Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 12:19:49 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010  (Read 19737 times)

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« on: October 30, 2009, 06:58:18 PM »
WARNING: Below this line you will encounter another of my vitriolic reviews. After the ranting has subdued, please maintain calm and proceed slowly to the exits :-)

How the mighty have fallen. I was in awe of TuneUp Utilities when I first found it in 2006. It looked beautiful, was packed with useful functionality, and every tool was logically placed and easy to find. I've been upgrading almost every year since then (skipped version 2008) and sadly, I regretted every upgrade, as the product turned out progressively worse.

The original layout was clear and logical. In version 2009 the distribution of tools was rearranged in the control center, so that I no longer knew where to find the tools I needed. Things that took one click now took several, as TuneUp displayed the nice-looking but ultimately irrelevant diagnostic messages on the main screen - and oh, now it took ten seconds or so before the UI became available, as it was busy performing the various system checks which should only be done at user request. As a result, I didn't use TuneUp nearly as often as I did before, and finally only ever used the Startup Manager, which you managed not to spoil.

Meanwhile, the tools that were truly useful were not seeing much improvement. The registry editor hasn't changed since 2006. System Information pales in comparison to what applications like Everest (previously Aida) can tell. The Registry Optimizer *always* breaks MS Office 2003 installation, so that Word starts to ask for the installation disks as soon as I press F1 or try to use the task panes — this hasn't changed since the earliest TuneUp version I used. And the Process Manager lags behind competition (Process Explorer or AnVir Task Manager Pro) so much it's lamentable.

And then there was that funny thing about TuneUp update. The program has a "check for updates" feature, which reminds you to check for a new version every now and then. I do not remember if it was first introduced in version 2006 or 2007, but I do know that it has never, *never* found an update available. I even learned about the pay upgrades through the website! What's the point of having an update checker, if there are never any updates?

So I had my little gripes, which detracted a little from the overall satisaction with a commercial package, but there was still a lot of useful greatness under the hood... and the hood looked awesome.

Version 2010, however, is a new low. The "hood" may be prettier than ever, but what hides underneath is a lemon.

Now *all* the utilities have been hidden, so that it's completely impossible to tell where they are or how to find them. Is my favorite Startup Manager under "Maintain system" or "Increase performance"? I can't *see* where it is, so I'll have to hunt and peck every time. And why is "Defragment hard disks" located under "Maintain system" instead of "Increase performance"? One could argue that both categories are suitable — but if so, then the categories were badly picked in the first place.

Yes, the individual utilities can be accessed via the Start menu, which is their saving grace. This doesn't excuse the confusing mess the control center has become.

System performance advice is next to useless, sorry. TuneUp is telling me I have many programs installed. Well thank you, I do have a bunch. I use my computer for a lot of things. At the same time TuneUp installer adds *three* new always-on services, and a tray icon. All for the sake of keeping the computer running smoothly, it seems.

The tray icon, by the way, adds insult to injury, as it has no "Exit" command. Major blunder, developers, not to let me close a program peaceably! Killing processes makes me feel bad, you know?

Then, before I had a chance to read the docs and to configure (i.e., disable) all the automatic maintenance features that will do who knows what to the computer, TuneUp is doing outright silly things on its own. I check the report and see that TuneUp forcibly lowered the process priority of Total Commander, because it thought TC was behaving selfishly with the CPU. Well, TC was busy doing my work, gentlemen. It was searching for text in a large directory of files. By lowering its priority TuneUp ensured I had to wait longer for the result — is that a bug or a feature?

All this automatic magic is not helpful at all; it is not smart, it does the opposite of what would be logical. It presumes to know better than the user and makes the wrong choices. What happened to the idea of asking the user whether a program is important (so boost it) or a background drone (so keep it tame)?

After such start, I was just curious to see what chicanery lurked inside the "Turbo Mode". The description reads, "In Turbo Mode, all unwanted background programs and services are disabled to ensure individual programs run smoothly". I couldn't help but check what programs and services TuneUp considered "unwanted", and whether it was going to make that determination by trying to read my mind, or whether it would just make a wild guess.

As I tried to click the "Configure Turbo Mode" link, two things happened. First, I did not manage to click that link, because as I approached the link with the mouse, the sliding information panel kicked in and switched to the "TuneUp Live Optimization" slide. As a result, I inadvertently clicked the "Configure Live Optimization" link instead. Just as I tried to click the link, it was replaced with another link before I had time to react. At least this is what I think happened. Congratulations for the innovative UI design! Maybe next we'll see sliding OK and Cancel buttons, too?

The second thing that happened was that LiveOptimizer.exe crashed.

Then I tried again, this time making sure I clicked the correct link. Another crash from LiveOptimizer.exe:

tu01.pngHow the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010

And the worst thing? The worst thing is we're only getting warmed up here.

I ran Drive Defrag. It analyzed two of my physical drives, and when I clicked the other drive in the list, the process froze. I had to kill it with the Task Manager.

I ran Disk Doctor. It started scanning the filesystem, then I left the computer unattended for a while. By the time I came back 10 minutes later, DD had consumed over 330 MB of memory (was it trying to load the whole filesystem into memory?!) and stopped responding. I had to kill it, too.

Oh, and then I found out that uTorrent.exe was semi-frozen. Busily churning bits just moments before, it was now sitting blankly, vacantly, as if it got clobbered over the head with something heavy. When I closed it, the UI disappeared, but left behind the zombie process running. Another kill. Now, it may have been a coincidence. Then again, µTorrent had *never* crashed on my system before. Never. Not once in years. My wild guess is that it did not survive some of the TuneUp's new process-managing, smoothness-ensuring little games.

Speaking of unwanted programs... Maybe I would play my own silly game and turn the Turbo Mode on itself... Nice thought — if only it ran, rather than crash!

Time to bid TuneUp Utilities good-bye. Wish I had not spent all that money on upgrades, but for that I only have myself to blame.

(Windows XP SP2, running smoothly otherwise).


« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 07:07:25 PM by tranglos »

sajman99

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 07:34:00 PM »
Thanks very much for the info. I was just thinking about checking out the newest TUU and now I see this. :o

Looks like another case of "progress" gone awry. I loved the older version years ago because it was both powerful and intuitive.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,089
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 07:50:35 PM »
I guess you forgot to first do the meditation?  

 :P

I feel with you, tranglos; it is such a sad experience when a hero falls to low levels.

I don't know who've written MAGIX PC Check & Tuning 2010, but I cannot think it was written in-house. All I want to say is, that before I tried this disastrous program, my Vista was sluggish but stable, but after ten minutes with the MAGIX "tuner", I have had approx TWENTY blue screens within 3 weeks!! In general, MAGIX is a hero of mine; they are the authors of Xara Xtreme, and others, but this chocking experience has taught my something about the difference between coders and merchants! ... Of course you know if TuneUp was sold to Avanquest or someone, so it no longer was owned by a coder but by a merchant?


tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 07:52:48 PM »
Glad to be of service :) And sorry about the vituperation, I just seem to have an emotional relationship with software!

I'll go back to an earlier version of TUU, most likely 2007, where everything was in its right place and pretty lean. Too bad that version may not run well on Vista or Windows 7.

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 07:53:27 PM »
I guess you forgot to first do the meditation?  

Quite right, that! My hero Allen Ginsberg would not be proud.

(And really, you just have to see him sing it!)

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 08:19:16 PM »
Of course you know if TuneUp was sold to Avanquest or someone, so it no longer was owned by a coder but by a merchant?

My, you had me scared there for a second! But no, the original company (not sure if the original developers) are still working on it, it seems.

I'd say it's the common featuritis affliction, and maybe coder fatigue too, since it's often more inspiring to work on something new than to improve that old Registry Editor component or such. But the features they've been adding in subsequent versions never really shined as much as the original set. And now 2010 may have been released too soon. The new interface, like it or not, is one thing, but I never expected to see TUU crash so badly.



tide

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 11:14:57 PM »
This is timely. I just downloaded the TUU 2009 update and came across your message. Fortunately, I hadn't installed the update yet and, now, I don't think I will. Thanks for the info.

MrCrispy

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2009, 12:13:21 AM »
Thanks for the review, I mean warning. Sad to see a well regarded program like this go this route, but I suppose it was inevitable given the constant pressure to add new snazzy features and UI.

JJ1960

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2009
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2009, 07:17:14 AM »
I guess this is what finaly happens whith most good softwares. They end up bloated and less efficient! Look at Nero, Office....
Version 2008 of TUU seems to be the last "good one" and works on 7

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2009, 01:10:26 PM »
I downloaded the new version yesterday, hold up on trying it and your topic appeared in the IRC channel two hours later ;D

The thing is TuneUp remains pretty much the only product in this category worth using. And the product core features probably remain as good as always. What happened here is simply a by-product of the strict annual release schedule TuneUp is subjected to: include new features to keep selling the product and make users of the old version upgrade. There's no much to improve in things like the Disk and Registry Cleaners or the System Control application, at least nothing worth the upgrade tag. With 2009 they managed to introduce mildly interesting new tools, but they ran out of ideas for 2010. I knew that the new functions wouldn't be for me (I optimize my computer by hand :-D), but failing in such a spectacular way is something new.

I still will give it a try, to see what happens and, above all, to see what is new in the old tools, but for the time being I'll keep 2009 around. What happens when I install Windows 7 is something worth of a few thoughts.

BTW, TuneUp Utilities did have a few updates over the years, but they were just mere bugfixes and minor enhancements. IIRC, 2008 and 2009 were updated twice, and 2007 just once. After reading your report, I'm sure 2010 will get at least one ;D

sajman99

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2009, 01:34:18 PM »
...The thing is TuneUp remains pretty much the only product in this category worth using...

A few years ago when I used TUU another well-regarded utility package was Ace Utilites. Not sure if that's still true today, but back then both were very nicely integrated packages--in particular, the registry cleaners of both were very reliable.

Eóin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,401
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2009, 01:43:43 PM »
The Registry Optimizer *always* breaks MS Office 2003 installation

This is the reason why you show never let any program optimize the registry. Stay away from them all.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2009, 02:01:29 PM »
The Registry Optimizer *always* breaks MS Office 2003 installation

This is the reason why you show never let any program optimize the registry. Stay away from them all.

There is a reason Microsoft Office always installs shortcuts in non standard ways and also a lot of blank 'stubs' in the registry. Almost every registry cleaner/optimizer zaps the lot and Office ceases to work properly. There are two fixes:

1) Run MS Office Repair
2) Don't use registry optimizers - they ALWAYS cause more problems than they solve.

Tuxman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,766
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 03:03:31 PM »
TuneUp Utilities are made for fixing errors they break themselves.

Seriously, no-one needs that. Autoruns, CCleaner and Brain 1.0 are more than enough. They don't install a bunch of unwanted stuff into your autostart menu, they are tiny, fast and free, and especially Brain 1.0 avoids you from installing weird applications which basically break something you'll need to fix then...

BTW, CCleaner's registry clean-up managed to fix my Windows Explorer once.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 03:05:02 PM by Tuxman »

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 05:12:33 PM »
2) Don't use registry optimizers - they ALWAYS cause more problems than they solve.

That's true, unfortunately. I never let TuneUp just go ahead and "fix" the registry. Every time I used that utility, I always went through the list of suggested fixes and manually unchecked everything that seemed like it was better left untouched. I'm not exactly a computer newbie, either. Even so, I always or nearly always managed to miss a few important entries, which TuneUp subsequently deleted.

With that experience, I have to agree with Carol. Just don't do it.

Those who, like myself, are slightly allergic to seeing leftover crappage in the registry, are better served manually deleting certain keys which are obviously not needed, such as product keys under HKCU/Software and HKLM/Software for apps that have been uninstalled. It's better not to toch anything under the HKLM(*) hive and under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

That said, products such as TuneUp Registry Optimizer could be improved e.g. by having a "white list" of keys they should never touch, provided by the manufacturer. Just don't touch anything that might be related to Office, as long as TuneUp detects that a version of Office is still installed.

(*) Unless you absolutely have to: for example, if after uninstallation ThreatFire leaves behind its keyboard monitoring driver, which you then try to remove manually, and in doing so kill your keyboard entirely, so that uninstalling and reinstalling original keyboar drivers does not help. That's about the only time you need to start messing around in HKLM...

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 05:16:50 PM »
I still will give it a try, to see what happens and, above all, to see what is new in the old tools, but for the time being I'll keep 2009 around. What happens when I install Windows 7 is something worth of a few thoughts.

I absolutely think everyone interested in TUU should still give it a try. Your mileage may vary.

BTW, TuneUp Utilities did have a few updates over the years, but they were just mere bugfixes and minor enhancements. IIRC, 2008 and 2009 were updated twice, and 2007 just once. After reading your report, I'm sure 2010 will get at least one ;D

I never-ever saw an update available through the update checker. Do you happen to recall how soon the updates were posted after the initial release? I usually waited some time (months) before I decided to splurge and upgrade, so I may have been installing "final" releases that didn't get any updates within the version cycle.

I was still surprised that the update checker never mentioned the annual paid upgrades, either.

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 05:33:28 PM »
TuneUp Utilities are made for fixing errors they break themselves.

Well, I wouldn't go that far, myself :)

TUU certainly had a number of things going for it. It was lighter and nicer to use than anything coming from the Norton/Symantec shop. It did not install much (or any) "resident" software in the earlier versions. (There was a memory optimizer, but I never used it.) It was nice to have a complete toolkit under one roof, so to speak, and the original Control Center was really well designed, good looking and functional. And some of the individual tools were pretty good: their Startup Manager has always been one of my favorites. It has a useful feature I haven't seen duplicated elsewhere, which lets you move startup items from registry to the Start Menu and vice versa, for example. The Registry Editor is more convenient than the built-in MS tool, etc.

The problem is, IMO, that over the years those well-working tools were not updated much. (To be fair, the 2010 version of Startup Manager adds highlighting of newly added items. That's good, but it still has a long way to go before it can catch up with AnVir.) Instead, in versions 2009 and 2010 TUU added a lot of new features that required some service or other constantly running and monitoring things, while the original utilities were being made less accessible, less important — as if they were about to become obsolete.

...They don't install a bunch of unwanted stuff into your autostart menu...

TUU didn't use to do that, either. Ah, those were good old times! :)

At least TUU doesn't seem to leave anything behind when you uninstall. I recently took a close look at the output from Autoruns (Sysinternals), and that was a head-scratching experience to say the least. Several file filter drivers and all kinds of other low-level drivers were left active by Acronis TrueImage, PerfectDrive and Paragon; ThreatFire left behind a keyboard monitor driver which, when you uninstall it manually, kills all communication between Windows and your keyboard (so that you can't even log in after reboot, and restoring the original keyboard driver does not help), etc. All kinds of awful crap left by well-respected packages. So at least in that respect TUU scores one better.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 05:35:56 PM by tranglos »

Tuxman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,766
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 05:40:10 PM »
It was nice to have a complete toolkit under one roof
You completely ignored my actual posting.  :P
What is the need of a "complete toolkit" when two or three single, free applications are more than enough for everything related to "optimizing"?

(A memory optimizer which resides in the memory is ridiculous at best, BTW.)

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 06:04:06 PM »
You completely ignored my actual posting.  :P
What is the need of a "complete toolkit" when two or three single, free applications are more than enough for everything related to "optimizing"?

Well, I don't know Brain, but Autoruns and CCleaner don't cover the whole range of tasks. And some users might prefer a single toolkit where all apps look and work the same, and where there's only one app to update, instead of several. To each his own, though.

Plus, its not like the apps you mention have no shortcomings of their own. CCleaner can "clean" too much just as any other utiity of that type can. In Autoruns just unchecking an item (in the Drivers section, say) can have more disastrous effects than using a registry optimizer, because Autoruns does not perform a complete uninstall and does not scan the registry for co-dependent settings. I experienced this firsthand. TUU utilities have an undo feature and can rollback any cnages you've made (though sometimes you may notice negative effects too late for the rollback to make sense).


Tuxman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,766
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2009, 06:13:27 PM »
Well, I don't know Brain
;D

Brain 1.0 is metaphorical. It means: Don't load your computer with various shit and wonder why it slows down. No waste, no need to clean it, you see?

Autoruns and CCleaner don't cover the whole range of tasks
What kind of important task is missing there? Memory optimizing?  ;D

A "rollback" feature is a step into the very wrong direction. If you don't have it, you'll consider twice if you should really perform an action. If you have it, you'll think "oh well let me delete anything and I can still recover it"... which is wrong, because it may be hard to recover something when you can't even log in anymore.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,096
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2009, 08:37:39 PM »
A "rollback" feature is a step into the very wrong direction. If you don't have it, you'll consider twice if you should really perform an action. If you have it, you'll think "oh well let me delete anything and I can still recover it"... which is wrong, because it may be hard to recover something when you can't even log in anymore.

On this I totally agree with you. On every system I own all delete actions are real delete actions...my recycle bin is as clean as a brand new one, no thrash comes in it...ever. Brings a whole new level of file awareness and how to handle those with the proper amount of caution.

sajman99

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 01:27:32 AM »
Those folks who recognize latest doesn't always mean greatest can still get a free and legal full version of TuneUp Utilities 2007


Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2009, 10:52:22 AM »
I never-ever saw an update available through the update checker. Do you happen to recall how soon the updates were posted after the initial release? I usually waited some time (months) before I decided to splurge and upgrade, so I may have been installing "final" releases that didn't get any updates within the version cycle.

Well, IIRC the first update was always issued a month or two after the new version, and the second one much later in the year. I have the latest TuneUp 2009 installer, and it was signed in July 16.

In Autoruns just unchecking an item (in the Drivers section, say) can have more disastrous effects than using a registry optimizer, because Autoruns does not perform a complete uninstall and does not scan the registry for co-dependent settings. I experienced this firsthand.

Actually, you never delete an item with Autoruns if you disable it AFAIK, the entry is simply moved to an "AutorunsDisabled" subfolder in the same key or directory.

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2009, 03:19:51 PM »
Actually, you never delete an item with Autoruns if you disable it AFAIK, the entry is simply moved to an "AutorunsDisabled" subfolder in the same key or directory.

Yes, but that's not quite what I was referring to. You can also fully delete items in Autoruns — but neither procedure affects physically installed files, only the registry.

Unchecking an item in Autoruns simply means it will not be loaded by Windows. However, the unchecked item may be required by some combination of other drivers or registry entries, which in some extreme cases may lead to Windows not booting up properly, or the OS becoming inaccessible.

(As a corrolary, never use the Delete function in Autoruns until you're completely satisfied with the result. Only uncheck items, and even then make sure you ca n handle any trouble that might ensue.)

I got away lucky, as I only had to re-check the ThreatFire driver to get my keyboard back, but in the posts I linked to in my OP people tell of harder times they had after they did that (or worse, physically deleted the seemingly unused driver).

I do recommend using Autoruns just to check what's being loaded. I knew about *some* of the things, but also discovered a lot of filter drivers, boot-time operations and dlls incjected into Windows Explorer by programs I didn't think did that. By carefully disabling a number of items I got a significant improvement in startup time as well as saved ca 50 MB of RAM at runtime.

broken85

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2009, 08:56:18 PM »
Just want a chime in here with my apparently-unique view of the app.

First off, I think TuneUp Utilities 2010 is a step in the right direction for a project which was heading off the rails.

They had a wonderful, solid product 5 years ago, and have been trying to optimize, expand, and enhance it every year. Sometimes they do things right, and sometimes not--but inevitably whatever they change makes some happy and displeases others. For the past couple of years, not much had changed, and they made minor tweaks to each tool and the start center looked a little bit cooler. Then they wanted to do something different, and TuneUp Utilities 2009 had a new look and new functionality allowing it to evaluate a user's system in a short amount of time, making it suitable to run when the application starts and give them an up-to-date picture of their system's health.

While it's a nice idea (a live view of your overall system health and status), it wasn't logically laid out, and you couldn't get to everything from the main screen (you had to go to a sub-page, and then find what you wanted there). This made navigation more clunky, although it looked nice and worked pretty well on its own merit.

For 2010, they did two main things I like differently:
1. They laid everything out on the main page of the start center. You can access basically every setting or program function from the main start center screen without having to go somewhere else or open something else first. They may need to tweak their category logic, but it's a huge step ahead of 2009's layout.
2. They took their "live" system view from 2009 to the next level. Now, in addition to a system check when you start TU (and occasionally thereafter), it can also handle live optimizations (subjective word, apparently). Some users don't want extra things running, even if they're designed to make other things run better--TU does not require its notification area, desktop widget, or live optimization features to be running, but they are there for people who are interested in taking their system optimization to the next level.

I like what they are doing, and believe that if they perfect the art of live and automatic system optimization (which they obviously have not done yet), then you'd never even have to run TU's start center in the first place, because it would already be optimized. They haven't gotten there yet, but they are a lot closer.

While I do see more false positives in the registry cleaner than in past years, it does a better job than any other alternative I have found. I know it has been suggested by some users not to use a registry cleaner at all, but sometimes, in some situations, it can be a great timesaver. I would take a step back and say if you want to use one, great, but know what you're doing, and go over the records it finds before deleting anything to make sure it's logical.

Turbo Mode I'm not too concerned with--it's a nice idea, but it's in its infancy and needs a lot more functionality.
1. Only a single Turbo Mode setting? It would be more useful if they turned the same idea into a customizable list of "modes"... Game Mode, Office Mode, Multimedia Mode, etc.?
2. Very limited options--I want to be able to choose which of my services to start/stop, etc.

While I think it's trying some new things, not all of which work as well as likely planned, I still feel it's a nice step forward from TU 2009 and it paves the way for them to do some neat things in years to come. They had to find a way to expand their product and keep people waiting for the next version--while not universally accepted, I think they are doing that. I completely respect your views about this, as well, and I do feel they have a lot of areas that could use improvement, and TU is no longer as "solid" of a product since they have been introducing these new concepts.
--
Ben M