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Illustrated weather

View current conditions and forecasts against a lovely landscape with this fun program.

Sometimes applications are practical, sometimes they're fun, and sometimes they manage to be both. YoWindow is a weather application that manages to deliver weather data in what may be the most fun interface we've ever seen.

The program is easy to set up. Enter a city anywhere in the world, and the program's background image, a quaint village landscape, will reflect the current conditions. The sun rises and sets just as it does in real time, and precipitation and other weather phenomena are depicted with animations. Our first thought was that though the village scene looked nice, it didn't seem right to view conditions for, say, New York City, against such a bucolic backdrop. The program's online Help file advises that the creators are working on more backgrounds, but for now the village is the only one. Users can, however, add their own images, which work surprisingly well; use a photo of yourself and see the sun rise and set on you, or watch as you get caught in the rain. In addition to the snazzy graphics, the program displays detailed information about the current conditions, as well as a brief overview of the next several days. The program can be used on its own or set as the default screensaver, which is both cool and useful. Overall, we found YoWindow to be a unique and attractive way to check the forecast, and we're looking forward to keeping it around and watching the weather conditions change.

YoWindow is free to try, but the trial version limits users to a three-day forecast and two favorite locations. The program installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to all users.

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