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"Lights!, Camera! Action!' on your computer

If you believe the TV commercials and the blurbs on the software boxes, making a perfect home video these days is as easy as pointing your digital camera, then clicking the mouse on your personal computer.

Our Tech Times reviewer found there's lots to confuse you along the way, starting with how to connect your camcorder and PC. There's also software that won't work, formats with names like AVI and MPEG and doubts about whether your older computer has the horsepower to handle huge video files.

With patience and persistence, however, you can learn how to edit your favorite scenes into an impressive video just by dragging their images around your computer screen. And your work of video art can feature special effects and your choice of music.

The report includes reviews of software programs that handle digital video plus tips for converting 8mm film to video and video tapes to DVDs. Tech Times, 11E

As the manager of a department store, you should hire sales clerks who are outgoing and enthusiastic, right? Wrong. The best sales clerks are "shrinking violet types who are good listeners and enjoy helping people solve problems," says Terri Kabachnick. She and her partner in a Largo consulting firm advise merchants on the traits their best-performing employees share. Business Times, 1E