Every calendar has two New Year's. The first comes on December 31 with an over-hyped night of long cab rides, middle-shelf booze and questionable choices. It virtually always ends in disappointment.

Then there's August 31, the night before school starts again.

Let's be honest here, you don't have to be a student or a parent to feel the thrill of a new school year. It's almost an ingrained tic, a muscle memory. No matter how many years ago you graduated, each fall still feels like a chance to start anew.

Of course, if you are in school, then there's no "almost" about it. The new semester is here and it's time to start gearing up for campus life again.

Marketers haven't missed this opportunity. Every store seems to run a back-to-school sale in late summer, recognizing the obvious academic need for secondhand kayaks and lessons on the banjolin. You can do without most of the stuff that ads and on-campus kiosks hawk (and absolutely should do without the credit card offers), but there are a few tech offerings that will make the coming school year a lot easier.

Here are five:

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