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Rage for the machines

No multimedia maven should be without the MindDrive, the WideNote, or these other techno-toys

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Okay, so you’re wired for sound and vision and have mastered the World Wide Web. Now just try keeping up with the ever-changing new multimedia technology. Here’s an assortment of gear to help enhance your interactive lifestyle.

1 Roland PMA-5 Personal Assistant

What it is: A handheld computer with an accompanying stylus that lets you build your own songs from hundreds of genres using more than 300 instruments. Why you want one: With all that time you spent playing Tetris on the bus, you could have been writing the next big rock opera.

2 WideNote

What it is: A notebook computer with an extra-wide, 11 1/2-inch (diagonally measured) screen, which enables you to view two Web pages at once. Why you want one: So you can compare the filmography on the Absolute Jim Carrey site with The All New Shrine to Jim Carrey.

3 FD-02 Multimedia Unidirectional Microphone

What it is: A bendable computer mike that minimizes background noise, rendering voice commands as legible as they are on the starship Enterprise. Why you want one: So that (with the appropriate software, of course) you can order ”Tea, Earl Grey, hot!”

4 The MindDrive

What it is: A sensor that slips on your finger and, the manufacturer claims, allows you to control your computer via brain waves, which are read as electric impulses through the skin; features music composition, drawing, and flight simulation software. Why you want one: You know the optional lie-detector package will come in handy one of these days.

5 Handwriter for Windows

What it is: A cordless digital pen-and-tablet combination that lets you ”write” on computer documents. Why you want one: Inputting comments, annotations, and signatures in your own handwriting beats hunting and pecking on a keyboard — and because carpal tunnel syndrome sucks.

6 Sidebar Beverage Dispenser

What it is: A remote-control drink mixer that utilizes a mad-scientist assortment of plastic tubes and a cool-looking dispenser. Why you want one: Your party guests will be so impressed, they won’t notice you’ve watered down the scotch.

7 SimulEyes VR

What it is: A pair of glasses that’s designed to turn compatible videogames and 3-D Web pages into three-dimensional experiences — the visual equivalent of Dolby Surround. Why you want one: It might look goofy from the outside, but experienced from the inside, it’s the real thing.

8 Microsoft SideWinder game pad

What it is: A sleek, sensitive controller that plugs into the joystick port of your computer. Why you want one: Because playing fighting games with a keyboard is like playing the piano with a pair of mittens.