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Tim Boxer Senior PET


Jonathan Boxer Junior PET

Only the Best Earn the
PET Seal of Approval from
The 15 Minutes Products
Evaluation Team (PET)
Symantec Engineer Saves
Desktop From Digital Death

YMANTEC is blessed with a remarkable customer support department which is populated with the most helpful and sensitive problem solvers I have encountered in the tech world.

Youíd be ecstatic too if you had issues with your computer to the extent that you were ready, in utter frustration, to heave it onto the garbage heapóand Symantec came along and preserved your sanity.

Norton 360, Version 4Hereís what happened. After installing Norton 360, Version 4, my desktop slowed to a crawl; my emails failed to go out. Life was a mess.

One frantic call to Maegan Tremarche, of Symantecís consumer relations team, and my computer was put on the road to redemption. She recognized the issue and was sympathetic to my plight. She quickly arranged for one of Symantecís highly skilled engineers, Leonard Jayakumar, to come to my aid.

Leonard, a NortonLive Spyware & Virus Removal Specialist, spent nine hours on the phone to repair my computer. He ran the VRQTOOL5.0 tool, deleted the temp/prefetch, reset the IE web settings, ran Windows Update, reinstalled software, ran Live Update and a complete scan. (Now why didnít I think of that? Well, Lenís an engineer and Iím not.)

He cleaned up my computer and made it run like the day I bought it from Dell.

Now Iím quite happy with Norton 360. It operates in the background, scanning for viruses, protecting my computer from all the malware roaming the cyberworld. It offers automatic backup and restore. It identifies fraudulent sites and phishing efforts, keeps spam out of my mailbox, and protects my identity when I browse online. There is so much more that Norton 360 does to keep my computer in top form. Most important, it provides download protection to safeguard me from any digital danger henceforth.

So how satisfied am I with Symantec? What do you think? See for yourself when you install Norton 360 4.0, for $79.99 at www.symantec.com.

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SIGMA DP2Small Camera With Big Ambitions

IGMA DP2 packs 14 mega pixels of a DSLR into the body of a compact camera. This is an upgrade to the DP1 that came out in 2008 and welcomed by everyone who wanted the essence of a full DSLR but not in a big heavy body.

This full-spec compact camera has delighted amateurs and professionals alike. The highly portable compactness of the DP2 allows you to carry a professional lightweight camera anywhere you go, and always be prepared for any unique photographic moment you may chance upon.

The DP2 image sensor is 7-12 times larger than the sensor of ordinary compact cameras. It has a 24.2mm standard lens thatís equivalent to 41mm on a 35mm SLR camera. Its standard range focal length of F2.8 make it perfect for portraits, making your subject stand out in stunning ways.

It has three metering modes: Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, and Spot Metering. It has RAW and Jpeg recording modes. It takes an SD memory card. Package includes Sigma Photo Pro software, a RAW image developer that converts all RAW data quickly.

If youíre heaving a heavy Nikon, like the D300 in my bag, then the Sigma D2 makes a lot of sense as a second camera for backup. It can be yours for around $620.


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Menís Sun Escape ShirtPrepare For The Road

EADY to plan your vacation? Top of your to-do list should be obtaining Magellanís catalog of essential travel supplies. Visit www.magellans.com or call 1.800.962.4943.

Following are some of the products we found essential for any trip.

Menís Sun Escape Shirt has hidden mesh underarm and side seam panels, a collar with Velcro closure, and a button-down breast pocket. Made of nylon which dries three times as fast as cotton. $65.95.

Daytripper Backpack

Daytripper Backpack is a lightweight bag that can easily hold a camera, journal and a rain jacket with room to spare. It tucks into its own pouch to put into a suitcase. $29.85.

Hovercraft Wheeled Upright is a stylish luggage from Eagle Creek. I found the wheels much easier to navigate than most other suitcases. It expands for 15 percent more packing space when needed. The main compartment is spacious, and front pockets give youHovercraft Wheeled Upright additional space to store items. As the catalog says, itís light as a feather (until you fill it up). 22-inch $249, 25-inch $274, 28-inch, $299, Underseat Tote $194.

Lucia In-Flight ToteLucia In-Flight Tote is a fashionable carrying bag made of sturdy nylon. The zippered main compartment can hold all your personal needs, while two side pockets, with magnetic closures, has space for a phone, pen slots, detachable credit card wallet. Pockets on both ends are handy for your tickets, maps, water bottle or umbrella. Carry it cross-body or over your shoulder. $79.50.

Monaco Shoes, for women, will massage your feet as walk in their patented "egg crate" footbed. The soft leather uppers are made to the shape of your feet. The Velcro strap makes it easy to slip them off and on at the airport. $109.50.

Monaco Shoes

Skooba Super-Bungee Shoulder StrapSkooba Super-Bungee Shoulder Strap is great. I use it instead of the strap that came with my camera bag. It makes the bag feel lighter and more secure on my shoulder. Magellanís says thatís because the built-in bungee cord stretches with the weight of your bag, absorbing shock and reducing nack, neck and shoulder strain. It works! $25.85.

Non-Iron Shirt is a two-ply cotton shirt that looks smart, fresh and crisp even after a day of travel. Perfect for warm climates. $59.50.

Travel TeeTravel Tee is a pima cotton womenís shirt thatís lightweight and wrinkle resistant. It stays soft and silky to the touch, wash after wash. ĺ sleeve $32.50, short sleeve $29.50, and tank $24.50.

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SAVEMELatest Must-Haves

is absolutely a must-have if you want to backup your PC. Of course you do. SaveMe works the minute itís installed to protect from crashes, viruses or accidental file deletions. It backs up a maximum of six computers.

With no buttons to press, no schedules to set, itís a no-brainer to utilize this dedicated backup and recovery solution. Just plug it in and forget itÖuntil the inevitable crash. Then use SaveMe to restore everything like it was.

Prices for SaveMe vary. For a portable hard drive, itís $149.95 for 500GB, $199.95 for 1TB, $349.95 for 2TB. OTTERBOXFor a desktop hard drive, itís $119.95 for 250 GB, $139.95 for 320GB, and $169.95 for 500GB. Available at Amazon.com and www.rebit.com.

OTTERBOX cases are dedicated to all the klutzy, spontaneous, chaotic, graceless individuals who have broken a device or two due to their active lifestyle. "Like our customers, we've been there too," says founder Curt Richardson. He offers three types of protection for your BlackBerry Storm2 smartphone. We looked at a BlackBerry Curve 8900 Series Defender Case. The Defender, for those with an extreme and active lifestyle, offers more rugged protection with its self-adhering clear protective screen cover, high impact polycarbonate shell, and silicone skin to absorb bump and shock. It includes a holster style swivel belt clip for easy carrying. $49.95.

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is more than a playpen. It is a terrific play and development environment for your toddler, ages 3 months to 3 years (and beyond). As your little one crawls, stands and begins to take first steps, you rearrange the playpen in five different configurations to accommodate his needs. As your infant grows, First Toddleís accessories expand and change as well. With First Toddle, you can do away with a clutter of other toddler toys. Itís all in one package. $149.95. See www.firsttoddle.com.

KIDSCRAFT PLAYHOUSESKIDSCRAFT PLAYHOUSES are just cardboard boxes, yet they capture the imagination of children ages 3 to 7 (and some adults). These huge boxes are designed with windows and doors, ready to welcome the kids inside for play and fun. The Creation Cottage, $59.95, is perfect playroom. The sturdy box inspires kids to draw their own designs on the exterior, and make this house distinctively their own. Another box, Shuttle Imagination, $69.95, is shaped like a space shuttle, with double bay doors and two portholes from which to survey the universe beyond earth (or beyond the den).

BANANAGRAMS is a fast and enjoyable anagram game that drives players bananas! Requiring no pencil, paper or board, Bananagrams comes in a small portable banana-shaped pouch, perfect fun for kids from 7 to 97 years old, at home or on the go. Created by a word game-obsessed family of three generations, Bananagrams is a labor of love that that has quickly become an international phenomenon. BANANAGRAMSBananagrams is available online as a free Facebook application and on the iPhone and iTouch. In fact you can be a top banana in Spanish, French, Norwegian and German. $14.95.

ANIMAL TRACKSANIMAL TRACKS is a package of three games: Concentration, Bingo and Guess the Tracks. There are 40 illustrated animal cards and 40 track cards. Junior PET Johnathan spent an evening playing with the animal cards, especially enjoying Bingo. Animal Tracks, for two or more players, ages 5 and up, is a fun game of memory and matching. $14.99.

PIRATES DUNGEONPIRATES DUNGEON is one in a series of Playmobil Take Along Sets that also includes Knights Take Along Tower and Unicorn Take Along Castle. These sets are designed to keep kids, 4 and older, calmly occupied traveling on the road or outside the home on play dates. The pirates package includes two figures, a working cannon, a skeleton (whatís a dungeon without bones?), and other accessories suitable for a pirateís occupation, including a monkey. You can pack away the contents in the cardboard carrying box with a handle. See more at www.playmobilusa.com.


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