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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Tech Toys

Gannett News Service

Card night on TV

Anyone who has played solitaire on the computer knows how addictive it can be — even if it means sitting in an uncomfortable desk chair for hours on end. With Radica's Play TV Card Night, solitaire fans now can play their games on TV while stretched out on a comfy couch or a bed.

Set up is simple: You put two AAA batteries in the remote and 4 AA batteries in the oval-shaped base unit. (The grayish blue gadget also can be hooked up to an optional AC adapter.) Then, you hook the $40 device into the A/V jack of a TV or VCR. You can choose from 12 variations of solitaire, poker and blackjack. When you're ready to play, you direct the action with the device's remote control. Best of all, the remote has a range of 20 feet.

Information: www.radicagames.com

Karaoke for your PC

Admit it: Even though you've been known to scoff at karaoke performers, you secretly have always wanted to see how you sound singing along with a professional band. With the help of Blaze Audio's MIDIMaster Karaoke 3.0 software, you now have an easy way to do so in the privacy of your own home. The updated program lets you record your singing with the accompanying background music on a Windows computer. It even lets you control the song's tempo, key, instruments and the mix. And you can e-mail the recording to your online pals.

The program, which includes five free MIDI karaoke songs, can be downloaded for $29.95. A free trial version also is available.

Information: www.blazeaudio.com

Design your own audio player

Creativity takes on a new twist with the Intel Personal Audio Player 3000. Not only can you download a collection of your favorite tunes onto this digital player, but you also can create your very own design for its clear faceplate. With Intel Faceplate Designer software, you can design a faceplate sporting pictures of yourself, your favorite rock star or even a special friend. Then, you can print and cut out the design and place it under the player's see-through faceplate.

The $150 player also comes with 64 megabytes of built-in memory, an expansion slot for a Secure Digital/Multimedia memory card, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable, ear buds, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus Version 6.1 software, faceplate samples and one AA battery.

Information: intel.com/home/audio

New style for DVDs

Sony likes its new DVD player so much that it's given the DVP-F21 two nicknames: DVD Style Player and DVD Style Cube. The reason for all this fuss is that this slim-looking player can be set up in three different positions: horizontally, which is how most players rest, vertically or mounted on a wall like a painting. And because it's so small — 7 inches by 10 inches by 2.5 inches — moving it from room to room is no big deal.

The $300 player also features a Precision Drive2 System, which helps it play discs that aren't in perfect condition; Virtual Surround Sound circuitry that helps regular TV speakers produce better sound and Custom Parental Control that lets parents control content.

Information: www.sony.com

Surfing on the cheap

Internet users who are looking for a cheaper way to go online may want to consider Kmart's updated BlueLight Unlimited Internet Service. Although the service is no longer free, the price — unlimited access for $8.95 a month — is still quite a bargain, especially when you consider that it now offers more than 5,000 access numbers in 49 states. Better yet, the service no longer clutters your computer screen with an annoying ad banner bar. Even without the ads, Kmart is, of course, hoping you'll be inclined to click your way to one of its online store's BlueLight specials.

Information: www.bluelight.com