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Love is Just a Mouse-Click Away

Software to make your Valentine’s Day a memorable one.

Love is in the air as St. Valentine’s Day fast approaches. In this edition of Windows Advisor, we’ll receive a handful of fun little Windows programs that focus on romance and love.

The Love Clock

The Love Clock (from Bio Socket) is a simple freeware program that calculates how long it’s been since you met your true love. Once you enter the starting date, a big red heart pops up whenever your significant other’s PC reboots and informs them, for example, that it’s been 11 years, 10 months, three weeks, four hours, and twelve minutes since you first laid eyes on each other.

And that’s pretty much it. But while there isn’t much to the program, you can change the verbiage from “when we first met” to whatever you want. Still, it’s a fun little piece of software to surprise your spouse or dating partner with on Valentine’s Day. Just be sure to warn your sweetheart that it’s a message of love instead of another pop-up ad appearing on their screen!

You can download The Love Clock , and it can be customized (for a fee) to include a Web link to your partner’s favorite Web site, a poem, or whatever you want.

One Week (in the Life of a Teenage Girl)

Remember those choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a kid? One Week is like that, with a little bit of text adventuring (think Zork or Adventure) thrown in for good measure. This freeware Windows game, played all in text, focuses on one week in the life of a teenage girl. Your goal is to not only get her a date to the prom but also a good enough score on her SATs to get into college. A tall order when there are plenty of temptations littering the virtual landscape along the way.

Her life unfolds based on the decisions you make. For example, will you stay home and study, work at your part-time job, or go trolling for boys at the mall with your best friend Ashley? Each decision opens up new choices while at the same time eliminating others. You might wind up failing the SATs but finding the love of your life, or vice versa. There are many different outcomes in this cute and clever little game, and in order to find the optimum solution you’ll need to think like a teenage girl. Concentrate on boys, shopping, and prom dresses, and you should get along just fine.

The 3D Love Clock

First there was the regular love clock and now, from an entirely unrelated source, the 3D Love Clock. This clock, from Pharaoh’s Media, is a screen saver of a 3D heart that lets you include a photo of the object of your desire. Besides telling you the time and displaying your photo, you can also add additional photos, program it to play music, change the look of the clock itself, and add various animated objects to create a screen saver that’s truly your own.

Both the music and animated objects come from an included library, which also boasts various background photos and transitions to move from one graphic to another. The software is at once easy to use and versatile, helping you to get the look and feel you want. Whether you want to adorn your desktop with a virtual altar to your wife, your pet hamster, or even supermodel Heidi Klum, this program will let you do it in style.

The 3D Love Clock is shareware and costs $10 to register. You can download a 30-day trial version.

I Do Wedding Couple Edition

Think your PC can’t help you plan your wedding? Well, think again. I Do, from Elm Software, helps you to create the perfect ceremony. The software streamlines the creation of guest lists, seating charts, invitations, gifts and thank you notes, and much more, making your nuptials as simple as a literal walk down the aisle. It also helps you keep track of RSVPs, devise a budget, set up a timeline, create a list of vendors, and even plan a honeymoon.

You could, of course, perform all of these tasks without the I Do software suite, using programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to get the job done, but why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? The software is very easy to use and covers nearly every aspect of your wedding, with built-in templates and forms to make planning everything quick and near-effortless. There’s even a continually-updating budget sidebar, complete with hints about what to cut to save money. About the only thing it won’t do is write your vows for you or throw you a bachelor party, though rumor has it those features are expected with the next major upgrade.

I Do is shareware and costs $30 for a registration key or $35 to have a CD mailed to you. You can download a 30-day trial version, and a professional version for wedding planners is also available for $500.

Contributing Editor Joe DeRouen writes Windows Advisor monthly for ComputerUser.

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