Hot this fall

Even if you’re not going back to school this fall, there’s still that same old feeling in the air. You need stuff. Stuff to talk about. Stuff to play with. Cool new stuff to get you through from now until the holiday gift season.

Here’s some stuff...

Apple iBook
Too, too beautiful. A computer you will want to hug. In tangerine and blueberry, what’s not to like about the Apple iMac’s portable little sister? At $1,599, it’s pricier than the iMac, but think how sleek it’ll look riding on the passenger seat of your New Beetle.

Victorinox Swiss Tool
Forget the Swiss Army Knife. You just can’t do enough with it. This 23-feature tool-kit-as-doorstop is just the thing for weighing down your pants pocket or keeping the car from skidding on icy roads. The built-in tools include a full-size set of pliers, a metal file, a wood saw and a metal saw, the usual family of screwdrivers, a can opener and a bottle opener, as well as a handy ruler. A deal at $75 — if you can’t build yourself a bomb shelter, a log cabin and a small airplane with this sucker, you’re just not trying.

And once you’ve got one of those handy Swiss Tools, the next trick is figuring out where you left it. Attach a $25 FINDIT unit to it and you’ll be able to locate that handy gadget anywhere, just by clapping three times and waiting for the FINDIT to beep. Developed by Detroiter Craig Nabat, the FINDIT, theoretically, should also come in handy for TV remote controls, cordless phones, coffee cups and possibly wayward spouses. Find your FINDIT at the inventor's official Web site.

Highwave Boatorhome
Picture this: You’ve just sold your start-up Web company to Microsoft, and now you’re looking to get away from it all. This 47-foot-long freeway behemoth gives a new meaning to the term land yacht, by combining a sleek motor home with an even sleeker motor boat. For just $400,000, you can go from highway to high tide and back. Highwave president Tom Dickson says that you can even tow a Hummer with it, and use the swim deck as a storage place for your Jet Ski or Harley. The gas mileage isn’t great (about 12-14 mpg), but remember, you’re an Internet bazillionaire now, aren’t you?

120 Seconds for Life
No, not a jail sentence. Though this CD-ROM has a dippy name, it’s still a good idea. It plugs in to your PC and pops up every 30 minutes or so with a two-minute stress-relief exercise. If you’re the type to do everything your computer says, you’ll be pleased when this software package interrupts your work and instructs you to stop for a moment to breathe deeply, meditate or give yourself a quick shoulder rub, right at your desk. If you’re the type who ignores your computer, you’re probably not stressed enough anyway. Save the $59.95 and take yourself out for a relaxing pint.

Woodward Magazine
Be seen with a copy of this new semi-glossy local monthly (smaller and therefore easier to carry around than Hour) and you’ll show you’re one of the artier hipsters on the street. A few paintings, some poetry and fiction, a handful of newsy bits and little doodles, and voilà: It’s quite possibly metro Detroit’s best answer to the New Yorker. and Lovegety is a $20 cross between a pager and a virtual pet, which allows users to send messages to other owners within a 25-foot radius (especially useful in classrooms or at N’Sync concerts).

Lovegety is a grown-up version of the same thing, but instead of laboriously typing in messages, you just press buttons to indicate to nearby Lovegety users (of the opposite sex only) whether you’re looking for a drink, a chat, a movie or more (no "candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach" button, unfortunately). Especially useful for the socially impaired and at singles bars, but it lacks built-in gaydar and perhaps a freak-detector mode, which would make the $22.99 list price more than reasonable.

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