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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Tech Toys

Redubbing 'Shrek'

Can you top Eddie Murphy's Donkey? If you own a PC with a DVD drive, you'll have a chance to find out when DreamWorks releases "Shrek" on DVD in November. The DVD will feature a new technology that lets you overdub 12 scenes featuring Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona and other characters from the hit summer movie. The Shrek's ReVoice technology will even sync your voice so that it matches the lip movements of the characters as they speak in the film.

The voice dubbings can only be recorded and played on your computer, but the movie itself can also be showed on a regular DVD player. The disc also will include a variety of games and activities, including Fairy Tale Bowling, Color a Scene, and Bugs & Slugs tic-tac-toe that can be played on the computer and the TV.

The "Shrek" two-disc set will be released Nov. 2 for $19.95. A videotape version will also be out then for $15.95.

Information: dreamworks.com

Instant printification

Digital photographers who can't wait to hold a printed image in their hands can do just that with a tiny new printer from Sony. The DPP-MP1 dye-sublimation printer is small enough to fit in one hand and weighs less than a pound — even with its battery. Better yet, it prints borderless full-color photos that are about the size of business cards in less than two minutes.

The printer costs about $280 while the optional battery pack goes for $70. A 24-pack of photo paper and a print cartridge is about $20.

The printer comes with a paper tray, an AC adapter, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port and a test printing pack. It can print pictures with one of Sony's Memory Sticks or a PC with a USB port. The printer is expected to show up in stores in November.

Information: sony.com

Robotic DNA

Meet A.R.LO., a robotic toy equipped with human DNA. Yes, you read that right. Playmates Toys says it has put synthetically replicated samples of human DNA from a "creative and inventive thinker" into a granular mixture sealed in an acrylic casing on the back of its A.R.L.O. (Advanced Robotics Lifelike Operating) toys.

The company likens its DNA component to the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz receiving a heart or the Scarecrow getting a brain.

The 17.5-inch walking robot can grasp golf clubs, balls and other objects, has optical sensors that note changes in light and darkness, can dance to music, and can be programmed to work as a room guard. It also comes with a remote control that its owners can use to direct its moves from up to 25 feet away.

The humanoid robot is due in stores in November for about $120. No word yet on its father or mother.

Information: playmatestoys.com

Family pack for WordPerfect

Corel seems to have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into its new WordPerfect Family Pack 3 package. The program includes:

  • A task manager with templates and tips for creating documents;
  • WordPerfect 9, a word processing program for creating resumes, letters and newsletters;
  • Quattro Pro 9, a spreadsheet program that can be used to create family budgets and track payments;
  • Corel Print House 5, a graphics program for designing cards, banners and other projects;
  • Corel Photo House 5, a graphics program for touching up photos and other image-editing chores.

And as if that weren't already enough to justify its $99 price tag, the Windows-based software also includes Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 11 and Compton's Interactive World Atlas from The Learning Company, as well as McAfee VirusScan and CYBERsitter 2000.

Information: corel.com

More keyboards

Do your fingers constantly hit the spaces between the keys on a keyboard? For the many out there who find themselves with hands larger than the rest of us, BigKeys has a keyboard for you.

The BigKeys Co. makes keyboards after their namesake. Each key on these keyboards are one full inch square making it pretty hard to miss a key, even with the biggest fingers. BigKeys makes several model keyboards, such as the BigKeys LX and the BigKeys Plus that offer different layouts, keys and color schemes. Check the Web site for more details. Prices start at $169.

(800) 249-5397

Information: bigkeys.com

Compiled by Deborah Porterfield. Send product suggestions to debp@cyburban.com.