Gadgets and gizmos

Smart guard

Here's yet another Internet filtering device for parents concerned about their kids' surfing habits, but this one differs in two ways from most. The RAT Control is physically secured by a smart card, making it more difficult to subvert; and it has no built-in "bad" list, thus avoiding the inappropriate blocking that's common in Web filters. You do have to make a list of approved sites, though.

Marketing Results

Price: $69.95

Phone: (02) 9899 5888

Titanium Mac

Perhaps tiring of those colourful translucent plastic designs, Apple's latest power notebook features a body made of commercially pure titanium. This means that, should you become dissatisfied with the PowerBook G4's 15.2in screen or 500MHz processor, you could always recycle it as part of a jet engine.

Apple

Price: $5495

Phone: 13 3622

URL: www.apple.com.au

Movie Maker

Digital video looks like being the Next Big Thing in home computing, and savvy com-panies are lining up to exploit this fast-growing market. The Video Blaster Movie-Maker lets you capture analog video signals from a camera or TV, store and edit them on your PC, and distribute them in the industry-standard MPEG-2 format - all without opening the computer.

Creative Labs

Price: $499

Phone: (02) 9666 6100

URL: www.australia.creative.com

Mouse cleaner

The most annoying thing about non-optical mice is the way that even the best of them become unreliable as dirt accumulates on the rollers. An old mouse can get a new lease of life from a good cleaning, and that's why the MouseMedic was created.

Tintwizard Inc

Price: $2.99

Phone: 0404 819 601

URL: www.tintwizardinc.com/mousemedic

Xbox

For years now, console game boxes have been launched with hyped-up claims of superior performance to real PCs. Anyone who's compared a $3000 gaming PC with a $500 console box knows this just isn't true. Now Microsoft has announced the Xbox, which, with its 733MHz Pentium III processor and NVIDIA graphics chip, is the first console that looks set to provide truly PC-quality game performance.

Microsoft

Price: $TBA

URL: www.xbox.com

MIDI in your Palm

If you're a musician on the move, the Tsunamidi could be for you. Attaching to a Palm V PDA, it provides a 32-voice synthesiser with 128 melodic instruments and 47 percussion sounds. Audio and MIDI connectors let you use an external keyboard, or share your Palm compositions with the world.

Tsunamidi

Price: $US129

URL: www.store.palm.com

Compact Flash reader

Digital photography enters a new level of convenience with the Zio Compact Flash reader. Simply plug the flash card into the reader, plug the reader into a USB port, load the software driver, and you're ready to transfer pictures or other file types without needing cables or proprietary software. The Zio is also available in SmartMedia and MultiMedia versions.

BITS

Price: $99

Phone: (02) 9310 3199

URL: www.bits.com.au

Pencam

Powered by two AAA batteries, the 007 Pocket Digital Camera can take 20 still shots or a few seconds of video at its maximum resolution of 352x288, then transfer your masterpieces to a computer via USB. It will also work as a standard Webcam using the included stand.

Dick Smith Electronics

Price: $148

Phone: 1300 366 644

URL: www.dse.com.au

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Aldis Ozols

PC World
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