"It changed my life," says Dan Caulfield, president of Hire Quality Inc., a $500,000 employment company based in Chicago. And he's not talking about Prozac. Caulfield is raving about the TVator (Antec, $399), a gadget that attaches to the serial port on his laptop and plugs into a TV or a VCR, transforming just about any TV into a computer monitor for a laptop.

For years, Caulfield used to lug a monitor around with him when he gave presentations at other companies. Now he just brings his laptop and the TVator. "Most big companies I visit have a TV for me to plug into," he says. "When I traveled with a monitor, I had to check my luggage, which every business traveler knows is a no-no."

While the TVator has proved useful for work, Caulfield says it's also a hit at parties. "Since we help to place discharged military workers in permanent positions, we do something special for the Army-Navy football game each year," he explains. "Last year we rented a big-screen TV and had a football party. Instead of watching the commercials, people would use the laptop and the TVator to flip on their own computerized presentations, like 'Why the Navy Is Better Than the Army.' Or whenever Army scored, Army fans would flash celebratory computer graphics on the screen."

-- Joshua Macht

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