The AnswersThatWork Blog

Saturday, 19th May 2007

Sometimes history is hilarious

I was clearing a cupboard at home recently as I needed space.  There was no space left on the bookshelf and I needed to put up a few books I'd just bought.

So I decided to ditch a few magazines from my very first years in IT.  And you know how it goes when you ditch really old things :  you spend the entire weekend looking at them, reading them, and reminiscing about some past things, and the Kleenex box gets busy attending to the tears...... :-).

At some stage I opened a computer magazine which had a full page ad from Panasonic, and I mean.... FULL PAGE !  Read the ad for yourself and you'll be able to picture the smile and laughter that illuminated my face :

Picture :
Big spider walking over a keyboard.

Headline :

Text :
Do you find the word processor more hairy than the spider ?  If so, try the Panasonic KXW1000.

It's easy to begin with because it has a tutorial disc, and 'Help' menus to hold your hand during early use.  Thereafter, the wonderful world of word processing is yours.

It's goodbye messy filing, hello floppy disc.  It's also hello thesaurus, hello spell check and hello clever things like mail-merge and spreadsheet.

While the daisy wheel print makes your document look as confident as you do.  So be brave and send off the coupon, for the latest on all our (totally harmless) WPs and typewriters

Isn't history fun sometimes....
—— (TUT) SpaceMan

Thursday, 3rd May 2007

TUT v4 released

So, we've finally released TUT v4.  It took a while, a lot of sweat, frustration, hard work, and a few laughs too.

We have made so many major and minor improvements to your favourite tuning and troubleshooting program, we've lost count (we're compiling a list as I write this blog).  So, in no particular order, here are some of the improvements off the top of my head :

  • Better presentation.  Everything is spacier, yet there is more information on the screen, and the reading font is larger.

  • My favourite :  hover the mouse on the name of a Task and all the hidden information about that task pops up.  I love this one — it makes me chuckle.

  • My second favourite :  hover the mouse on [almost] anything, and some popup help comes up.  On the graphs, on the items in the Status Line, on some of the toolbar buttons, on the options in Housekeeping.  Getting the feeling I love popup help ?

  • My third favourite :  customize some of the colours (popup help, highlight bar) through the  "Tools \ Preferences"  menu.

  • TUT has graphs. They're ever present in the top right of the screen constantly telling you exactly how busy your PC is.

  • The biggest change :  TUT is now real-time.  You do not have to press the REFRESH button to have TUT show you new tasks that may have started.  By default TUT dynamically updates the display every 10 seconds, but you can make that slower or faster, right down to having it update the display in real-time.

  • TUT now displays program icons so that you can visually instantly recognize a task before you read about it.

  • It gets better.  You can now filter the display.  For example :  you can filter on the manufacturer so that TUT shows you only  Microsoft  tasks, or only  Symantec  tasks and services,  or only  RED  tasks.  The possibilities are boundless.

  • Services are probably the second biggest change.  While TUT 3 did not have the ability to distinguish between a number of services, TUT 4 has.  The instant benefit is that the user now has an even wider scope for enhancing the performance of his PC.

  • For the hardcore techies :  TUT now has the best dependency walker in the world.  We call it  Dependency Explorer  and it's tops.

  • You can now suspend tasks.  This is a very valuable feature.  If you suspect an unusual process to be the cause for your slow downs, but you are not sure, you can suspend a process rather than terminate it outright, then observe the TUT CPU and Memory graphs.  If they show the performance getting better, then you can go ahead and terminate the task outright (if you think it's a nasty) or investigate why it is consuming so much of your resources.  If there is no change in performance, then you can simply  resume  the task and check another possible culprit.

  • The new  System Info  tab is now mind boggling.  Hardware make-up of your PC, installed software, programs using your network connections, and which ports, and description on what they do — you name it, it's there.  I call this "TUT's chest of goodies" !

  • And more.  Lots more....

That's it — I've exhausted the "top of my head".  Over to you to check out our TUT box of tricks.

Over and out.
—— (TUT) SpaceMan

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