Gift Guide: Software

Oh, where do we begin? These are just a few great software programs for Dad and Grad.

ShutterBug 2.0

Price: $50
Company: XtraLean Software
(   ; July 2006 )

ShutterBug 2.0 is ideally suited for photography enthusiasts who want to quickly build a Web site to share photos but want to avoid learning complex Web site editing software.

Painter Essentials 3.0

Price: $99
Company: Corel
(   ; March 2006 )

Painter Essentials 3.0 is an extremely powerful program that gives beginning artists the ability to create beautiful artwork, as well as the freedom to experiment in ways they may never have dreamed possible. The program is also powerful enough for more-experienced artists to explore an image’s potential.

iLife ‘06

Price: $79
Company: Apple Computer
(multi-mouse rating; April 2006 )

Should the $79 iLife ‘06 suite be part of your life? We review all five applications to tell you what’s new, and what’s worthwhile. Software gift guide

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0

Price: $90; download $80; upgrade, $70, upgrade download, $60
Company: Adobe
(   ; June 2006 )

If you’ve ever wanted to play in the image-editing sandbox, this software is for you. Both powerful and affordable, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 provides even more bang for your buck than previous versions. With the addition of Bridge and the new selection and retouching tools, Elements may give you all the photo manipulation power you’ll ever need.

Inspiration 8

Price: $69
Company: Inspiration Software
(   ; July 2006 )

Despite a few quirks in the application’s interface, Inspiration 8 is an excellent tool for teachers, students, or anyone else who needs help organizing their ideas. The addition of new symbols and the ability to import movies and sounds only add to the program’s great value.

3D Weather Globe & Atlas 1.1

Price: $40; annual subscription to real-time weather data, $10 (ships with a year’s subscription)
Company: Software MacKiev
(   ; September 2005 )

If you’re interested in weather or geography, you absolutely must own 3D Weather Globe & Atlas 1.1. From a practical standpoint, its real-time weather feed is unmatched in scope and reasonably priced. For just plain fun, you can’t beat wowing your Windows friends by demonstrating the Mac’s graphics with this OS X-only application, and it even comes with a screen saver module that shows an amazing satellite fly-over of the Earth’s surface. 3D Weather Globe & Atlas will change the way you think about our small blue marble in space.

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