Photoshop LE's Not Easy

Photoshop LE is a stripped-down version of the venerable and costly Photoshop image-editing software. But nearly every feature a home user would want remains intact. And, because the software is much slimmer, LE requires less hard-disk space and less processing power than its bulkier cousin.

Still, Photoshop LE is not for everyone. The many tools for creating and editing images take months of practice to use effectively.

Photoshop LE has "dodge" and "burn" controls for lightening or darkening exact spots on an image, making it possible to bring out a person's eyes, for example.

Casual weekend photographers who just want to remove "red eye" from a photo will be much happier with consumer-oriented software such as Microsoft Picture It, MGI PhotoSuite or Adobe's own PhotoDeluxe.

-- Mike Langberg, Knight Ridder

Photoshop LE

by Adobe Systems Inc.

1-800-492-3623

www.adobe.com

$99

For Windows or Macintosh

WinTV, the Latest in Tuners

WinTV USB is a gadget is almost too good to be true, a cell phone-size plastic box that plugs into the back of your desktop or laptop and transforms the computer into a full-blown digital television set.

Its maker, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc., has for years has been a major supplier of complex computer boards containing television tuners that are inserted in computer expansion slots. Now it's moving toward providing the same functions with universal serial bus (USB) connections that are included on all desktops and laptops that can take Windows 98.

The USB plug reduces a job that once required screwdrivers, special grounding wires and other mechanical fuss into a plug-and-play exercise not much more complicated than sticking a phone line into a wall connection.

The video is displayed in a sizable window in a modernistic frame that includes mouse-activated buttons. On the downside, the video display is not quite as clear as on a regular TV set, or a computer board in an expansion slot.

-- James Coates, Chicago Tribune

WinTV USB

by Hauppauge Computer Works

1-800-443-6284

www.hauppauge.com

$99.

For Windows 98