Total immersion gear for serious video game playingIf you...

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May 04, 1998

Total immersion gear for serious video game playing

If you really get into video games - and your family wishes you would go somewhere else while you're playing - try the Philips Scuba Virtual Immersion Visor.

This $300 gadget slips over your eyes and ears and plugs into your Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64 or Sega Saturn. When you turn on the game, you're really into it, with a "big screen" experience that won't bother anyone else.

Because it excludes exterior light and enhances color and resolution, Philips says the the Scuba creates a unique gaming experience. The built-in headphones provide dynamic stereo sound, either from the game or from an external CD or tape player. Better yet, the Scuba doesn't require a hookup to your TV, which leaves the rest of the family free to watch what they want.

You can also hook up the visor to a PC that offers an NTSC (television style) output. For information , surf over www.scubafx.com

If you need a desktop computer but your desktop is already cramped, consider the new Hitachi VisionDesk, an elegant all-in-one unit that features a bright liquid crystal display.

The VisionDesk packs a 233-MHz Pentium processor, 32 megabytes of memory, a 4.3 gigabyte hard drive, CD-ROM, sound card, speakers, and 56K US Robotics Modem into a package that's 15 inches wide and 7 inches deep. That's less than half the depth of a standard PC. There are serial and parallel ports, as well as a built-in network adapter for corporate environments.

A hybrid of desktop and laptop design, it features a high resolution, 13.5-inch TFT (thin film transistor) color display. The system unit and drives are built into the back of the screen, and the whole package stands up vertically. The estimated street price of the VisionDesk is $2,599, which isn't cheap for a computer with these features, but if you need a crisp performer that can fit into a cramped space, it's worth a look.

For information, call 800-555-6820 or surf over to www.hitachipc.com/products/desktop.html.

If you're looking for cheap, educational fun for the kids, take a look at Amtrak's edition of Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?

This version of the Broderbund classic follows the international thief across the country (via train, of course), with characters unique to the Amtrak edition.

Amtrak's Carmen sells for $9.95 and is available via the Web at www.amtrak.com/amtrak/promotion/cdintro.html.

PC cubed

We can guarantee you've never seen a PC like the Rock City ST-100.

Billed as the world's first "rock and roll computer," it's a futuristic, 10-inch cube made of aircraft-grade aluminum plate, anodized in cobalt blue or "black mamba," etched with a lightning motif. And it doesn't just sit on your desk - it balances on a pedestal attached to one of its corners, so it looks like it's floating in air.

The Panda Project, a Florida-based semiconductor and computer manufacturer, developed the Rock City line to show off its technology. And as strange as they may look on your desk, Rock City PCs use only 60 percent as much space as

standard computers.

The entry-level, $895 ST-100 features a 200-MHZ Pentium Processor, 32 megabytes of memory, 2-gigabyte hard drive, CD-ROM, modem, sound card, stereo speakers and wireless infrared keyboard. That's just the system unit. You add your own monitor. For another $100, the ST-200 comes with a faster, 100 MHz system bus, a 3-gig drive and AGP graphics.

For information, point your Web browser to www.rockcity.net, or call 888-ROC-CITY.

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