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09. 03. 2004

The Popgadget Back-to-School Guide

The end of summer always sucks but new school supplies can be fun. Here are a few tools and toys that might help make the transition a little easier.

I spent so much time at a demo stand, stapling endless sheets of paper with the Staples One-Touch Stapler that the manager came over to ask me if I was alright. Yes sir, I was just happily stapling together 20 sheets of paper with staple gun power, only it didn't take any power (electrical or human) to do it. $14.99 at Staples.

Lexar's Jump Drive Traveler is perfect for anyone who uses multiple computers, especially public ones at the library or computer lab. It's a USB 2.0 drive with up to 512 mb of storage but it also lets you surf the Internet with zero footprints. All the cookies and files normally downloaded to the hard drive are saved on the jump drive so when you unplug, all traces of your surfing go with you. You can also access your email privately if you use Outlook Express. The 256 mb model is just $48.95 at eCOST.

Post-it Flag Highlighters have a built-in supply of sticky flags so you can actually track down the pages you've highlighted.

iRiver's iFP-899 has 1 GB of storage for up to 34 hours music (ogg, wma, and mp3) and can play up to 40 hours on one AA battery. The 1.4 oz device has an FM tuner and direct mp3 encoding so you can record from any audio source or record lectures with the built-in microphone. All the 800 series players come with a one-year subscription to Serenade Audio (aka AudioFeast)which has downloadable radio content from over 400 channels of news, talk, and music.

Your roommates hopefully won't forget to write down phone messages if you have a Lumi Pad Illuminated Message Board. It works like an ordinary dry-erase board only there are four levels of illumination and three flashing modes. $19.99 at Target.

If you start worrying a little too much about the "freshman 15", you'll want to read Kit Reed's Thinner Than Thou. In Reed's future, exercise gurus are religious leaders (Reverend Earl is frighteningly suggestive of a Dr. Phil gone mad), food porn goes to a very disturbing level, and the overweight and anorexic are locked up in body reform concentration camps. Kit Reed's amazing, you might want to make some popcorn and read Weird Women, Wired Women too.

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