The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Cool Gadgets

iPod Photo, Creative Zen new for Holiday season

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away and Christmas shortlyafter, it’s time to start thinking about what brings us alltogether this time of year. No, not religion or family butpresents. So bust out your pen and paper because I’m going togive you the low-down on some of the newest gadgets for the holidayseason.



The new iPod Photo, released last week, is Apple’s way ofimproving an already great thing. The new iPods are slightly largerin size than the fourth generation, but offer more storage and acolor screen. With the iPod photo you can now transfer your digitalphotos onto your iPod through iPhoto, for Mac users, or AdobeElements or Album, for PC. Aside from the new color screen the iPodphoto also offers bigger hard drive sizes, 40 and 60 gigabytes, andlonger battery life. The iPod Photo is available through onlineretailers or the Apple store on the corner of Knox and McKinney forthe suggested retail of $499, 40 GB, and $599, 60 GB.

Also announced last week was the “Special Edition”U2 iPod which comes in the 20 GB size with black casing and a redscroll wheel. The back is also inscribed with the band’sautographs. The iPod itself is just like the new fourth generationonly with the new color scheme. You can pick yours up online for $349.

If you aren’t too keen on buying Apple’s musicplayer, there are other options. Dell just released their newcompetitor to the iPod mini in the form of the Dell DJ Pocket.Weighing in at just 4.4 ounces and offering 10 hours of audioplayback it is a good contender. It has a 5 GB hard drive comparedto the mini’s 4 gigs but only comes in one color. Dell alsooffers a full sized DJ with a 20 GB hard drive. Both models connectto your computer through a USB 2.0 connection and use Music Match.You can get your hands on the Dell DJ or DJ Pocket fromDell’s website for $249, DJ, $199, DJ Pocket.



A new trend in mobile media that just hit the market is themobile video players, or as Microsoft has dubbed them, portablemedia centers. These devices offer not only music playback butphoto and video as well.

One device of this nature is the Creative Zen. Weighing in at 12ounces with the battery it offers seven hours of video playback and22 hours of audio. With a 20 GB hard drive you can store 85 hoursof movies and 9,000 photos. The formats supported cover pretty mucheverything including .wmv, .mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mp3 and .wma. Youaren’t limited to just the 3.8″ screen though, the Zenalso offers audio and video out for connection to a TV. It iseasily connected to your computer via a cradle and USB 2.0. TheCreative Zen is available at Best Buy and various online retailersfor around $499.


Smart Phones

Within the next few years I see the cell phone and palm pilotworlds merging together. We can already see this in a few devicesbeing offered by all major carriers. Three of the most notable arethe Motorola MPx-220, the T-Mobile Sidekick II and Treo 650.

The Motorola MPx-220 runs on Windows Mobile so it has the basicphone abilities of any cell phone as well as the basic hand heldabilities such as word processing, e-mail and the Internet. Itdoesn’t have Bluetooth or a full QWETRY keyboard but for anentry level smart phone for close to $100, it gets the jobdone.

The T-Mobile Sidekick II is actually the third incarnation ofthe Sidekick line. It is also by far the best to date with a biggerscreen, better keyboard, stronger radio and better battery life.This device is sleek and sexy and definitely wows the crowd whenyou pop it out and flip the screen to reveal a full QWERTY keyboardwhich comes in handy whether you’re writing e-mails, textmessages, surfing the web or talking on AOL Instant Messenger.

The Treo 650, a newer model of the Treo 600, is soon to bereleased by Sprint PCS with a few improvements over its sibling. Itstill runs the same Palm OS software as before but it now hasBluetooth, a higher resolution screen, a faster processor andremovable battery but only 32 MB of memory. Luckily, the memory canbe expanded through the SD card slot. It doesn’t do Wi-Fithis time around but with all the other goodies, who needs it?


The Wonderful World of Videogames

Since the next generation of consoles isn’t due out untilnext holiday season at the earliest, we are going to have to find anew outlet for our videogame gadget cravings. Lucky for us, Sonyand Nintendo are both planning releases in the near future to helpour cravings.

The Sony PSP, Play Station Portable, is slated for release inJapan on Dec. 12 of this year. This new handheld device is gearedto the aging gamers and entertainment whores. It not only playsgames but also music and movies thanks to Sony’s newuniversal media disk. It will have a USB 2.0 connection to link toother systems in the future.

When the system launches in Japan there will be two packagesoffered, the “Base System” which will cost around$185-$190 and the “Value System” for around $232. Thevalue system will be packaged with a variety of accessories thatcan be bought separately as well. The PSP’s games will alsobe region free; meaning that games bough in Japan can be played onU.S. systems and vice versa. The rumors out there are saying PSPwill hit U.S. shelves in 2005.

On Nov. 21, Nintendo will release its new handheld in thestates. The Nintendo DS offers “revolutionary gameplay” by offering two screens, one like a regular Game Boyscreen, the other being touch sensitive and requiring a stylus.Currently there are 13 planned launch titles including Mario 64 DS,a port of the Nintendo 64 Launch title, Mario 64. The system willalso embrace the Wi-Fi bandwagon and offer it for link up playwhich will require only one game pack for four players to play onfour different systems. You can pick up a Nintendo DS on Nov. 21for $149 anywhere where videogames are sold.


Car Toys

Seeing as we are on the SMU campus and, sticking withstereotypes, everyone has a BMW and probably an iPod to boot. So,if you didn’t know it already, Apple and BMW offer a programto integrate your iPod into your BMW stereo so that you can takeyour tunes with you. This process works for both the iPod and iPodmini and the 3 Series, x3, x5 or Z4 roadster BMW’s. It costs$149 plus installation, takes less than an hour and can be done atany participating BMW dealership.

Well, let’s say you have an iPod but no BMW, what are yousupposed to do? Well before you go out and buy a BMW to match youriPod, Alpine has a solution for you.

With their new adapter (KCA-420i) you too can have full controlover your iPod in your car, the only catch is that you need a 2004Alpine Head Unit with AI-Net or it won’t work. So for theadapter it will run you about $100 plus installation and anywherefrom $200 to $2,400 plus installation for a head unit depending onthe model.

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