This week we'll catch up on a few upgrades of products we've reviewed in this column.TightVNCFirst, there's an improved version of\u00a0a tool we loved, the remote control utility VNC. The new version,\u00a0TightVNC, is a direct descendent of the original code.TightVNC is faster, smaller and more robust than the original, and boasts all sort of enhancements:\u2022 Improved cursor handling so you no longer see slow remote cursor movements that lag behind the local cursor.\u2022 The algorithms for encoding screen data are optimized for slow and moderate-speed connections, meaning they generate less traffic than the standard VNC procedure. TightVNC also supports all the original VNC encodings so it can operate efficiently over fast networks.\u2022 With TightVNC you can choose the ratio of compression and coding speed to match your connection speed and processor power.\u2022 If you don't care too much about image quality, JPEG compression is an option that compresses color-rich screen areas more efficiently than the compression scheme used in the original VNC.\u2022 An improved Java viewer (accessed through the built-in HTTP server, as in the standard VNC).\u2022 You can choose arbitrary port numbers for TCP\/IP connections, a feature not available in the original VNC.\u2022 The Unix version of the TightVNC viewer can tunnel connections via SSH automatically using a local SSH\/OpenSSH client installation.There are a lot more changes. But best of all, TightVNC is, like its forebear, free.WhatsUp Gold 8Another upgraded product is the network management console called WhatsUp Gold from Ipswitch (www.ipswitch.com), now at Version 8 (see our review of Version 7).In this release WhatsUp Gold adds:\u2022 Real-time event monitoring of Windows log events and alert generation. You also can relate device downtime or network strain to a specific event that has recently occurred on the network.\u2022 Selective Discovery, which maps the specific device types you choose to include or exclude rather than performing a "blanket" discovery of all network devices - this can be a real performance improvement in large networks.\u2022 XML and custom map formats for sharing with other applications.\u2022 SMS notification (TAP and UCP - GSM will be added in the future).\u2022 Enhanced NT Service Monitoring adds the ability to restart a failed Windows NT\/2000\/XP service in conjunction with sending a notification of this service failure.\u2022 SNMP Performance Reports include reports based on data retrieved from SNMP devices.In short, WhatsUp Gold has been polished and improved. The product documentation and additional documentation is better and, overall, we'd say WhatsUp Gold still is an outstanding value at $795.Servers AliveOur final improved product is a tool we can't live without: A network device monitoring system called Servers Alive Version 4 from Woodstone bvba, publisher of another of our favorite tools, WS_Ping ProPack (see our write-up). We reviewed Servers Alive last April.The changes in this release:\u2022 Two versions: The Standard version can monitor 1,000 devices, and the Enterprise edition can handle 5,000 entries and adds Open Database Connectivity logging.\u2022 You can select the protocol and port to check rather than the protocol being assumed (for example, if you chose Port 80 the previous version automatically assumed you wanted to check HTTP).\u2022 Each device entry now can have many different alerts associated with it, each with its own settings.The templating feature for Web page generation is much improved, and you can define any number of customized pages to report on specific devices and\/ or levels of detail.This release of Servers Alive is better-organized than the previous version and is also better-looking. At $100 for the Standard Edition and $180 for the Enterprise Edition, it also is a great value.Updates to email@example.com.