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ONLINE DOCUMENT: TECH REPORT: NOW HEAR THIS WITH TWO CDS

My how the boombox has grown.

These suitcase-size stereo systems have been around for a while. They're handy for vacation cabins or anywhere you'd like portable music.But the latest models have many features that would be upscale in a home stereo system. For instance, the Sharp GX-CH50 comes with twin CD drives; the ability to program 20 tracks of music; a three-band graphic equalizer; and CD dubbing to the built-in cassette deck.

The new Sharp will be available in June for $199.95.

There are advantages to the twin changers beyond the obvious: the fact that two CDs can be played back-to-back. But the twin CD drive also means that a song from one album can be faded seamlessly into a song from another CD.

More information can be obtained by calling 800-237-4277.

HIGH SPEED

Just a couple of years ago, 2x CD-ROM drives for computers were the rage.

But like everything else in computing, the speed of CD-ROM drives continues to increase. Samsung Electronics America's Information Systems Division has just introduced its first 8x drive, the SCR-830.

The drive is Plug and Play-compatible for Windows 95 machines and also works fine in PCs running IBM's OS/2 Warp.

Plug and Play compatibility means that the PC will automatically sense that a new drive has been added and automatically adjust the software to recognize the drive.

The CD-ROM comes with a one-year warranty. Initially it will be sold to computer manufacturers, but soon will be available to consumers for a suggested retail price of $299.

SKY HIGH

Most people never even dream of climbing Mount Everest. But cyberspace cruisers can take part in an expedition to the world's highest mountain.

A new Web page called Everest Quest at http://www.wgbh.org/nova will bring video, photographs and text from a team that is attempting to climb the mountain that was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. But the Web page offers more than that. It will also let Internet users communicate with the team.

Footage of the expedition will eventually be shown on "Nova," the award-winning public television program. The expedition leader, David Breashears, is making the climb carrying a special IMAX camera. One of the modifications to the camera was to simplify controls, since climbers on Everest face oxygen deprivation that results in disorientation.

If the first Web page is busy, the same information can be obtained from a second page at http://www.PBS.org.

BOZA HITS Win 95

And the winner is ... Boza.

Boza is the first known Windows 95-specific virus.

Several manufacturers of anti-virus software are furnishing updates to their programs to combat Boza. Updates are available for IBM's AntiVirus 2.4 (http://www.vrs.ibm.com/ibmav.html); Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit (http://www.drsolomon.com); and ThunderByte Anti-Virus Utilities (http://www.thunderbyte.com).

Boza is relatively benign. The virus displays a message box on the screen of the infected computer on the 30th day of any month that reads:

"The taste of fame just got tastier! VLAD Australia does it again with the world's first Win95 Virus. Please note the name of this virus is Boza written by Quantum of Vlad."

NIGHT AT THE OPERA

You may not think of yourself as being musically inclined, but if you can browse the Internet's World Wide Web you can contribute to an opera that will be performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and some of the world's best musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma.

Here's what is going on. Composer Todd Machover has created a Web site called the Brain Opera. It is a collaboration of scientists, musicians and folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab.

Cyberfolk are asked to send in sound files and images for the opera. All that will be incorporated in the performance of the "Brain Opera" that debuts July 23 at Lincoln Center. The high-tech influence doesn't end there. When the opera is performed, both audience members and musicians will use what Machover calls hyperinstruments. These are computer- driven devices that can convert movement into melodies.

In some instances, the movement of a finger on a pad will create a sound, and in others special "sensor chairs" will play notes as audience members wave their hands and move their feet.

Machover's other works include a science fiction opera called "Valis" based on a novel of the same name. To contribute to the opera, or just to follow its performance, visit the Web site at http://brainop.media.mit.edu.