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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Tech Toys — New products to delight the techie

Compiled by Gannett News Service

Remote control that 'learns'

If you're lucky enough to have a home theater, chances are you already have a remote that controls everything. But if you don't have one — or are in need of a new one — RCA's Touch Screen Learning Remote Control is worth a look. The RCU1000B can control a TV, a VCR, a DVD player, a cable box, a satellite receiver and four audio devices. If you already have a remote that's programmed to operate these devices, the new one can even be set up to "learn" the old one's commands.

The controller sports a 4.5-inch-by-2.5-inch screen display. When the light in the room is dim, its light sensor automatically illuminates the controls and screen. The device also comes with macro keys that can be programmed to handle several commands at once, a stylus, a time and date display, and timer settings. The unit, which is available at Best Buy, costs $129.

Information: rca.com

Site lets you tinker with digital photos

You've splurged on a digital camera, and now you want to experiment with photography. You can, of course, use the editing software that most likely came with your camera. But if you don't like your program, or want to try something new, you can edit and play with your photos at nikonnet.com. The site, created by Nikon, offers a variety of free services — even if you don't own one of the company's cameras. You can use the site's tools to remove red-eye, crop images and add captions and special effects. And if you want to show off your digital handiwork, you can create online photo albums and e-mail photo cards.

Information: nikonnet.com

Updated 'Links' game tees off

With the Championship Edition of Microsoft's popular "Links" series, fantasy golfers can test their skills on four new courses: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the Oakmont Country Club, the Frankfurter Gold Club and the Judge Course at Capitol Hill from Robert Trent Jones' Alabama Trail.

The program also features five

courses from Links 2001, four courses from the first Expansion Pack and tools to help you create your own courses. As with all the Links titles, its breathtaking graphics mimic the look and feel of the real thing.

The $54.95 game requires a Windows PC with at least a 266-megahertz processor, 48 megabytes of RAM, 4-megabyte video card and 250 megabytes of hard drive space. A second expansion pack costs $19.95.

Information: linkscountryclub.com

Software program slashes junk e-mail

Looking for a way to cut down on junk e-mail? Triumvirate Technologies has updated a software program designed to do just that. With its Mailbox Filter 1.8, you can create filters that will sort your incoming messages with a variety of criteria. You can provide it with names of people and companies you want — and don't want — to hear from. You can ban messages containing certain keywords or accept messages containing key words, such as your company's name. The program also analyzes e-mail to determine if it comes from a valid sender.

Download a free 30-day trial at

mailboxfilter.com. A download version costs $69.95; a CD version is $89.95. It works with all Windows POP/ SMTP programs and related applications, including Netscape, Outlook and Eudora.

Information: triumviratetechnologies.com

Digital camera for amateurs, pros

It's a digital camera designed to suit both the amateur, impatient photographer, as well as the more seasoned shooter. The $700 Casio QV-4000 is a sharp-shooting 4.13-megapixel digital camera with a 3X optical zoom and a 3.2X digital zoom

Folks who want to aim and shoot can set the camera on auto focus, frame the image in either the optical zoom viewfinder or on the LCD screen, and then press down on the shutter.

Those who want to assert a bit more control without exerting a lot of energy can set the camera to automatically take the best shot for five scenarios: Portraits, flowers, scenery, night scenes and soft digital focus.

Information: casio.com