Reviews by Tim Boxer

Quicken 2003
ExactSet Travel Clock
eFilm Picturevision
X-Box games
Targus Phone Adapters
Soldiers of Anarchy
Vox Proxy
Security Wallet
Proverbial Wisdom Junior

Cool Camera for Candids

OR my purposes – shooting people at parties – the decisive camera without a doubt is the new Digilux 1. It’s the right choice for both serious amateurs and professionals. A perfect camera for reportage with its one-button operation.

It is a dream to operate. All the controls are perfectly placed.

The off/on button is right at my thumb and the zoom lever is at my forefinger as is the shutter release. Leica makes it so easy to get all the shots I want.

After taking a picture, the image pops up on the monitor for two seconds, just long enough for you to judge whether you got the right picture or whether you should shoot another one. Maybe the subject’s eyes were closed or he looked away for an instant. This is a great aid to instantly determine if you’re happy with the picture you just took.

Bono of U2

Photographed with Digilux 1

Former NY Mayor Ed Koch
Photographed with Digilux 1

Tony Bennett
Photographed with Digilux 1

Being able to evaluate a photo on site, immediately, is a tremendous asset in getting the image you want. You are given a second chance to get it right. The larger than usual liquid crystal display (LCD), at 2.5 inches, makes it easy to judge each shot and decide quickly if you are satisfied with the results.

Either I’m a great photographer or, more likely, this machine is a fantastic image maker. Every photo I snapped was outstanding. The color and quality of my pictures were beautiful and brilliant.

Digilux 1 has 4 mega-pixel resolution, high-speed lens with optical 3X zoom, that gives you a range of 33-100 mm. I love it!

This unique camera is extraordinarily fast. I was impressed with the speed each image was transferred from camera to 64 MB memory card. I was able to hold my subject in place for a second shot without delay. (I always shoot two pictures at a time.)

I’ve used digital cameras where the reaction time was so slow, that by the time the camera was ready to shoot again, the subject had lost patience.

With such minimal exposure delay, you can be sure you won’t miss an important shot.

Ken Hansen Photographic on Madison Avenue (212 317-0923) is selling the Leica Digilux 1 for $799. For more information on the camera visit


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Great Gift for Point & Shoot

UST in time for the holidays. Leica introduces three new 35mm compact cameras. The C1, C2 and C3 models are ideal for the point and shoot shutterbug. That includes me, so I put the elegant C3 to the consumer test.

It’s a stylish article, sporting a silver color with black trim, and an ergonomic handgrip.

The distinctive gift box included a leather carrying case, battery, 35mm film, a translucent plastic container to hold the camera for secure traveling, and a handsome photo album.

They even throw in a Faber-Castell pencil with white lead to write your data on the album pages. Who else would think of that?

For a compact camera, the 28-80mm provides an extra wide angle for group portraits in tight situations. This telephoto zoom is perfect for portraits.

The wide-angle setting proved ideal for broad cityscape, panoramic landscape and deep architectural shooting.

See it at List price $469.

I specialize in party people pictures. For that the C3 performed remarkably well. It was a joy working with a camera that was so easy to use.

The automatic controls allowed me full freedom to concentrate on my subjects and not worry about exposure and lighting. When lighting conditions were dismal, as they usually are in party settings, the automatic flash was triggered each time I shot.

As this was a Leica, the results were magnificent. All my pictures came out rich, brilliant.

Thank you, Roger Horn. (Sometimes it’s good to meet the president.)


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Get Intuit to Manage Portfolio

ET Intuit if you want to organize your finances. For two decades the company, based in Mountain View, California, has produced financial software and online services for all kinds of consumers, including accounting professionals.

Quicken 2003 Deluxe continues to manage your personal finances. It does extremely well in balancing your checkbook, paying bills, creating budgets, and tracking your investments. Price: $59.95.

However, Intuit’s latest product, Quicken 2003 Premier, at $79.95, will help improve your personal finances four ways:

  • Track your checkbook and spending.

  • Manage your investments and taxes.

  • Optimize your investment portfolio.

  • Maximize tax-saving opportunities.
  • Quicken 2003 Premier Home & Business edition does all that and more, such as create customizable estimates and invoices, generate business reports and graphs, track vehicle mileage for tax purposes, track sales tax, create a mini-business plan and more, much more. Price: $89.95.

    If all you want to do is balance your checkbook, pay bills and track spending, then by all means get Quicken 2003 Basic at $29.95. See the complete line at


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    Do You Have the Time,
    I Mean, the Exact Time?

    OU will always have the exact time with a radio-controlled travel clock from Oregon Scientific. The ExactSet RM826 clock, at $49.95, automatically sets its time and date to the U.S. Atomic Clock.

    An internal radio receiver responds to a time signal broadcast by the world’s most accurate timekeeper, the U.S. Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colorado, operated by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    That makes it an ideal travel clock. Its miniature receiver constantly receives signals from Big Brother in Boulder. With the mere press of a button, it will automatically adjust to different times zones as you travel.

    Oregon Scientific president Jim Boyle says the ExactSet clock sets itself automatically “about six times a day, even self-correcting during Daylight Savings Time.”

    So you needn’t worry when to fall back or spring ahead. It is done for you.

    Oregon Scientific, a division of Integrated Display Technology (IDT) of Hong Kong, is based in Tualatin, Oregon.

    The company offers several models of the ExactSet clocks in a variety of styles and colors. See them all at


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    Show Photos on TV

    HOW your digital photos on your TV with eFilm Picturevision from Delkin Devices. Although I did not test this product, I can report from the specs. Simply insert your camera card – it works with all card formats – and use the remote control for a slide show of your photos.

    Use the remote to customize the slide show settings, browse by either file name or thumbnail image, and set your zoom, rotate, and panning preferences. You can even delete files in your memory card directly.

    You don’t need a computer or drivers to use the Picturevision. In addition you can play MP3 audio files through your TV or stereo system.

    The unit comes with a remote control, audio video cable, and power adapter as well as a user’s manual in English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Japanese. Priced at $99.

    This is not the only product that allows you to share your digital photos with family and friends around your TV. An excellent choice, one that I use myself with complete satisfaction, is the Visioneer PhotoPort TV100.

    I reviewed this TV-based digital photo appliance in July 2002. See it in Archives.

    It is priced at $99.99 and available at major retailers or at where my story is prominently posted.


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    Game Play for the Family

    NBA INSIDE DRIVE 2003 is one of several new titles from Microsoft Game Studios that will delight the family during the holiday season. delivers intense game play plus innovative commentary from three basketball analysts – Kenny Smith, Kevin Calabro and Marques Johnson.

    Thumping jumping hip-hop beats from Master P makes this a console experience hard to beat.

    SNEAKERS is a cartoon combat that will appeal to youngsters as they rally the cuddly mice to victory over a gang of invading rats.

    They will also navigate through the giant world of humans as they battle to rid their territory of all intruders.

    Players engage in comical battles while directing the actions of their troops. Being mouse-sized offers unique advantages and obstacles. A rolling apple could be as dangerous as a tumbling boulder, whereas a small hole in the wall can be an ideal shortcut. You have to be cunning and quick.

    MECHASSAULT is a war of the worlds game for one to eight players. Deploy your awesome BattleMechs to engage your opponent.  Buildings, cities and enemies explode at the twitch of your finger, bringing new meaning to “mass destruction.”

    SHENMUE II can also be played on any DVD player (with a DVD Playback Kit which is sold separately). The package promises “frequent fights, pulse pounding chasses and intense action in a myriad of perilous encounters” in exotic Hong Kong as Ryo Hazuki seeks to avenge his father’s death and unlock the mysteries of the Phoenix Mirror. Includes a feature length DVD, Shenmue, The Movie.

    KAKUTO CHOJIN for one to four players promises a new level of graphic detail “where heads snap, muscles ripple and shadows cascade over the fighters.” Kakuto masters attempt to prove themselves in the ultimate fight club where they erupt in savage fury to kick, gouge and pummel their way to victory.


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    Keep Connected

    ARGUS, which provides “essential accessories for mobile computing,” offers a neat little package of International Power and Phone Adapters. No matter what country you find yourself in the world, you can keep connected.

    Box also contains a travel pouch to carry your power or phone adapter, and eight-foot retractable phone cord with coupler, and selection guide to help you identify which adapter you’ll need for any country you’re going to.

    The product is compatible with notebooks using an RJ-11 phone jack and a power source with dual voltage (input 100-240V 50/60Hz).


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    S&S Leads the Way

    oldiers of Anarchy: It’s 2014, after the apocalypse, and you’re just coming out of the underground to free humanity from its oppressors. Well, it is, if you’re playing the Real Time Strategy game Soldiers of Anarchy for the PC, from Simon & Schuster Interactive.

    With your customizable squad of soldiers, you set out to capture weapons, tanks, helicopters and jets in order to do battle with the enemy.

    You can engage your foe solo or share with up to eight players. It’s fast, furious and fulfilling.

    Customize your vehicles, use cover of night or snow, infiltrate enemy installations any way you can, and call in air strikes against fortified positions.

    Be brutal, be sneaky, just get your mission accomplished.

    DARKENED SKYE: Another title from Simon & Schuster Interactive, this one geared for your Nintendo GameCube as well as your PC.

    You are Skye of Lynlora, recruited to battle against evil. You get to solve ancient mysteries and, by the way, save the world. Kick monster butt. No mean task, but you can do it, big boy.

    Visit for more enlightenment.


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    Vox Proxy

    AKE your slide shows jump and engage your audience with Vox Proxy. This innovative add-in will animate your PowerPoint presentations. The 3-D talking characters will boost the appeal of your slide shows that will make audiences attentive with joy.

    Use with PowerPoint 2000 or 2002 under all versions of Window except 3.1.

    Vox Proxy gives you 17 animated characters that can be scripted on any slide to speak and move. Right click on a character to select from a list of animations. (Additional characters are available.)

    This is a very useful application developed by Tom Atkins, head of Right Seat Software in Golden, CO.

    “PowerPoint users,” Atkins said, “will find it easy to master the script-writing wizards to create slide shows that command attention.”

    See more at where you may order a copy at $199.


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    Traveler’s Peace of Mind

    ROTECT yourself on vacation from pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Get travel security with a Security Wallet from Warren of California to carry your passport, money, credit cards and personal ID.

    Clip Security Wallet, made of soft supple leather, is designed to clip over your pants waistband or top of your skirt and hangs inside your clothing.

    Loop Security Wallet loops over your belt and hangs safely inside your clothing. This one is designed to carry larger size foreign currencies plus passport and other valuable items that you need to carry when traveling.

    Both have three zippered compartments. Wallets priced at $39 each. Order by calling 1-800-932-4465 or see the catalog fort many other types of wallets and handbags at

    Warren of California president Ralph D. Slocum guarantees his products. If not satisfied, you may return them for a no-questions-asked refund.


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    Wisdom for Junior

    roverbial Wisdom Junior is a compact version of Proverbial Wisdom (reviewed last month; see Archives). Aimed at 4 to 12 players aged 7 and up, this fun game tests your knowledge of proverbs and popular sayings.

    In no time at all you’ll be laughing like a hyena and become wise as an owl.

    This smaller edition contains 70 sketch cards, 70 definition cards and 70pictures cards, while the full-size package comes with 100 more of each type of cards.

    The board game also includes card tray, spinner, clue hider, sketch board, timer, erase marker and instructions.

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