Electronic Resources Librarian, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, IA
Today's technology world offers a better
quality and a better value of its products, intriguing new users to become
familiar with cell phones, Blackberrys, and other wireless gadgets
and video conferencing equipment. Technologies that used to be unpopular
are now in growing demand.
The most exciting gadget coming on the
market is a hand-held called The
Treo. Handspring’s new
invention packs a mobile phone, personal organizer with the Palm operating
system, and a Blackberry-style text messenger all in one device.
Handspring will release two versions in Winter/Spring 2002: the Treo 180
with a keyboard and Treo 180g with the Graffiti handwriting recognition
system. Each model is priced about $600. Price will be reduced to about
$400 if a wireless service is purchased.
The Treo's rival is the Samsung
I300 with a color screen and virtual keypad. The user dials directly
from a built-in address book and can set up 99 speed-dial numbers. Battery
life is about four hours of talk and 100 hours of standby. It comes
equipped with email and Netsurfing capabilities. Price is about $500.
Wireless phones are also popular, and becoming smaller in size. Panasonic has two products: the Allure, weighing in at 2.7 ounces and the Versio weighing in at 3.1 ounces. Both phones are dual-band. Users can pick from six different backlight colors for the display screen. The Allure stores 250 names and responds to 40 voice commands. Sell price is about $150. The $130 Versio holds 100 names and has one-touch dialing.
Are you tired of lugging around that heavy
laptop? Good news! NEC has introduced a subnotebook called MobilePro
790. Included on the 1.8 pound hand-held touch-screen PC is Windows
2000, Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer. It also has
an 8-inch screen, a 56K modem and full-size keyboard. Cost is about $899.
Another hot item is the wireless handheld Blackberry.
The Blackberry’s service is housed on a server, so a user’s email
account is always available and connected.
From the home or office, users can check their email messages on a
24/7 basis. Encryption technology is also offered. The Blackberry has an
organizer and a micro-browser for Internet capabilities. Prices range from
$399-$600. The wireless service is $39.99/month.
Remember Polaroids? Nowadays it's digital cameras that give the photographer instant gratification. No more waiting to see if the photo is good! With a digital camera, you can take photos, save them to a disk or CD, and send the images digitally via e-mail. These cameras give new meaning to the phrase “One Hour Processing.” The 6.5-ounce Nikon Coolpix 775 takes good resolution photos, and is easy to use and hold. This auto-focus camera is priced at $400, which includes battery and charger with five built-in flash modes. It has a “Best Shot Selector” to create sharp images even in difficult handheld shooting situations.
The Kyocera EZ
Digital 1.3 makes emailing photographs simple with its
ArcSoft Instant e-mail software. The user can download photos to an
online printer and print good quality photographs thanks to the EZ
Digital's multiple resolution modes. The
camera includes a real time clock, auto or manual white balance, and has
four flash modes. It also stores images as .jpeg files. Price is
about $400. Look for rebates and sales during the holiday season.
With travel delays and restrictions,
conferencing technologies are becoming less of a
fad and more of a trend. These technologies include
teleconferencing, videoconferencing, web conferencing, and instant
messaging. The cost for video conferencing tools has dropped from
$30,000 to about $5,000. There are a number of companies that provide
videoconferences’ solutions. The big names are Tandberg,
Inc. Polygram, and PictureTel
(Note: Polygram has acquired PictureTel). To understand what equipment to
purchase, the LCDprojector.net site has provided a few
tips to use when searching for a videoconferencing system.
Provide Link to Home During Crisis,” Carlyn Kolker, American
Lawyer Media, Oct. 1, 2001.
“Mixing Palm with
Phone-Another Try,” David Pogue, New York Times, Oct. 18, 2001.
“60 Gadgets in 60
Minutes,” Compiled by Roger Skalbeck, LLRX.com,
Aug. 1, 2001.
“Technology News Watch,” New York
Times, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001.
“Videoconferencing Made Easy: Groupware
Plug-in Enables Conferencing Through Messaging and Collaboration Apps,”
Christine Zimmerman, Internetweek.com,
April 2, 2001.
“Virtual Meetings Yield Real Results,” Information Week, page 70, Oct. 22, 2001.