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Seen at the show: TECHXNY/PC EXPO 2002

by Jo Freeman

TECHXNY/PC Expo 2002 occupied most of NYC's Javits Center for three days last week (June 25-27). Combining several different shows under one roof, there was something for everyone from the sophisticated computer jock to the ordinary end user.

After several hours of walking and talking, a few product types stood out as having immediate appeal to the ordinary woman, especially with a home office.

Digital cameras were big, or should I say small, and getting smaller. Thin is in. Light is right. SiPix's Blink is a little square, less than 2x2" and a half inch thick. It runs off of one AAA battery and can take up to 100 images. Comes with photo editing software for $39. Available in retail stores, but you can get more information at SiPix's site.

Logitech's Pocket Digital is about twice the size, but also has twice the pixels (for 52 images) for only $129.95. Go to Logitech's site for product details.

These tiny cameras don't come with a flash and don't take good indoor shots where light is low, but for outdoor convenience, they are hard to beat. Like all digital cameras, they are great for viewing photos on your PC, let you crop and edit and easily send your creations to others. But if you want actual prints, you will pay, and pay some more. Whether you print them yourself or send them to a commercial service, the cost for a 4x6 photo paper print from a digital image is about 4 times the cost of printing from film at your local photo shop.

If you prefer doing your own photo printing, SONY makes a great specialized printer for 4x6s. You don't even need a PC; you can view and edit photos on your TV monitor. Photoprinters are small enough to carry in your briefcase, but will cost from $280 to $800, depending on the features. Go to Sony's site for additional information.

If you are really into photo printing, you can correct the scratches, tears, and other defects in your old photographs by scanning them and applying Digital ICE software. It has to come with your scanner; Microtek's ScanMaker 6800 has it for only $399.99. Check it out at www.asf.com

Don't want to print yourself? Send your digital images to www.shutterfly.com. They'll post them on the web and mail you prints of whatever you order. They also take film; while it costs more than commercial printing, you can crop and otherwise improve your shots when they are digitized.

Another great space saver are the new combo-printers made by Lexmark. You can now scan, print and copy from something the size of a flatbed scanner for $149 - $199, or get the upright X125 with a smaller footprint and fax as well for $179. Small footprints for small desks. Go to Lexmark's site for the product profile.

Running out of hard drive to store all those photo images on? Get DiskOnkey, a storage device that plugs into your USB. About the size of a magic marker, it holds from 8 to 512 megs of data, and is a lot easier to carry than the equivalent number of floppies or even CD roms. Of course, at $29.99 for 8 megs, the cost per meg of data is higher, but so what else is new? Learn more from DiskOnkey's site.

Virtually all these great new gadgets attach to your computer via the USB port. If you are shopping for for a new one, be sure it has more than one USB port or you will have to buy a hub to run more than one gadget at a time. You can get 4-port PocketHub, at 2x2x.5" for only $49.99 from www.Kensington.com

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