Hoping to look like a gadget guy? Try a mini tape recorder on your desk

Name a gadget, and Jeffrey Epstein probably owns it. He's got all the staples: cell phones, two-way pagers, a palmtop. But at the head of the list, at least for the moment, is his Voice Organizer 5500, a miniature high-tech tape recorder, palm-sized and shaped like a guitar pick (Voice Powered Technology, 800-255-2310, $150). "I like to put it on my desk by my pager so that I look like a gadget guy," says Epstein, CEO of BOSS Systems Inc., in Chicago, a reseller of sales-force automation products. The tiny gizmo comes with 512 KB memory (four minutes) and can be used to record messages and schedule appointments. It also holds 100 phone numbers.

"To activate most functions," says Epstein, "I just push a button and speak into the microphone. When I want to retrieve a phone number, first I have to manually select the letter of the alphabet where I stored the number. Then I speak the name, which instantly appears, along with the number, on the liquid crystal display. Some people think it's a hassle to have to put in that first letter, but it's never bothered me.

"The recorder also comes in handy for listening to directions as I'm driving to someone's house or office. I've had it for a while, and I'm still finding new ways to use it. It's like having a penless notepad wherever I go."

-- Joshua Macht

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