producers are Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg.
“The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience demonstrates how established brands can dramatically enrich their customer experiences and better engage with their fans,” said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO at 8th Wall. “Augmented reality allows consumers to dive deeper into the worlds of their favorite products and characters. Sony Pictures has deepened and enriched the Spider-Man experience with the innovative work they’ve produced with Trigger and 8th Wall, and powered by AWS. It’s the perfect example of how AR for the web is the best new medium for brands to make their content come to life while increasing the accessibility and interactivity of their stories.”
“Spider-Man is in our DNA. My team has been a digital developer since the first Spider-Man film and Trigger has been developing AR for Spider-Man properties at Sony Pictures since 2014. We’re excited to continue this longstanding collaboration with this experience for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” says Jason Yim, CEO and Executive Creative Director for Trigger. “We believe Web AR is the final barrier for mass adoption of AR and we are honored to be part of the first large-scale web AR campaign with Sony Pictures, AWS, and 8th Wall as partners. Web AR will not only become the first entry to AR for most audiences, but it will build a foundation of behavior that will lift adoption in social, mobile and head mounted AR.”
“Mobile Web AR is making possible for Sony Pictures to bring people into the world of Spider-Man and engage with the character like never before,” said Kyle Roche, General Manager, Amazon Sumerian, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Using Amazon Sumerian, the teams at 8th Wall and Trigger were able to deliver an immersive browser based AR experience and do so without any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise. Together with Sony Pictures, we’re changing the way fans experience their favorite web slinger.”