Keeping the Connection

Call Waiting Modem is a modem designed to avoid the connection breaks that can occur if you get a call-waiting signal while you're online.

Basically, you use the device as you would any other modem. When an incoming call is detected, the modem generates the sound of a phone ringing. The modem allows you to pick up the phone and see who is calling without interrupting the data stream.

If you take the call, you have seven seconds to decide whether to stay on the line. If you continue to talk past seven seconds, the modem will automatically disconnect your computer connection. If you feel your modem connection is more important than the caller, you have just enough time to tell him to call you back later and hang up. This is a modem whose time has come.

-- Craig Crossman -- Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service

Call Waiting Modem

by Actiontec Electronics Inc.

1-800-797-7001 or 1-408-752-7700

www.actiontec.com

Internal $99.99, external $119.99

Directional Assistance

As good as your summer driving vacation may get, it will get better if you take along a laptop loaded with this gem from Microsoft.

It starts with an awesome ability to generate detailed street by street, door-to-door driving instructions, using technology licensed from Navigation Technologies Corp., which sells global fleet routing data to companies.

Type in your home address and then the address or place name of any U.S. destination and the CD-ROM will churn out: a block-level map of start and destination, a set of driving instructions telling you turn by turn how to move between the two points, and information on attractions and resources along the way.

The database includes construction warnings and suggests bypass routes. To ensure up-to-date accuracy, the software can connect to the Internet, where Microsoft's Expedia.com Web site collects road conditions and weather information.

-- James Coates, Chicago Tribune

Expedia Streets & Trips 2000

by Microsoft Corp.

www.microsoft.com/expedia

$65

For Windows 95 or 98