Hurricane 98 is pretty much a no-brainer buy for anyone who logs serious time on a PC every day. It lives up to its primary function--speeding up launch times for your programs. Equally impressive: It accomplishes this feat automatically. Simply point-and-click your way through an easy installation wizard, and you're done. There's no further tweaking, no learning curve. Of course, for those who insist on getting under the hood, Hurricane 98 can be customized and tweaked manually. Other benefits include speeded performance from a cold boot, PC-to-printer, RAM and removable drives, such as a CD-ROM or ZIP.
List price: $39
Requires: a 486 computer, Windows 95 or 98, 16MB RAM, 20MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM
Maker: McAfee (Santa Clara, California)
Phone/web site: (408) 988-3832, http://www.mcafee.com
Joe Dysart (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a software analyst and Internet business consultant in Thousand Oaks, California. His work has appeared in more than 40 publications, including The New York Times.