From the May 1999 issue of Startups

Is your mouse giving you a pain in the wrist? Then try a cat . . . the Cruise Cat touchpad from Cirque, that is. More than a pointing device, the Cruise Cat opens Web browsers, spreadsheets and other applications with just one touch of its programmable "hot button" controls. Another button opens the Cruise Cat's "Touch Gestures" function, which allows you to control any function of your PC by "drawing" letters or other symbols on the pad with your fingertip. At the side of the touchpad is a convenient zoom/scroll bar that works within word processing or Web browsing applications. Compatible with Windows 95, 98 and NT.

Cruise Cat

Cirque

(800) 454-3375

http://www.cirque.com

Street price: $99

Board Games

Whiteboards are great for brainstorming sessions, but once you erase that one-in-a-million idea, it's gone forever--unless you retrofit your board with Virtual Ink's Mimio. By using a capture bar that attaches to the side of your board and a series of ultrasonic and infrared emitters that attach to a standard dry-ink marking pen, Mimio senses every stroke of the pen and turns that information into digital image files that can be read by any PC. The files can then be reviewed, edited, printed or sent to others via e-mail or fax. Mimio is easily calibrated for any size whiteboard, requires no special training to use and folds small enough to fit into a briefcase.

Mimio

Virtual Ink

(617) 623-8387

http://www.virtual-ink.com

Street price: $499

It's All That

Brother MFC-7150C is the Swiss Army knife of office productivity equipment. It incorporates a color scanner, a printer, a copier and a plain-paper fax, as well as a unique color video capture function that lets you print images right from a videotape. Unlike a Swiss Army knife, though, all the unit's functions can be used simultaneously, meaning you can scan a document into the unit's memory while you're printing. As if that weren't enough value for your dollar, the MFC-7150C also comes bundled with a variety of useful software, including Visioneer's PaperPort, Kai's Power Goo, Xerox TextBridge and NetCentric's PC Internet Fax.

MFC-7150C

Brother International

(800) 284-4329

http://www.brother.com

Street price: $499