TECH NOUS Better Connected

I attended videoconferencing session recently and was disappointed by the poor picture standard. I thought we’d moved on from the jerky, freeze-frame, heavily pixelated images so common in the early days of video communication.
There was obviously data transfer rate problem somewhere down the line – although not at my end (where the session was being hosted by well-known video-conferencing vendor). The picture was so bad it was obviously going through some very narrow pipes. All in all, not good advertisement for videoconferencing.
It does, I suppose, go to show that transfer rate is everything when it comes to communication, particularly when downloading images or music.
The same applies to broadband connections for home or business. The broader the band the better. Broadband is described as data connection rates of faster than 200Kbps (kilobits per second). Purists say true broadband can simultaneously transmit voice, data, and video signals without time lags or latency.
Parents of teenagers who spend most of their waking hours surfing the internet and tying up the phone line, are being forced onto the broadband wagon which, unless they’re in line-of-sight of one of the wireless offerings, usually means signing up through Tele-com.
It seems inevitable that in five years we’ll all have broadband as matter of course. The only difference between services – and let’s hope that by then we’ll have lots to choose from – will be the speed of transfer. That, of course, will be linked to the size of your income.
Meantime, we’ll have to bite the bullet and fork out for the cabling, routers, filters, and all the other paraphernalia that goes with broadband connection. Somebody stands to make lot of money.
Having broadband connection is just the beginning. Because of its “always on” nature, proper spam and virus filtering is vital, together with an effective firewall. Don’t even think of connecting unless all this is taken care of.
Symantec is still one of the leading players in this marketplace, and it has recently released SystemWorks 2005, the newest version of its well-known data protection and problem-solving suite.
Interestingly, the program now includes full version of Norton GoBack. This software allows users to undo serious computer problems by returning their PC to time when it was working properly and data was intact.
We’d all like to turn back the clock to undo our mistakes, and that’s what GoBack does. You can also use it to test new software programs by utilising the SafeTry mode. This creates temporary state to try software and gives users the option to accept or reject the changes. I don’t know how many times I’ve installed program, only to regret it soon after.
Norton GoBack is also valuable tool for multi-user PCs, where the ability to undo user changes is critical in recovering files that have accidentally been deleted by other users.
A simple ‘undo’ function allows hasty reversal of mistakes or file rescue. must in my book!
SystemWorks 2005 also comes in Premier version which includes the new Symantec Recovery Disk. This gives users, whose computers won’t start, the ability to boot, perform system fixes and virus scans, restore backup images and rescue files, even when the PC’s operating system is not responding.
It’s very useful suite. Not only does SystemWorks have the latest AntiVirus package with “worm protection”, but it also comes with range of tools to optimise your computer.
If like me you’re little lax when it comes to system maintenance, you’ll need Doctor Norton’s latest utilities product – particularly if you’re about to become whole lot more vulnerable by making the broadband connection.

Glenn Baker is regular contributor to Management.
Email: [email protected]

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