Diskeeper Frag Guard
I remember when the word was
that fragmentation was a thing of the past. The Windows NT Filing System had arrived and
there was no longer any need to worry about our files being scattered to the winds, or our
hard disk being split into a myriad of tiny lumps of free space. The truth of course was
somewhat different. NTFS suffered from fragmented files and fragmented free space as much
as the next OS, and so the need arose for an NTFS defragmenter. Executive Software filled
that gap with the splendid Diskeeper*, and version 5.0 recently arrived chez moi, in both
server and workstation versions. The most obvious difference, noticeable before I even got
around to stripping off the wrapping was that it now serviced Windows 95 (OSR2 or higher)
and 98 as well as Windows NT.
Even Windows 2000 got a mention on the front of the box, but that was in respect of update
information waiting to be revealed once Id opened the box. Once you register,
youll be told where to go and get the update when Windows 2000 actually ships. This
would appear to be a free upgrade too, so hats off to Executive Software on that score.
For those who use Windows NT, Diskeeper 5.0 has a further trick up its sleeve that is
called Frag Guard. This is used to help cut down Master File Table (MFT) and paging file
fragmentation, and handily it also provides you with an automatic boot-time defrag option.
Be warned that the latter can take a while to run, but if you want to sort your directory
structure out, defrag the paging file, or sort out the MFT, these actions can only be
carried out before Windows NT has actually started.
Nip over to http://www.execsoft.co.uk/ to find out more, and to download a 30-day trial
version so that you can test this excellent tool out now, if you dont already use it
of course. If you do, well its time to upgrade. While you are there, check out
Undelete for Windows NT 4.0 too. It comes in both server and workstation versions, but
this time the workstation tag means it will only run on Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, and
the server tag means it will only run under Windows NT 4.0 Server. Both Executive Software
products covered this month require Windows NT to be running Service Pack 3 as a minimum.
Do you use FTP a lot? I
certainly do. Currently my favourite product is the highly impressive BulletProof FTP, but
I would also like to direct your attention to LapLink FTP. This product, if nothing else,
provides you with a handy group of preset FTP sites to go and investigate, and the tools
to add more to the list in as easy a manner as you might wish. You can have multiple
connections running at the same time, and the friendly Explorer-like interface lets you
forget you are connected at all as you happily move files about from one location to
another with a simple click of the mouse button. So, beware of that if you are on a
dial-up connection. It happens to be free too; all you have to do is register the 30-day
trial version once youve got it. Find out more at http://www.laplinkftp.com/.
Want to improve you position
in the office? Then make sure that you have all the important information right there at
your fingertips. Sound familiar? It should. Information At Your Fingertips (IAYF) has been
a Microsoft chant for some time.
The latest item they have come up with is the Digital Dashboard, part of the overall
Digital Nervous System. Basically speaking, it is a technology that enables you to
customise Microsoft Outlook 2000 so that it becomes a fully featured information service
provider. You do this by modifying the Outlook Today page, stuffing it full of information
from a wide variety of places. Naturally, having Office 2000 and the Office Web components
will be a prerequisite here, but you can actually do so many cool things with this
technology youll wonder how you ever got by without it.
The key is that the Outlook Today page is actually HTML, so you can use any elements you
might expect to be able to use in that environment. The Office 2000 Web components are
obvious choices with their Pivot Table/Chart/Spreadsheet components, but you can have data
sources from SQL Server, data via ODBC, implant ActiveX controls, Java applets and so on.
You can also place Outlook items on the page, giving you instant access to mail folders,
tasks, your calendar and so on.
Check it out at http://www.microsoft.com/digitalnervoussystem/km/digitaldashboard.htm
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