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Reviewer's Guide
Even a brand new car can quickly become a junk heap if the engine oil isn't changed every 3,000 miles. With new Oil Change software, CyberMedia introduces the concept of routine maintenance for personal computers, too - a digital "oil change."

Personal computers can require preventive maintenance such as the installation of new printer and modem "drivers" or software "patches" that fix newly-discovered bugs -- otherwise the PC can slow down or in some cases, even come crashing to a grinding halt.

But while updating software may be a lot less messy than changing automobile oil, it's infinitely more complex. A personal computer is comprised of dozens of "parts" from hundreds of different software and hardware manufacturers. Each modem, video card, CD-ROM drive and printer requires a different device driver. These "drivers" are small software programs that enable these add-on devices to work with the computer. If the driver is outdated or missing, the device simply won't work.

Other software components change frequently too -- new fonts for word processors and graphic programs; updates to help virus checkers to detect new and potentially threatening viruses; "patches" to work around compatibility problems and fix bugs that are discovered sometimes hours after a new product is announced. Sometimes manufacturers even add new features and functions to existing software. To compound the situation, software companies introduce new versions every few months. How can anyone expect to keep up?

Current Product Update Methods are Inadequate
Many vendors do a good job of identifying software bugs and making fixes, product updates and improvements available. What is problematic is how those improvements are communicated and delivered to the customer.

A number of methods currently exist for distributing updates, most of which are expensive or simply fail to reach many customers.

Oil Change: the "Jiffy Lube" of the Internet
Most users never find out about the new patches, fixes, and drivers until their software fails to perform the way it should. This can result in hours of frustration waiting on the phone for technical support, not to mention lost productivity when a bug causes their computer to crash or misbehave, or a virus strikes.

Most people simply don't have the time to read magazines and search dozens of different vendor web sites to do this manually. With Oil Change software, CyberMedia aims to become the "Jiffy Lube" of the Internet -- with a one-stop service that takes care of this tedious maintenance chore automatically, while you wait.

Get All the Software You Paid For
Oil Change ensures Windows 95 users get the highest performance, the greatest compatibility, the most features and the latest bug fixes for the software they already own. With Oil Change, users have access to all the latest software that's rightfully theirs automatically, without having to track down or hunt for new updates on vendors' Web pages and online service sites.

What Oil Change Does
The software consists of an application that scans a subscriber's PC to determine which versions of what software and hardware are installed. It then updates the software by connecting over the Internet with CyberMedia's continually-updated database of the latest updates for applications, "drivers", plug-ins", Windows 95 system software, modem drivers and more.

  1. Notifies subscribers when new software updates are available.
    Subscribers periodically run Oil Change to determine what new updates are available for their software.
  2. Explains the importance of each update.
    Not all updates are appropriate for all users--for example, a home user need not worry about network enhancements to a word processor. Oil Change provides a capsule review of each new software update so users can make an informed decision. That way they don't waste valuable time or disk space downloading software they won't use.
  3. Delivers the latest software updates.
    Oil Change automatically downloads the latest updates directly from the original manufacturer's Web site. This means users don't have to worry about tracking version numbers, locating the individual Web site for each application, or following download and installation instructions.
  4. Installs the update for you.
    Once Oil Change downloads a piece of software, it automatically installs it in the appropriate directory whenever possible. For the rest, the user saves the piece of software on their hard disk and then follows the installation instructions supplied by the software's manufacturer.
  5. Gives you a chance to go back to your previous system configuration.
    The latest is not always the greatest, so during autoinstalls Oil Change always compresses and stores the original software version on the hard disk prior to updating. That way users always have the option of going back and restoring their system simply by clicking on the UNDO button. (Note: This Undo feature works only for updates installed with Oil Change's autoinstall.)
  6. Updates itself automatically.
    Each time Oil Change runs, it automatically checks to make sure you have the latest Oil Change version. If you don't, it gives itself a digital "oil change" to update itself automatically.
Products that Oil Change Updates
Oil Change provides the incremental updates software publishers distribute to users free of charge, not software upgrades. Upgrades aremajor software releases that have to be purchased from the manufacturers directly.

Applications: Products from Adobe, America Online, Borland, Corel, Goldmine, Intuit, Lotus, Microsoft, Netscape, Nico Mak, Novell, Peachtree, Pixar, Quarterdeck, Software Publishing Corp., Starfish, Vertisoft, Visio, Wordperfect and others. It also supports games and applications from Acclaim, Activision, Broderbund, Berkeley Systems, Aldus, Claris, CompuServe, DataStorm, Davidson, Delrina, Prodigy, Knowledge Adventure, Macromedia, Maxis, McAfee, Micrografx, Paramount, Quark, Que, Softkey, Softquad, Spinnaker, Spry, Stac, Symantec, Touchstone, Viacom, Virgin and many more.

Modems: Drivers for modems from 3Com, Cardinal, Creative Labs, IBM, Practical Peripherals, Quantum, Rockwell, Simple, Supra, Telindus, US Robotics and more.

Printers: Drivers for Brother, Canon, Fargo, Hewlett Packard, IBM Corp., Epson, Kodak, Kyocera, Lexmark, Matsushita, Textronix, Texas Instruments and more.

Plug-ins: These are small software applications that add significant capabilities to larger software applications. Available: Adobe Acrobat Amber Reader, Argus Map Viewer, Corel CMX Viewer, EcoSpeech Plug-in, Infinop Lightning Strike, Iterated Systems Cool Fusion, MDL Chemscape Chime, SmartBrowser History Tree, SoftSource DWG/DFX Viewer, Tumbleweed Envoy, Visual Components Formula One/NET.

Video Display: Oil Change provides drivers for video cards and chips from #9 Technologies, ATI, Avance Logic, Diamond Multimedia, Hercules, Trident Microsystems, ARK, Chips and Technologies, Matrox, Microsoft, Weitek and others.

CD-ROM Drives: Creative Labs, Mitsumi, Panasonic, Sony and others are supported.

Sound Cards and Audio Chips: Ad Lib, Aztech Labs, Creative Technology, DSP Solutions, ENSONIQ, ESS Technology, Mediatrix, miro, Oak, and Turtle Beach are supported.

Who Needs Oil Change?
Oil Change is targeted at Windows 95 computer users who want to make the most of their software investment, but don't want to waste their time keeping track of the latest bug fixes and then tediously downloading and installing them. =

The time and effort saved by Oil Change should appeal to home and business users equally. Novice users will appreciate the service's simple interface and automatic installation capability. Unlike products from many utility vendors, CyberMedia's Oil Change is very simple to use and requires no knowledge of complex computer terminology.

Though a few software companies are now providing an update button that enables their software application update itself over the Internet, Oil Change is the only product that gives users "one stop" to update everything in their PC. Oil Change updates over 1,000 of the best-selling applications, system software and hardware products.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers
Q: What software does Oil Change update?

A: CyberMedia's Oil Change database currently tracks the latest updates for Windows 95 system software and software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and applications. More importantly, it updates drivers for modems, CD-ROM drives, printers, sound cards and other add-ons. CyberMedia is constantly adding to the Oil Change database and new updates will be added to the service on a regular basis.

Q: What's the difference between an update and an upgrade?

A: Updates are the frequent incremental software releases designed to fix bugs and improve performance. A company may release Version 2.01 of a printer driver to improve on the performance on the 2.0 version, for example. An upgrade--from Microsoft Word 6.0 to Word 7.0, for example--adds major functionality. Software vendors distribute updates free of charge. Upgrades are available for purchase by licensed users.

Q: Do I need a Web browser to run Oil Change?

A: No. Oil Change connects to CyberMedia's Internet server over your Internet connection. It does not require you to launch your browser. If you do not have Oil Change on disk, you'll need a browser to download it from CyberMedia's web site. You also need a browser to read the online documentation that is included with some updates.

Q: Does Oil Change run on Windows 3.1?

A: The current version of Oil Change is specifically designed for Windows 95. It will not run on Windows 3.1. Oil Change does update the 16-bit application software many Windows 95 users still use, however.

Q: Does Oil Change run on Windows NT or the Macintosh OS?

A: The current version of Oil Change is not yet compatible with Windows NT or Mac.

Q: Does Oil Change run on AOL and CompuServe?

A: Yes, it is compatible with AOL 3.0 and above as well as CompuServe 2.0 and above.

Q: Why should I pay CyberMedia to help me find updates that I can get for free from software company Web sites?

A: CyberMedia saves you time by keeping all the software you care about up to date automatically. You can update your software without Oil Change, but that involves reading computer magazines to keep abreast of the latest versions, hunting for the updates online, and then downloading and installing them manually. The time you save in browsing and online charges alone will easily pay for the fee. Oil Change can notify you when a new update is available and it can install it automatically. With Oil Change you don't even have to know in which directory a particular piece of software is located or worry about version numbers for your software (Is that DLL really version 2.01a or 2.01b, what's the model number of that display card?). Oil Change ensures you always have the latest updates.

Q: How does CyberMedia find out about new updates?

A: CyberMedia's team of software engineers tracks updates on company Web pages. Software agents, called spiders, traverse the Web nightly to make sure that all the information in CyberMedia's Oil Change database is up to date. But, much of the work--most notably the capsule reviews that inform users about each update--is performed by humans.

Q: Does a manufacturer have to form a partnership with CyberMedia in order for their update to be distributed by Oil Change?

A: CyberMedia has started a "Medallion" partnership program with software companies that will give the vendors an opportunity to update the information in the Oil Change database directly. Announced partners who have endorsed the Oil Change technology include Diamond Multimedia, 3Com, Meta Tools, Macromedia, Cirrus Logic, Fractal Design Corp., Earthlink, Software Publishing Corp., BestWare, Cardinal Technologies, Pure Data, Cheyenne, Syquest, Planet Corp and Quarterdeck. However, Oil Change will support any product that has updates freely available on the Internet - whether or not the manufacturer is an Oil Change Medallion Partner.

Q: How does Oil Change differ from CyberMedia's First Aid 95 Deluxe?

A: Oil Change takes over where First Aid 95, CyberMedia's best-selling windows problem solver, leaves off. First Aid 95 Deluxe automatically checks and fixes over 10,000 common application, multimedia, and Internet access problems and catches software crashes before they happen. While First Aid 95 Deluxe does sometimes recommend that users replace outdated software to avoid a problem, it does not currently perform the updates. Oil Change complements First Aid by reaching out to the Internet to download and install the latest software updates automatically.

Q: If I let CyberMedia's Oil Change database track the software configuration on my PC, will that information be shared with anyone else? Will I be deluged with advertisements from vendors?

A: Absolutely not. CyberMedia's server will never store your user inventory.

Q: I ran Oil Change, and it updated my system. But the whole process took only a few seconds and seemed very simple. Did I miss something?

A: No. Simplicity was one of CyberMedia's goals in designing Oil Change. Software doesn't have to be complicated to be useful.

Installing and Running Oil Change
Before running Oil Change you must have an Internet connection. Establish an Internet connection as you normally do either to your Internet Service Provider or online service such as CompuServe. A Web browser is useful, but not required.

Downloading Oil Change
You need a browser to download Oil Change if you do not have the CD-ROM version. Launch your browser and point it at CyberMedia's Web site.

Before downloading Oil Change, note the directory you are downloading the software to. The default directory is usually the same directory that contains your browser software. CyberMedia suggests that you change to a temporary directory before downloading the file (e.g. C:\TEMP\OC). Note: If you experience problems with installation, you may want to clean up your temp directory (i.e. C:\TEMP\OC).

You can avoid most installation problems by closing all open programs -- including those that run in the background, such as screen savers -- before installing Oil Change.

  1. Insert the Oil Change CD in the CD-ROM drive. If necessary, close the drive door.
  2. The Oil Change Welcome window appears on the screen.. Note: If the installation doesn't start automatically, click Start on the Windows 95 taskbar, click Run, then type d:\setup. If d: is not the drive letter of you CD-ROM drive, substitute the letter of the drive containing the Oil Change disc. Read the information on the window and click Next to see the next window in the installation sequence.
  3. In the Choose Destination Location window, the default location for Oil Change is C:\Program Files\Oil Change. You can specify another location. Click Next when you are finished.
  4. In the Select Components window, select the type of Internet connection you are using and click Next.
  5. In the CyberMedia Oil Change Setup dialog box, you are asked if you want to add an Oil Change shortcut to your desktop. Click Yes or No. In the Setup Complete window, View the Readme file and Run Oil Change now are selected. We recommend that you read the Readme file, as it contains late-breaking information not covered in this manual or the online help.
  6. Click Finish to display the Readme file with you text editor. After you close the Readme file, Oil Change displays the Connect window.
  7. Note: If you are using a modem to access the Internet, be sure to connect to your service provider before starting Oil Change. Click New Oil Change Members Start Here. Oil Change opens your browser to start the registration process at the CyberMedia web site. Follow the registration instructions. The serial number included with Oil Change is required to activate your subscription.
  8. Write down you Member Name, Password, and Code Word, as you will need them to use Oil Change.
  9. After registration, type your Member Name and Password in the Oil Change window. If you want Oil Change to use this password automatically each time you sign on, select Remember my password. Click Connect to start Oil Change.

Running Oil Change
After installing Oil Change you are ready to perform your first update.

  1. On the main Oil Change window, click Start to begin the update process. Oil Change scans your computer identifying hardware and software products, then searches for any relevant updates. Oil Change displays a list of products and their updates in the Applications and Drivers dialog box.
  2. Click an update to select it. Oil Change displays a description for the update, and Retrieve no longer appears dim.
  3. Click Retrieve to download the selected update to your hard drive. Oil Change displays the installation options available. (If a web site is so busy that Oil Change cannot download the update, it will tell you to try again later.)

On the main screen click on the More button for additional buttons. For more information about using these features, see the online help provided with Oil Change. Here's what the other buttons do:

Home: Starts your browser and displays the Oil Change home page.

History: Keeps track of the update and undo actions you've performed with Oil Change.

Undo: Restores your software to its original state before Oil Change installed the last update. Note: Undo reverses only the last update that Oil Change installed automatically. Undo cannot be used to reverse manually installed updates.

Options: Customizes Oil Change.

About: Tells you about your version of Oil Change.

Pricing and Availability
The suggested street price for Oil Change is $39.95. It will be available at over 3,000 stores including computer and software retailers, mass merchandisers and office superstores. It will also be available through mail order catalogs and directly from CyberMedia (1-800-721-7824) or via the Internet: Oil Change will be distributed through Ingram Micro, American Hardware and Software, Navarre and Micro Central.

System Requirements
Oil Change runs on 100% IBM-compatible 486 and Pentium PC with Windows 95; at least 8MB RAM; VGA or better monitor. It requires 14.4 or higher modem, 10MB of hard disk space and an Internet connection through an Internet Service Provider or online service.

Technical Support
Technical support is available by telephone at 310-581-4700 from 9:00 am to 6:00 PM PST.

Online support is available on CompuServe (GO CYBERMEDIA) and AOL (keyword: CYBERMEDIA) and on a BBS at 310-789-4196.

Press Contacts
For additional review copies, user reference names, screen shots, box shots or interviews contact:

Chris Lumby CyberMedia, (310) 581-5967

Phone: (310) 581-4700
Fax: (310) 581-4720
Orders: (800) 721-7824
Technical support: (310) 581-4710
Support fax: (310) 581-4737
Tech support email:
Customer service: (310) 581-4700
BBS: (310) 581-4724
3000 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 2001
Santa Monica, CA 90405