Tag Archives: Rescue Center

Advanced System Care 6 – Newbie Friendly (With a Little Help)

imageSome months ago, IObit asked that I take a look at their latest Advanced System Care – Version 6 (free edition). Since I’ve reviewed IObit’s various applications as far back as 5 years ago (ancient history in Technology/Internet time) – and, since I’ve generally rated the company’s free offerings at the high end of the scale, it was easy to say “Yes”.

For this particular review though, it was time to do something a little different. Not only would I run with the application for several months (as opposed to my normal test period of two weeks, or so) – but, three of my “I’m only a regular user” friends would run with it as well.

The primary objective of structuring the test in this manner was to to isolate and compare the experiences of a techie, against the real life computing experiences of a “regular” user – one who has little or no understanding of the Registry, Junk Files, …………

There was no miracle transformation during the time that I worked with my small group. They did not magically turn into “super techs.” But, it’s fair to say, that each of them has a better understanding of the relationship between various parts of their OS, and the need to keep the OS neat and tidy.

Equally as important, at least for this review, was the unanimous agreement  (in this small friendly sample), that Advanced System Care, when run regularly, improved their computer experience.

But did it? Let’s find out.

————————————————————————————————–

Installation:

Installation was fast and clean and did not lead to the expected (from the group) – “what’s this” or “what does this mean”, or……………..

User Interface:

As you’ll see in the following screen shots the GUI is relatively uncluttered and straightforward.

—————————————————————————————————

The application is broken down into three modules – CareToolbox – and, Turbo Boost, as shown below.

Care:

Selecting specific settings to apply to a particular action/s can be accomplished by pointing to an item. If the item can be selected, a settings icon will appear as shown below at the arrow. Across the board, the group found this method awkward, easy to miss, and not instinctive.

image

The settings menu allows for a considerable degree of choice. Participants in the test found that choosing which repairs to select was, in most instances, easy.  That’s not to say, that the occasional phone call wasn’t required. But, that’s a matter of user experience as opposed to a shortfall in the application.

image

The results of a quick scan (less than a minute on a relatively clean system), are shown below.

image

Users will have the option of selecting “automatic repair” prior to running the scan. Less experienced users should exercise caution.

Clicking on repair, in this example, completed the job in less than 30 seconds.

image

Who makes mistakes? Me, you – we all do!

IObit, recognizing this, has built in a safeguard – the Rescue Center. Each time a cleaning operation is launched, the first process is the creation of a backup point so that Registry, and Internet changes, can be reversed if necessary.

image

Bummer Time (or not?) -

From the Quick Settings menu, clicking on “Activate all functions” ……….

image

pops up a teaser.

Keeping in mind that this is a FREE product, I must admit to being astonished by the negativity generated on many forums by this teaser. I wonder how these people respond to ads on TV, or in their newspaper – items that they’ve paid for.  

image

Toolbox:

The Toolbox is chock full of goodies (lots of goodies) – some of which are in fact, built in OS system tools. Still, having access to a wide range of tools, all in one place, is a bonus.

More advanced users who like to carry around their “IT Toolbox” on their keychain (on a USB stick, of course   Smile) should find the portable tool creation applet worthwhile.

image

Overall Rating:

My assessment: A-

On the whole, this application does what it says it will do – and, it’s fast. But, I will mark it down for a rather convoluted settings menu access.

The groups assessment: A+

Participating in an application test was, I think, a bit of a thrill for my guys – particularly one in which (HELP!) was just a call away. What surprised me was, just how quickly folks grasped the fundamentals with just a wee bit of help.

Overall, participants were pleasantly surprised at both the built-in functionality of the application, and the ease of use. And, in what may come as a surprise to more experienced users – participants were astonished at the availability of such a high quality application for FREE.

System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000.

Languages: English, Arabic, Belarusian, Czech, ChineseSimp, ChineseTrad, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese(PT-BR), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (cyrillic), Serbian (latin), Slovenian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

Download at: Softpedia

7 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, IObit

Auslogics Internet Optimizer – Seriously NOT Ready For Prime Time

imageWhile not first amongst the “snake oil” applications available for download – Internet optimizers do hold a prominent place. Still, when I heard that Auslogics had recently released its version of an Internet optimizer, I thought I’d take it for a test drive.

After all (my logic went), I’m a fan of Auslogics which has a reputation for high quality applications – many of which are free – so, maybe this Internet optimizer actually works. Besides, what actually harm could it do.

As it turned out, it didn’t take very long to see the harm it could do.

The installation begins with the usual offer to install the convenient (NOT!) Ask Toolbar.

image

First, I took advantage of the application’s offer to test my current connection speed…

image

which outputted the following.

image

Next, I scanned for suggested improvements. Scanning for optimized settings produces a comprehensive report which suggests settings you should consider changing. For this test, I accepted all of the recommended new parameters. 

image

Accepting the recommendations is one click simple.

image

Following a reboot, I retested my connection speed – which produced the following report. You’ll notice a marginal decrease in connection speed. In a real sense however, the difference is meaningless. Except as an indication, that despite the application’s promise, it simply didn’t meet my expectations.

That’s fair enough – this application is hardly the first I’ve tested that under delivered.

image

In the following screen capture you’ll notice the application includes a built-in Rescue Center. I should point out though, that I never install an application without creating a restore point first. You’ll see shortly, why this is necessary.

image

Following a restart of Firefox, I was shocked to discover that the application had reset the browser to its default settings. Some of which, in my view, are unsafe. And, effectively wiping out all of my personal customizations – which were considerable.

The following screen shot captures the new home page.

image

Worse, the application had caused the reinstallation of ALL of my Firefox add-ons and reset ALL of the add-ons back to the default settings. I’ll repeat – some of which, in my view, are unsafe.

Totally unacceptable!!! The following screen capture shows the open connections to a number of the add-ons home pages.

image

As I noted earlier, thankfully the application provides a recovery feature as indicated by the following graphic.

image

The backup did, in fact, work flawlessly, but…..

Closing points:

This test was not a one shot deal. I reinstalled and retested this application four times and the results, as reported here, were more or less, identical.

Following the test, I read a number of reviews of this application elsewhere, and it was more than evident, that despite the strong recommendations in these pseudo reviews, the reviewers had not actually tested the application. Shame on them!

Curiously (or maybe not so curious), Auslogics does not provide a download link on their web site for this application. That’s a bloody good move in my estimation. This application should suffer a quick death.

Regular readers will know, that I generally do not post on applications that don’t meet what I consider to be reasonable standards. But, this application (despite its recovery feature), has the potential to seriously screw up a typical user’s browser – and so the posted review.

It’s not often that an application being tested will annoy me (consternation is part of the testing game) – but, this one seriously pissed me off.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Auslogics, Communication, Computer Tools, downloads, Firefox, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Network Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools