September 22, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

So you’re back on campus for another year of hitting the books, hitting on your best-looking classmates, and prepping for a future in New Economy America. Which means that, regardless of your major, you’ll need some of the coolest new Net stuff available.

In today’s techie society, we have all become numbers. Now you can put your number on your sleeve, chest, or back.’s line of clothing sports custom e-mail addresses that can be seen from afar, so you’ll be either the most popular person on campus or the most spammed.

Windows CE-based Personal Digital Assistants like Hewlett-Packard’s sturdy new Jornada 545 are good choices for Web surfing and for music, games, and video clips. The 545’s sharp color screen makes reading digital books easy on the eyes. Yes, these PDAs chug battery juice like the drinking team chugs Bud, but for multimedia in your pocket, they can’t be beat. And they’re good for organizing lab notes, too.

Most portable digital music players have inadequate memory for road trips. The Discman-size Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox boasts a six-gigabyte hard drive that solves that problem. It stores more than 100 hours of music and supports all current audio formats. Once you master the complex setup options, you’ll find that this is not only one of the best MP3 players out there, but it’s also a hint of superplayers yet to come.

With the tiny, hard-to-find Casio Wrist Camera, sold mainly on the gray market at this time, you’ll be the life of every campus party, if only because your pals will want photos of top secret exams. The tiny black-and-white digital pictures, though a bit fuzzy, will cause your classmates to smile — and keep your professors on edge.

If you don’t have ready access to your school’s Net connection, then NadaPC’s iCEBOX — an all-in-one TV, 56K netbox, and DVD player — may fit the bill for both surfing and entertaining. With its nine-inch screen, it’s small enough to rest on a book. And for the Animal House set, it comes with a beer- and tomato-sauce-protected keyboard and remote. Rather than pay for the computer, you’ll pay $21.95 a month over three years and sign up for a no-fee checking account with CompuBank. Though it’ll cost ya, sitting at an iCEBOX beats staring at your slovenly roomie all day.

You May Like