ISSUE 580: Zisman- Dec 5 2000
The high-tech office
Mac users get
versions of Symantec's PC software
They're about 10 per cent of the population.
The stereotype is that they're more artistic, colourful and
style-conscious than the plain vanilla majority. They're convinced that
their way is better, or at least more fun, but feel discriminated
against, with fewer choices that cost more.
They're Mac users. And they too need utilities, the
software that we hope we'll never need but know that someday we
Utilities giant Symantec has offered Mac
versions of its key Norton AntiVirus and Norton Utilities packages for
years, but tended to focus most of its attention on the larger PC
market. With its 2001 product line, however, the company has brought
out new Mac versions of several of its PC products, Norton Internet
Security and Norton Personal Firewall, and has bundled several of its
Mac products into a utilities suite: Norton SystemWorks 2001.
As with the PC SystemWorks, the Mac version bundles
the key programs, Norton AntiVirus ($105) and Norton Utilities ($150),
together with several other products in a single box at a discounted
price ($195). As well, Mac SystemWorks buyers get a pair of useful
utilities from other companies: Dantz's Retrospect Express 4.3
($75) is a backup and disaster recovery program, and Aladdin
Spring Cleaning 3.5 ($75) removes hard drive clutter.
AntiVirus 7.0 (aka "2001") is easier to configure than
earlier versions and offers several interface enhancements. Autoprotect
can be turned on and off from a Control Strip module and individual
files can be scanned using a context menu option. (Lesser-known fact:
Command + Click on recent Mac operating systems brings up a pop-up
context menu, like right-clicking in Windows). More types of compressed
files can be scanned for infection.
Like the PC version, it now scans incoming e-mail.
There are far fewer viruses targeting Macintoshes than PCs, but Mac
users of Microsoft Office are equal opportunity targets. Their
copies of these popular programs can be infected with the same Word and
Excel macro viruses, often spread via e-mail, as their PC colleagues.
Like the PC versions, a LiveUpdate feature can connect
online to Symantec to keep virus definitions and AntiVirus and
Utilities files current. (A one-year free subscription is included.)
Unlike the PC version, it won't run automatically every 15 days or so,
but you can set it to start up and run on a regular schedule.
Norton Utilities 6.0/2001 includes improvements to the
FileSaver feature to better recover lost files. Damaged directories can
be restored with the new Volume Recover, while the Speed Disk
defragmenter can now define how files on the disk are arranged for
better performance. (Another lesser-known fact: Deleted files are still
on your hard drive and can still be recovered and read by those in the
know. That, in fact, is how U.S. Senate investigators got evidence on
Col. Oliver North. But when Norton Utilities wipes the free
space, deleted data is gone for good.)
Both the new Utilities and AntiVirus programs can be
used with Apple's OS X beta, by booting under OS 9. The program
CDs are bootable, making them usable for recovery in case of serious
computing disasters. While I wouldn't recommend it, some may put off
purchasing until they're struck with a virus infection or drive crash,
trusting that they can boot to the program CD and make everything
SystemWorks installs the two Norton products from a
single installer and both programs' features can be started from the
main Norton Utilities screen. There's no integration of Retrospect
Express and Spring Cleaning, however. They have to be installed and run
SystemWorks 2001 is a bargain compared to buying all
its component parts separately. Mac users may still end up feeling like
second-class citizens, however.
One local retailer, for example, is currently
advertising the PC version for $60 after a $40 rebate, while Mac users
are more likely to have to pay full retail.