Bits & Bytes
I'M GONNA ZAP THAT E-MAIL RIGHT OUTA MY HAIR...
CORRUPT FILES, HARD-DRIVE crashes, general-protection faults, unrecoverable system errors.... Do you ever get the feeling that your personal computer is mocking you? Ever want to blow it to kingdom come? Then Creative Insights Inc. is your kind of company.
The Cupertino (Calif.) software maker is releasing what it thinks will be a novel diversion: Its ScreenToyz are sets of silly little computer peripherals that let you relieve some of your PC-induced frustration. The devices, such as an explosive plunger, are connected to both the keyboard and the computer. The included software not only produces a cartoonish screensaver but also accepts commands from the device to allow owners to "blow up" that annoying E-mail from the boss.
Other devices and on-screen characters include Latrina and her mini-toilet and Stitch--a clone of Frankenstein--and his giant knife-like electrical switch. Just throw the switch and you can send thousands of imaginary volts to zap any online nemesis. These gizmos should soon be available for any IBM-compatible PC or Apple Macintosh, but be warned: The fun will cost you $40 and 12 megabytes of hard-disk-drive space.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG