Keep 'Em Coming

Quick Change

Buy Microsoft Office 97 now, and what you get is not the latest version. You'll find the updates on Microsoft's Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/OfficeFreeStuff/ ). That's the rule for virtually all software today: Manufacturers post free software add-ons and "patches" (bug fixes) on their Web sites. One way to keep all your software current is to regularly troll the pertinent Web sites. A less time-consuming solution is to let CyberMedia's Oil Change do the hunting for you. Oil Change scans your computer for software and hardware drivers, then automatically heads to the manufacturers' Web sites. It tells you what updates are available, you pick the ones you want, then it installs them. An "undo" feature is built in so that updates that cause unexpected troubles can be dumped. Oil Change won't update all software--a few makers aren't in its database--but it's a smart way to keep a computer running at peak efficiency. An initial subscription is $39.99, with the yearly renewal costing $19.99. A free trial version is available at http://www.cybermedia.com .

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Keep 'Em Coming.

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