Note: while this section of the site has hardly been updated since Nikon's rush of digital cameras began taking up most of my time, I'm still a gadget-aholic. I've always got iPods and iPhones and PSPs and eBook Readers and other all bellying up to the Wall Wart bar for a spot of power refresh.

Forgive me father, though I'm not sure I've sinned. For today I took the output of Sonic Foundry's Acid 2.0 on my PC, combined it with sounds from my Yamaha QY1 and recorded my updated rendition of CCR's "Proud Mary" into my Tascam Portastudio. I proceeded to connect this back to my PC, rip it into an MP3 track using MusicMatch 4.0 and download it into my Diamond Rio 500. Then, Rio blazing away through my Sony noisecancelling headphones with tunes of my own creation (with a little help from Fogarty), I snuggled under the down comforter of my bed and curled up to read Scott Turow's latest lawyer tale on my Rocket eBook. My question, all-knowing one, is this: do I need an electric blanket? And is there a place I get AA batteries at wholesale?

GADGETS

REPLAY PERSONAL TV SERVER Who would have thought my television needed a hard disk? I certainly didn't, at least until I started using the Replay Personal TV Server. While it costs more than even a fancy VCR, I find it more convenient and useful. There's not doubt in my mind that the ideas behind this handy gadget (and the similar TiVo device) will ultimately make it into every home. Of course, it might not be in a pricey standalone box as it is today. Nevertheless, until the idea becomes ubiquitous, serious cable watchers should latch onto one of these.

PALM PORTABLE KEYBOARD Now here's a riddle to ponder: how the heck can you package a better keyboard than comes with many laptop computers into a device that's as small as the Palm it's intended for? Engineering insight led to the development of this miraculous QWERTY-provider, but the proof is in the typing. Provided you've got a stable platform to plop it onto, the Palm Portable Keyboard will have your fingers flirting with desktop speed and accuracy. Plus it's a great ice-breaker when you unfold it in meetings.

GLOBALSTAR QUALCOMM GSP 1600 SATELLITE PHONE T3 Magazine recently sent me on a survival-type scavenger hunt into the maze of canyons outside Capital Reef National Park in Utah. The twist? The only way I could find camp (and all my food and water) was using high tech gear. At some points on the "course," I had to phone in for instructions. And the only way to do that was via the Globalstar low-earth-orbit satellite phone system.

HERTZ NEVERLOST On that same Utah assignment where I used the Globalstar satellite service (see above item), I had to find the trailhead using a rented Ford Explorer equipped with the Hertz Neverlost navigation system. Designed by Magellan, this $6/day extra uses the GPS and displays your location on a moving map on a small, color LCD display. Can you get there from here?

CASIO FORESTER WATCH Need to know when the sun rises or sets? What phase the moon is in and where it will be at any given time? Check out this watch, it'll even tell you when the best time to fish is!


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