What's your computer's life expectancy? Iolo intends to extend it

What's your computer's life expectancy? Iolo intends to extend it

Summary: You get the oil changed in your car regularly, why shouldn't you tune up your computer?That's the pitch of iolo technologies, maker of the software utility System Mechanic, which has been used on roughly 21 million computers to date (but not, alas, Macintosh ones, which means I can't try it out on my 4-year-old PowerBook).

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You get the oil changed in your car regularly, why shouldn't you tune up your computer?

That's the pitch of iolo technologies, maker of the software utility System Mechanic, which has been used on roughly 21 million computers to date (but not, alas, Macintosh ones, which means I can't try it out on my 4-year-old PowerBook). If one of your year-end green tech resolutions involves eking even just six months more life out of your existing systems without compromising performance, the relatively new, 64-bit version of System Mechanic could make that goal a little easier to accomplish.

Iolo is pitching its software utility as a way of helping keep your Windows Vista, XP or 2000 system running reliably and efficiently for longer than the average system's lifespan of about 2.4 years (as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency). How long it lasts really depends on what you need it to do. When you think about it, the main reason you should update your computer is because there has been some catastrophic software failure, not because the software frustrates you. In theory, the latter can be addressed. We might want to start setting some new standards for what constitutes a "totalled" computer.

Two big things you'll really care about in the System Mechanic product line: ActiveCare 2.0 (in the $50-ish System Mechanic Professional), which can sense when you're not using your system so that it can do its job in terms of defragmentation and compression. You don't have to set it to run at any specific time, it takes advantage of when your computer is on but idle. The other thing I'd like to point out for you frugal small-business owners is that each package of System Mechanic entitles you to run the utility on up to three systems.

If you've decided that your PC is definitely on its last legs, iolo is also the developer of DriveScrubber, which helps you ensure that all traces of confidential data have been removed from the computer. A cool feature of this utility is that it will allow you to clear out all the data files associated with an application while enabling you to keep the original application on the computer, which can help with the trade-in/asset recovery/recycling value associated with a computer.

Topics: Software, CXO, Hardware, IT Employment

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6 comments
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  • Questions and Comment

    Did you mean catastrophic hardware, rather than software,
    failure?

    2.4 years average lifetime? What's the standard deviation? Is that
    statistic broken down as to corporate versus private? By brands?

    As to scrubbing a disk, I've downloaded the Knoppix Live Disk
    and used a program called shred. It may not be for everyone, but
    the price is right.
    DannyO_0x98
  • Norton Ghost

    Under most circumstances, PC hardware will last for 10 years - whether the systems physical speed is up to the task of running modern software is another story - however, most business users use their PC for Internet, e-mail, and some basic Document creation (spreadsheet, Word Proccesor etc).

    In those circumstances, a PCs' hardware will generally give very good performance for about 5 to 7 years as long as the O/S and/or software installed has not deteriorated - which unfortunately happens all to often.

    Being a tech, I rebuild my systems O/S and Software from the ground up about every two years - this is a daunting and time consuming task ...

    Nortons ghost would allow someone to get their system installed with all the prerequisite software, and then take an image, so that all that would be required is a back up of data, insert your Image Disk, reboot, restore your data ...

    It may take a tiny bit more, but it's not complicated, and doesn't run the risk of software (or an uneducated user) trying to decide what is or is not good for your PC - there are lots of good PC maintenance utilities, but they are all too dangerous for the average user to use ...

    JMHO

    Ludo
    Ludovit
  • RE: What's your computer's life expectancy? Iolo intends to extend it

    If you keep spare HDs, PSUs and CPU fans then it's life is limited only its usefulness.

    Less demanding uses for old equipment:

    print server.
    dns/dhcp server
    router
    firewall
    V@...
  • Alternatives

    There are good free or less expensive programs for each function of System Mechanic. Starting with CCleaner.

    While I appreciate people being paid for their good work, assemblage of various tools needn't require so expensive a product. You might have provided a list of such software with instructions about how to set up the automatic runs which would benefit many people.

    If you need suggestions for the software to be included, many people who are already doing this job for friends and relatives would be glad to help.
    Anton Philidor
  • RE: What's your computer's life expectancy? Iolo intends to extend it

    CCleaner - Free
    Reformat and reinstall - Free
    Disk wipe utilities - Free

    All utilities running in the background waste resources and may create conflicts with other SW. I avoid them like the plague when I can.

    An no SW will extend the life of your HW

    So, keep your money in your wallet.
    Economister
  • crap ware now?

    zdnet is promoting crapware like wired does sheesh is nothing sacred???
    nospam8