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Have fun weather watching

You don't have to just talk about the weather now; you can do something about it: Download a program for Windows PCs called YoWindow by two Russian software writers, Pavel Repkin and Yuri Elshin.

After giving your location, YoWindow takes over in the form of a screen saver, a bucolic farm scene that mimics what's going on outside. You also can use your own photos. The free version (www.yowindow.com) gives you three-day forecasts, chance of rain, current temperature, wind direction, humidity and what all that feels like, temperature-wise. For $10 you can upgrade to a six-to-nine-day forecast.

When the skies outside are clear, the country landscape turns bright and cheery. When it rains, the scene reflects it. You can move a timeline to find out exactly when the sun and moon will rise and when the rains are due to begin. Forecasts are from the National Weather Service, and current weather is supplied by airports and other sources.

Windows itself has a perfectly adequate widget for a weather report, but YoWindow is fun and provides much more information. An impressive set of FAQs is available on the YoWindows website, while technical support, if you should ever need it, is by e-mail.

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