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-- by John Woram
Peter Norton, make room for Nuts & Bolts. A late-beta peek at this utilities package shows it's a potentially strong contender for space on the desktop. Assuming the beta bugs are squashed and the unimplemented features enabled, this collection of applets will be a must-have.
Nuts & Bolts offers password-protected data encryption and powerful file-deletion utilities to protect your data from prying eyes.
The Helix Bomb Shelter adds a Recover button to the dreaded Illegal Operation screen and should provide much-needed protection against GPFs and other nasties.
With CleanUp, you can search for duplicate, orphan, large or old files, which you can then zip, shred, delete or move with your favorite program. Discretion is advised, however, because CleanUp offers to remove some files that should not be deleted. In tests, it selected five of Nuts & Bolts' own INI files with important, though not mission-critical, configuration data. In addition, the search can be time-consuming.
A welcome and powerful tool is the Registry Wizard, which thoroughly roots out references to long-departed files and uninstalled leftovers. Again, you'll want to check found files carefully, though it may be difficult to read long Registry key names and lines in the small wizard window.
Nuts & Bolts places a fair amount of "stuff" on the Desktop, which you may want to move. The Helix LaunchPad lets you quickly access features and has enough customization options to keep most tweak-freaks happy for hours.
Still, you won't want to retire your Norton Utilities, for each program offers unique features. Norton's Registry Tracker flags changes made to the Registry, yet lacks Nuts & Bolts' excellent Registry Wizard. Norton's Memory Details displays DLL files and corresponding applications. Nuts & Bolts offers Benchmarks and Diagnostics from within Windows 95. And so it goes, making the "Which one do I need?" question easy to answer: "Both."