Summary: Gammatech Utilities and Graham Utilities are two well respected suites of programs that aid in preventative maintenance and disaster recovery for your OS/2 system. But while each have unique tools, there are several areas where features overlap. In this comparison review we test each suite's offerings to determine which is the best at what.
The reigning king of utility suites for any platform has to be Norton Utilities, a package that millions have come to trust when it comes to disaster recovery and preventative maintenance. But Norton is for DOS and Windows, only handles FAT partitions, and messes up OS/2's delicate extended attributes. For us, we have to look to one of two lesser known suites: The Gammatech Utilities, and The Graham Utilities.
Both suites have large areas of functionality that's unique, especially Graham Utilities, but what will probably concern the buyer is where their features overlap. Because both tackle the jobs of preventative maintenance, performance tuning and disaster recovery differently. If an unfriendly operating system's install process messed up your partition tables, or that floppy disk with your girlfriend's phone number has a bad sector on it, what do you do? Which will save your bacon?
The View From 10,000 Feet
The two suites are visually quite different. Gammatech Utilities has fewer programs in its suite, and most of them have graphical interfaces. Graham Utilities is chock full of both large and tiny programs that run in a fullscreen (or windowed) session. And while Gammatech Utilities mostly relies on online documentation and help files, Graham Utilities comes with a thick printed user manual.
Graham Utilities also seems to be weighted more heavily on the disaster recovery side. The package comes with a special disaster recovery floppy, and during the install process it saves copies of your partition table and vitals of your HPFS drives onto it for safe keeping. Once install is complete you just toss the recovery disk back into the box and stick it on the shelf. If disaster strikes, the disk not only has the data it needs to reconstruct your partition information, but it also includes all the programs needed to do it.
Gammatech has less to compare to this, but it does have a better hard drive optimization program, as you'll see. Another tool that Graham doesn't match is a Sentry program that can monitor and forbid changes to your boot sector and selected files.
The Utilities In Detail
To cover the packages in sufficient detail we've broken the review up into several parts, each focusing on a different aspect of the suites. These are:
Hard Drive Optimization - The job of file defragmentation, why it's necessary, and how it improves your system's performance
Disaster Recovery - Undeleting files you accidentally erased, pulling data off a damaged drive or floppy, and recovering from accidental formatting or partitioning.
System Diagnosis - Tools that assist in the identification of problems, condition of the system, and capabilities of the hardware
Making Life Easier - Tools for day-to-day work and everything that the suite's don't otherwise compete on.
|Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking||ISSN 1203-5696||November 16, 1998|