By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 8/24/2006 12:16:51 PM ET 2006-08-24T16:16:51
COMMENTARY

While I enjoyed my time in college, campus move-in day was as close as one could get to Dante’s fifth ring of Hell.

Schlepping across College Walk pushing a hand truck with a broken wheel as overly enthusiastic resident advisors flittered about--that’s for the birds.

But today, students have a lot less schlepping to do thanks to portable technology.

For example, laptops are by far the most popular tech accessory for students. Back in my day, which wasn’t even that long ago, no one had laptops. They were prohibitively expensive and too heavy to lug around.

Free of the desktop and all of its accoutrement, that mini-van is a little less cramped already.

Next, there is no longer a need for the stereo with two giant speakers or the CD tower. All of those pounds of gear and wires can be boiled down into one I-Pod or MP3 player. There are even Bose speaker docks made for the I-Pod that enable you to play your songs out loud at a party.

And of course, the more all-in-one gadgets you have, the better the move-in gets. Verizon’s new Chocolate, for example, is an MP3, cell phone and Bluetooth wireless device all in one.

The bags are getting lighter, already.

You can save yourself serious space and money in those overly cramped dorm rooms by reaching out to the new roommate before heading to school.

Your college will provide you the name and contact information. From there, you can email or call. But even better-go and see if the roomie has a My Space or Facebook page.

You can learn a lot that way and be braced for any and all weirdness to follow. But you'll also avoid having two mini-refrigerators in your room. Coordinate who will bring what.

Finally, do not forget the power strips and surge protectors. These handy strips not only save the gadgets from power surges, they might just save your life. Electrical fires are very common on college campuses.

Good luck!

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