You don't have to wait for your company's Lord and Master of Information Systems to saunter into your office and load up whatever software needs updating. Just get online and fix it yourself.
Oil Change looks under the hood of your Windows 95 PC, checks all the software connections, and then retrieves from the Web the latest upgrades for your software. Perhaps you never got that free e-mail software upgrade or those new DLL files for your word processor. Never mind what DLL files are — you don't want to know. And that's just the point. Oil Change will take care of it for you.
Coordinates: Oil Change, $39.95 (includes one year of online service). CyberMedia Inc., 310-581-4700; http://www.cybermedia.com
TuneUp.Com checks your hard drive, makes recommendations, and keeps your anti-virus software up to date (quite a challenge, since new viruses are created everyday). IT also offers a limited selection of updated drivers — all they had when I checked were some new software drivers for HP laser printers.
Coordinates: TuneUp.com, $3.95 per month. TuneUp.Com, (407) 679-5020; http://www.tuneup.com
Bookmarking these Web sites can quickly create another mess. Netscape Navigator, for example, just tosses all your valuable URLs into a list that isn't even alphabetized. So I use Web Buddy for categorizing the hundreds of bookmarks I've compiled. It downloads pages from the World Wide Wait to your hard drive, so you can quickly scan them later at your convenience. Even better, it takes Web addresses and lets you store them in alphabetical order in different folders (e.g., hospitals and health-care sites under "Medical").
Coordinates: Web Buddy, $49. DataViz Inc., 800-733-0030; http://www.dataviz.com/webbuddy
A version of this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.