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-- by Warren Ernst
Starfish Internet Utilities 97 (IU97) includes a variety of useful Internet tools, but its interface is lacking: The program has just the right tool for the job, but finding it can be difficult. Although it's aimed at experts, IU97 is a hodgepodge of utilities with basic functionality but without the bells and whistles experts normally want.
IU97 combines a dozen tools and utilities into its Dashboard-like interface. Because it squeezes in too many tools, it's sometimes difficult to find what you need (we found ourselves clicking and squinting at the Dashboard), and the interface isn't uniform (not all tools support drag and drop, for example)
The most useful tool is QuickMarks, an enhanced Favorite Places/Bookmark manager, which takes up most of the IU97 window. With it you navigate the included 70 Web-site icons, and your own Netscape Bookmarks and Internet Explorer Favorite Places (automatically imported when IU97 installs). It's worth the space-QuickMarks tracks which URLs are no longer valid and which sites have changed since your last visit. It also coordinates your Microsoft and Netscape bookmarks-a godsend if you regularly switch between browsers.
Other features include an Internet Meter to track your online time and compute online charges, and the Internet Toolbox. The Internet Toolbox provides one-click access to all your Web browsers; Ping, Traceroute, Finger/Whois, QuickFTP and QuickZip/Unzip; and Usenet news decoder utilities.
NetAttache Pro 2.1c, our WinList product, is a better Internet utility program with an easier interface. But if having all these tools in one place appeals to you, then Internet Utilities 97 might suit you.