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e-Briefing | Celebrity Setup

Spin That E-Mail

"Wheel of Fortune" co-star uses her laptop for addresses, even though a Palm might help more.

November 29, 2001

When you think of Vanna White, don't think letters--think e-mail.

White has been a fixture on TV screens for 19 years, co-starring on the popular game show "Wheel of Fortune." As contestants guess the letters in each hidden-word puzzle, White's job is to reveal the ones they get right.

Away from the show's Culver City set, White can't be separated from her laptop computer. You won't find her playing "Wheel of Fortune" online, however--instead, she's mainly sending e-mail to co-workers and friends.

In addition to an electronic version of the game, the "Wheel of Fortune" Web site showcases the designer outfits White wears on the air. The newly expanded Vanna Style pages offer photos of the former model garbed in clothes by the likes of Silvia Tcherassi and Bianca Diaz.

The site, at http://www.wheeloffortune.com/vanna, is set for its official launch today.

COMPUTER: A laptop, because I travel all the time. It's [an Apple] G4, a Titanium G4.

Question: You must be the envy of all your peers.

Answer: For Mac users, yes, I guess. Let me tell you what irks me. I bought it a few months ago, and now they're coming out with one that has a CD burner already built in.

Q: When did you make the leap from desktop to laptop?

A: Probably six, seven years ago. It [my old desktop] was some kind of an Apple. It was pre-iMac.

My kids have iMacs. Actually, one of them has a PC, one has a Mac. And the reason is because there's a lot of games that come out for the PC but not the Mac. He [son Nicholas, 7] has the iMac in his room, she [daughter Giovanna, 4] has the PC in her room. There's a Hot Wheels PC game that he plays on her computer; there's a Candyland game that she plays on his computer.

Q: What do you do for Internet access at home?

A: DSL. I take it pretty seriously. I love my DSL.

HAND-HELD: I had a Palm Pilot, but I had a problem with it. This was when I had a G3 [an Apple laptop]. It would screw up my computer. I had a bad experience, but, oh my gosh, I need one.

Q: What for?

A: For everything. For my life! I can't tell you how often I have to run to my computer to look up an address.

By the way, I back up all the time. I am a big believer in saving everything and backing it all up. I always do that before I go on the road, just in case, God forbid, my computer gets stolen.

BOOKMARKS: I have the Recycler [http://www.recycler.com]. I have my maps--MapQuest [http://www.mapquest.com]. EarthLink access numbers [for dialing into the Net when on the road]. I don't have a lot of [bookmarks] because I really don't spend that much time on the Web. Most of my stuff is usually personal, e-mail and that kind of stuff.

But I do a lot of research on it, just research with my children and stuff. When they have questions about things, we'll go online.

Q: Do you shop much online?

A: I don't have the time to browse. I would love to, though. I do a lot of catalog shopping.

Q: What do you use for a screen saver?

A: It is a picture of my children.

CELL PHONE: It's a [Motorola] StarTac.

Q: How much do you use it?

A: Probably not as much as most people. I don't chat a lot. I'm like a hands-on mom. I'm working in the library at school or making cookies for the snack.

TECH TOYS: I don't really have a lot of those gadgets. I just use my computer. I have my music on my computer. I play it while I'm working on it. [It's] a lot of my CD collection. I went through I don't know how many CDs.

Q: How about gadgets in your car?

A: I have GPS [global positioning system]. It literally talks to you when you're driving. It tells you, "In one half mile, turn right."

HOME THEATER: It's a projector with a Stewart screen that rolls down. I don't watch that every day.

Q: What's your usual TV set?

A: A Sony flat screen.

Q: A plasma set?

A: Yes.

Q: How big?

A: Four feet, probably.

Q: Do you have surround sound?

A: Probably. I don't know. That stuff I don't know much about. We're getting more into the DVDs, or the kids are, anyway. They're smaller, and you can get right to the [film]. The quality's better.

Q: How about a video recorder, such as TiVo or UltimateTV?

A: I do have UltimateTV, but it's not hooked up. I liked that digital recording feature, and I worked for the company. I did a job for them. But I have not hooked it up.

Q: How long has it been in the box?

A: Oh, a few months.

IMPACT ON LIFE: Oh, my gosh, I can't live without today's technology. I'm such a--what do you call it when you're really into your computer?

Q: A geek?

A: I'm such a geek. I cannot live without my computer. It's my life. Everything is on it. I do everything on my computer. I print out my Christmas card list, everything. It just makes life easier and faster. I can return e-mails at midnight. I don't have to spend hours on the telephone when I can just send a quick e-mail.

As told to Jon Healey

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