Virex 6.1

f you want protection against virus attacks on the Mac, you need look no further than Virex or Norton AntiVirus - there is little to choose between them (see Reviews, December 1999). Each has its virus definitions file updated monthly and functionality is similar. So, what does version 6.1 of Virex bring to the party? Primarily, full support for Mac OS 9 including a new way of allowing multiple users. This lets designers share a computer with separate settings for each person - different user interface parameters, different control panels, and so on. Right on time
The scheduling system - completely revamped in Virex 6.0 - can now be utilized in this way. Individual users can set up their own schedules that come into operation as they log on, scanning special folders, or disks, according to the scheduled timings. The system owner has the can also schedule updates and system-wide scans that take place irrespective of who is logged in. Virex now also uses Navigation Services for dialogue boxes. These were introduced with Mac OS 8.5 as a replacement for the traditional open-&-save as dialogues. They allow direct access to the Favourites menu and recently used items. Not many applications use them, which is a shame. A hard disk can be searched for a particular folder, that can then be dragged-&-dropped on to the dialogue box to move straight to it. Also, security has been improved. A password can be set to prevent the Virex preferences from being opened after configuration, and there's an option to stop someone from aborting an action or opening the schedule editor - essential when using the multiple users facility. In a muddle
It's a bit confusing though, as there's already a security part to the control panel preferences with its own password to prevent the control panel from being opened. One program, two passwords. Finally, the control panel, main application and scheduler can now be opened individually from the control strip module.


In terms of performance, Virex 6.1 is a little faster than its predecessor. For the start-up disk (3700 files) on a PowerMac 8500 with G3 processor card, Virex 6.0 scan/rescan times were 913/39 seconds; with Virex 6.1 this dropped to 850/38 seconds, an improvement of over a minute (7 per cent) for the first scan. While none of the additional functionality places Virex 6.1 above Norton AntiVirus in terms of its anti-virus capabilities, it works reliably with, and offers full support for, Mac OS 9. As such, it can certainly be recommended. Caption The right direction Support for Apple's Navigation Services makes Virex's dialogue boxes much easier to use.

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